The Pinellas County Solid Waste Division has a tenuous connection to The Sopranos, 30 Rock and Modern Family - all Emmy award winners.
A documentary called “Away: A Story of Trash” was videotaped at Solid Waste last year and has been nominated for a Suncoast Regional Emmy. The Suncoast Chapter is an official regional chapter within the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that recognizes excellence in regional television markets.
The educational and entertaining video premiered on May 11, 2011 and has been shown periodically on WEDU since then. Students from St. Petersburg College wrote, directed, filmed and edited the production and numerous Solid Waste employees were involved on- and off-camera. The Waste-to-Energy contractor Veolia also assisted in setting up background shots and other video footage.
The driving force behind the video was Jeremy Peplow, instructor of advanced videography at St. Petersburg College. Twelve students in the digital media program worked on the documentary as a class project.
Jan Tracy, Solid Waste program coordinator, viewed the experience as an exciting departure from the normal work day.
She explained, “It was fun to work with the talented students from St. Petersburg College. We were all energized by their creativity. It was especially interesting to follow the project from an idea to seeing it on television.”
Seven Solid Waste employees had on-camera speaking roles and many others provided background support during the production. The winners of the 2012 regional Emmy Awards will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 in Hollywood, Fla.
The 26-minute documentary is posted on YouTube and has received over 3,500 views.