Case Studies

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Between December 2007 and March 2008 a significant proportion of American film X-Men Origins: Wolverine was filmed in and around Queenstown, Glenorchy and Dunedin. Employing approximately 500 people, Wolverine was a sizeable production. The New Zealand-based production company, WOZ Productions, was based in Queenstown throughout filming.

Environmental Profile

In a joint project between Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), Film Queenstown and WOZ Productions, Wolverine became a case study for sustainable waste management practices.

The WOZ Productions Case Study combined the objectives of the Council’s Waste Management Strategy and the principles of Greening the Screen. It allowed QLDC to investigate typical waste management practices in the film industry and identify ways in which the diversion of waste from landfill could be maximised.
Environmental Research

Throughout the project, WOZ Productions allowed a QLDC waste management officer to observe, consult, improve and report on the waste management and recycling systems employed on location, and in the four largest Queenstown-based departments - the Production Office, Special Effects, Art and Construction and Main Unit Base.

On the basis that these four departments produced the greatest quantity of waste and also the most harmful waste types they were monitored to:
• audit waste streams,
• assess quantities of waste and recyclables produced,
• review current methods of waste disposal, and
• identify opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the production.


During the production of Wolverine, approximately 670 tonnes of waste was produced across the four departments.

Using established recycling systems, and adding new systems where necessary, an estimated 615 tonnes of this waste was diverted from the landfill, resulting in an outstanding 92% diversion rate and costs savings of $55,000.
Huge Diversions

• Efficient recycling systems setup in all areas
• Solvent based paint collected and recycled
• Food waste became chicken feed
• Car batteries to recycling centre
• Props recycled

• Water bottles refillable
• Reusable crockery and cutlery
• Organic and reusable construction materials used
• Green reusable bags for runners
• Fabric and clothes donated to Salvation Army

Clear thinking
• Call sheets sent electronically to all offset crew
• Excess timber, turf and plants donated to local residents and land owners
• Water based paint donated to local school
• Biodegradable coffee cups
• Engines off when idle
• Committed staff
• Supportive heads of department

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