Model with food how recycling is done at the garbage dump.
Assemble the following:
- A clear plastic cup which is your landfill cell (or premade tart or pie crust);
- Crumble cookies (any kind that will crumble) and place a small layer in the bottom of the cup. This represents the 3′ of clay placed in the bottom of the cell to prevent fluids from seeping out;
- A thin layer of vanilla pudding for the plastic liner;
- Two 1″ pieces of licorice “whips” to represent leachate collection pipes;
- More cookie crumbs to be the sand and gravel layer to protect the pipes and plastic from punctures.
Next add the “garbage:”
- 1 teaspoon fruit cereal to represent organic waste such as food or leaves;
- 2 teaspoons rice cereal to represent paper and cardboard which makes up 40 percent of landfill contents. Almost all of this layer could be recycled to save space in the landfills;
- Some white chocolate chips for plastics;
- Some butterscotch chips for glass;
- Mini marshmellows for metals;
- Chocolate cereal “rings” for tires;
- Top with a small chocolate candy to represent everything else.
- Drizzle chocolate syrup to show leachate, the moisture that percolates through layers of waste material;
- Cover with another layer of plastic – vanilla pudding, that is;
- Cookie crumbs for soil;
- Green sprinkles for grass;
- Punch in 2 straws to represent Methane gas collectors.
Eat it, if you still have the stomach for it!
Take a field trip to your local landfill and see how your town’s trash is handled.
How could you help fewer items to wind up in your landfill?