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Don't Rubbish The Inner City: Thirty year old film captures early recycling movement

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'Don't Rubbish the Inner City' was made in 1989.

Thirty years ago a community-made film documented the early recycling movement in central Sheffield.

Now Memory Dance are screening a newly-digitised copy of Don't Rubbish the Inner City (DRTIC) for the first time at Foodhall.

The 50-minute documentary, shot on U-matic tape, was created by the Sheffield Community Recycling Action Programme (SCRAP) in 1989.

"SCRAP commissioned the video and sourced funding from the council and other green organisations in the city," Alex Wilson of Memory Dance told Now Then.

"The late eighties were a fruitful time for community video making, as the means of production grew more affordable and the focus was on hyper-local community issues."

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with some of the activists from the film who are still working on reuse and recycling projects.

"DRTIC shows people involved with litter picks, repairing furniture, organic allotment initiatives, and consciousness raising," said Wilson.

Foodhall is a public dining room and kitchen that uses surplus food from local traders. In 2018 they launched the National Food Service, which aims to establish a network of social eating spaces.

Wilson believes that screening the film at Foodhall "speaks to the ethos at the heart of the community video project."

"To once again celebrate this proud modern tradition of radical green Sheffield is to re-energise the history of the inner city," he said.

'Don't Rubbish the Inner City' is screened at Foodhall on 25 November. Tickets are free, with a suggested donation of £5 - £10.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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