Taylor and Eli do Cortland

The quest for a greater understanding about how waste is disposed of continued yesterday when we travelled to Cortland, New York. We met with Gerry Contento, owner of a waste management/demolition/recycling company called Contento’s. After experiencing some wrong turns down random streets of Cortland we found our way to the site. Contento’s is separated into two different sections. One section is a massive warehouse where bottles and cans along with other recyclable materials are sorted into piles according to material. The other section is a bustling, junkyard-type yard, where trucks come to unload materials from various demolition sites around the area.

We had a great interview with Gerry walking around the junkyard. He was personable and receptive to our questions. He explained what his company did and how different materials are separated. It might surprise people how organized junkyards are because, as we found out from Gerry, there is a method to the madness. After our conversation with Gerry, which consisted of his theories on sustainability and the differences between his company and a deconstruction company, we were able to get some additional video of various activities around the junkyard. One really great shot we were able to capture was of a large backhoe picking up junk from one pile and dropping it into another. The shot is aesthetically pleasing and we have already incorporated it into the documentary.

We are happy to finally get an interview with a demolition company due to the majority of our footage being of Finger Lakes ReUse Center. The new footage will serve well to contrast the footage we already have of deconstruction. We probably have one more shoot to go before we will be in a comfortable place to finish up the documentary.

Lift Off

This is the first post in a series that will chronicle our progress documenting home deconstruction, a sustainable alternative to demolition offered by Finger Lakes ReUse Center.

We started out strong. In February we visited a deconstruction location in Danby and collected multiple shots of deconstruction on a home and nearby shed. Two crew members were working on deconstructing the house piece by piece. We got there early and the lighting was in our favor. The first half of the morning was spent using the rising sun to our advantage. We panned across the property and took various shots of the home’s exterior.

Later in the morning we moved inside and shot crew members at work. One was deconstructing a small bathroom on the second story. In the basement, a woman was tearing down decorative molding on the ceiling. We left the shoot before noon because a class of high school students were coming to volunteer and we did not have the proper release forms prepared for minors.

Stay tuned for video clips, production information and our personal bios. We’ll be updating the website, in addition to this journal of our progress.