The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Today's Waste Tomorrow's Fuel
From trash to treasure – Byker embraces recycling in 1979.
From the collection of:
Garbage is not the most glamorous subject for a film, but, as environmental disaster looms, this 80s municipal film may attract the curious amongst future eco warriors. The state of the art Byker Reclamation Plant, commissioned in 1979, was the first in Europe, recycling rubbish from the east end of Newcastle, and heating the homes of the epic Byker Wall housing estate designed by Ralph Erskine.
This persuasive film is a late example of municipal patronage made for the Tyne and Wear County Council in co-operation with the Department of Environment by a prodigious local film production company, Turners. Turners spent more than 50 years honing their creative and technical skills, but finally folded in 1999. The Byker Plant was a flawed scheme and breached environmental controls. It was discovered in 2000 that ashes from the incinerator had seriously contaminated land around Newcastle (including allotments). The Byker Wall became a Grade II listed building in 2007 and was UNESCO listed as outstanding 20th century architecture.