Success with "clean entertainment"


Popcorn, chocolate and drinks. Simple snacks are an important part of the film experience for the 850,000 people who visit Trondheim Cinema each year. But even if the packaging is chosen with care, it will still generate a lot of rubbish. The cinema took this challenge seriously, and is now able to confirm that it has significantly reduced the volume of residual waste, despite the fact that sales of kiosk products have increased.



The process started when the cinema wanted to apply for Eco-Lighthouse certification. For the waste aspect, it decided to introduce a more ambitious recycling scheme, and wanted to provide separate waste points for bottles and residual waste in its auditoriums. It wanted to provide more, smaller bins rather than only a few large ones. The most important thing was for the system to have sufficient capacity to be able to cope with the waste that was generated during a single screening. And the various bins would have to be small enough to allow children to reach them. The system would have to be designed around the premises and the cinema’s branding, but the function would have to be clear.

The system

Røros Produkter offered systems which made them stand out from their competitors. One of them was for the hole in the top of the bin for recycled bottles to be in the shape of a bottle. One of the challenges of recycling schemes is that users tend to throw the wrong type of waste into the wrong bin, but a lid like that would leave users in no doubt about what they should put in the bin. We would also be able to supply the bottle bins with soundproofing plates. The bass in the cinema’s sound system creates vibrations that carry through the auditorium, but this padding would prevent the annoying noise of bottles vibrating against the metal walls of the bin.

Humour and environmental awareness

And this well-thought-out initiative did not end with the purchase of equipment. A lot of effort was put into making the system visible and encouraging the public to use it. Before the start of every movie, the cinema plays a film clip encouraging people to take their rubbish with them when they leave, and put it in the right bin. And at the end of the movie, moving spotlights with pictograms are shone onto the waste bins.


The results

The work of achieving certification started as a compulsory exercise, but during the process, the cinema came to see its intrinsic value, and the opportunities presented by certification.

“You could say that we were given a kind of Kinder egg. Something that we thought would be expensive and complicated actually made things easier and saved us money”, said the cinema’s director Arild Kalkvik. An important reason behind the success was that the cinema clearly thought through how they could benefit from this work, and defined an environmental target that put this into a greater context

«Trondheim Cinema offers “clean entertainment” in all areas, and is proud to offer an environmentally-friendly entertainment option. Trondheim Cinema aims to encourage customers, partners and staff to choose “clean” alternatives»

The cinema is now able to confirm that residual waste has gone down from 76 to 50 grams per cinema customer, and that they now only need to empty the residual waste bin six times a year. Before this initiative, it had to be emptied 113 times a year. What is perhaps most surprising is that the cinema has achieved this huge reduction during a period when sales of kiosk products have actually increased. Arild Kalkvik believes that much of the success is due to the input and products provided by Røros Produkter. The work of raising public awareness was also important, and they also mention that they have benefited from a general change in attitude. The public now tends to think more about the environment, and more people expect to see recycling facilities.

Røros Produkter is a cinema favourite

I am always receiving enquiries from other cinemas about where they can get hold of similar recycling facilities.

Arild Kalkvik

Location Norway funded the purchase, and has since become a distributor of Røros waste systems to other cinemas. The company focuses on purchase agreements and concepts for kiosks in cinemas, and has 80 cinemas of various sizes associated with its concept.