Posted on 11th March 2021

How Location One tackles on set waste sustainably

We spoke to Crispin and Carly Hardy, the husband and wife team behind Location One, who supply equipment to meet the demands of filming on location with sustainability in mind.

Location One is one of the market leaders in providing equipment and services to production companies filming on location and in studios. The company was established in 2008 by Crispin who saw a gap in the market having worked as a location manager for many years. A couple of years later, he was joined by his wife Carly who has a background in environmental consultancy. Eight years on, and their business now operates nationwide and they work directly with location managers, unit managers and production managers.

Location One started out hiring water bowsers for catering units in London but quickly expanded their product line to accommodate other services, including generator and tower light hire and waste management.

When Carly joined Location One, she brought her environmental experience and knowledge to the table. Carly saw there was a need in the industry to bring more awareness to the issue of sustainability and the environment, and became the driving force behind this aspect of Location One. For example, they became the first company in the sector to recycle from on-set rubbish collections.

Thinking about sustainability was initially a concept that Location One had been directing their customers towards rather than something that was being asked of them. For example, battery powered tower lights (rather than diesel powered) were not well known until Location One began to push their use.

The push from albert has also helped in our journey to supply our services with sustainability in mind. The Carbon Calculator, especially with our waste collection services, has influenced productions to ask specifically about things like the weight and volume of waste being collected, as well as where it’s going

The Eco-Pod and The Crown

Location One worked on the latest season of The Crown, during which one of their new creations, the Eco-Pod, was used extensively in the management of on-set waste.

The Eco-Pod is a simple product, a trailer on wheels branded with circular economy graphics, which is helping to replace the less sustainable system which is still in place on many film and TV sets.

Take a typical film or TV production, filming on location – A film crew turns up on location, and of course creates waste throughout their time there, there’s hair and make-up trailers, artists’ trailers, the catering truck etc. All the waste that’s produced consists of both recyclable and non-recyclable items. Historically, the waste was all put in black bags, piled on the ground and collected by a single-compartment rubbish truck visiting the site every day.

Around 4 years ago, Location One introduced the tipper trailer, essentially a hot-swappable skip on wheels which can be tipped by a hydraulic ram underneath. This helped deal with the environmental health side of the equation, so that any rubbish build-up on set, and the associated rats and hygiene issues that come with it, were avoided. The only sustainability win, however, was that it avoided the daily visit by a rubbish truck. Location One wanted to make this process more environmentally friendly.

The production of The Crown was initially having its waste managed using the aforementioned tipper trailer, with a ‘wall’ installed inside it to separate the general waste and dry recyclables. However, this ended up unbalanced as the general waste section contained the heavier items. Additionally, oil and food waste was not being recycled, a real missed opportunity. The Location One team thought about how they could solve these issues. Their answer? The Eco-Pod.

The Eco-Pod is a branded, circular economy trailer that’s designed to be noticed. It has three sections: the front compartment houses three 240L wheelie bins for food waste and compostables (e.g. Vegware), the middle compartment is designated for dry, mixed recycling and the end compartment stores any general waste.  The Location One team was particularly excited about the food waste section, given the potential to recycle food waste into biogas. The Crown’s catering team did cook with thought, which meant a reduction in food waste, but inevitably there was still food waste produced.


The Eco-pod itself is a rather simple concept, the technical side of it is in the supply chain. All food waste goes to ReFood where it is broken down in an anaerobic digestion plant to create biogas, used Vegware compostables go to an ‘in vessel’ composting facility via Paper Round, Bywaters take the dry recycling to their clean Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and the general (residual) waste goes to a dirty MRF.

Location One visited all these sites personally and approved them. There is also a financial incentive to properly recycle general waste, as Location One doesn’t charge for processing food waste, compostables and dry recycling but does charge for general waste.

One key component of the EcoPod solution is the reporting that comes with it. The comprehensive but easy to digest report allows productions to monitor their recycling performance and use the results to drive behavioural change. Simple graphics explain where the recycling and residual waste is processed. To see an example report click here.

Companies talk about having a ‘zero to landfill’ policy, but it is sometimes a red herring - You could send all your waste to incineration and still fulfil the policy. However, if you’re not recycling in the first instance, you’re contributing to the building of waste hungry incineration plants that arguably aren’t needed, and the authorities are then tied into finding the fuel to keep them running. It’s a vicious cycle

What’s next for Location One?

Having tackled physical waste, Location One is now turning its attention to how water used on location is disposed of.

To feed their kitchens, catering units are supplied with clean water bowsers and waste water bowsers. The waste water collected needs to end up at a sewage treatment plant via the foul water drain. However, it is often the case that the waste contains a lot of oils and fats from the cooking process, posing the risk of ‘fatbergs’ in the sewers. Location One are in the process of designing a filtration system which will extract all fats, grease, and small bits of food, which ultimately will be sent to ReFood to be anaerobically digested. The primary benefit of this filtration solution is that that what ultimately ends up in our Victorian sewage systems, is cleaner water.

Location One is also in the R&D stage of a project to look at how power is used on location and how crews can make better use of battery stores.

Crews on location tend to have a large generator at their unit base, which runs at maximum output during the day when electricity demand is high, but at night may only need to power a few items, some fridges or smaller trailers. The efficiency of this generator reduces massively when it runs at low output. Location One is exploring use of a battery store that will work in tandem with the generator, kicking in when power consumption is low, and then allowing the generator to take over when a higher power draw is needed, reducing overall power consumption and emissions.

“We definitely don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to finding them by working collaboratively with our customers on pilot schemes, such as the Eco-Pod pilot with The Crown. ”

Location One is an official albert event partner. Find out more about them on their website