When Sam’s father dies on inorganic garbage collection day, Sam considers it an opportune time to clear out all the old stuff from his father’s house. The old stuff also includes dear old Dad. The only problem is that Dad is organic and the rubbish collector’s refusal to take him reveals the values of this near future consumerist-gone-mad society. When the garbage collectors discover there is money to be made in used body parts they decide to make an exception. In that moment Sam realises there is a more traditional and lucrative way to dispose of the body. He plants an “Inorganic Vegetable Garden” which becomes a unique selling point for the estate.
Once a year New Zealand local councils give householders the opportunity to get rid of all their rubbish that won’t fit in the bin. The infamous ‘inorganic rubbish collection’ results in piles of household appliances, furniture and other weird and wonderful discarded items lining the streets – they will be collected for free, and there is only one, strictly enforced rule; items must be inorganic.
A quote appears on the screen. “After your death you will be what you were before your birth” - Arthur Schopenhauer.
A plastic bag drifts slowly up a surreal suburban street. Dotted along the pavement are exaggeratedly tall piles of inorganic rubbish rising sky high, swaying and heaving in the breeze. The bag gets stuck in the fence of an old looking villa, and as we hear the faint sounds of music we glide inside.
We find ourselves in a living room filled with mementoes of a life well-lived and a life well-loved. It is the home of WALTER, a content old man who tends to his prized tomato plants then, comfortable in his surroundings, sits down to read a good book. With a satisfied smile, he peacefully passes away.
Time passes and the following morning, as the sun rises SAM, Walter’s son, enters his father’s house to discover Walter’s dead body where we last left it. Sam doesn’t cry, he sighs.
Back on the street, Sam starts to wheel all of Walter’s loved mementoes, furniture and trinkets out and onto an inorganic pile of his own on the street outside. As the collection truck pulls up Sam carts Walter’s body out in a wheelbarrow and dumps it indifferently onto the pile. An argument breaks out as our inorganic collection team: FAT LARRY, BRETT, GARTH and MORRIE refuse to take the body as part of the collection as Walter is ‘organic.’ They suggest Sam cuts up the body and pops it in the normal rubbish and recycling collection, but the bin is full and the body is not recyclable. They propose Sam buries the body, but Sam wants to sell the house and doesn’t want to explain the mound to potential buyers. Just as a frustrated Sam tries to bribe the team to take the body away a POLICEWOMAN arrives to investigate the disturbance. Bored with this minor dispute, she informs Sam that he will simply have to dispose of the body himself. A LITTLE GIRL suddenly steps forward and casually suggests Sam harvests the body for organs. All begin to see benefits to this new plan but Sam decides he has a better idea.
Sam, around the back of the old house in his fathers prized garden, hammers a small white sign into a mound of earth. He has been carefully planting the tomato plants into a freshly dug garden. He stands up and surveys - he’s satisfied with his work. As we pull away, we see that the sign is a little white cross, and written on it: “Organic Vegetable Garden”. A For Sale sign has appeared at the front of the house, “with Organic Vegetable Garden” is its top selling point.