How Much Space Does Trash Take Up?

Easy
Do you ever wonder how much space trash takes up? Let's find out by filling a box with egg cartons, plastic jugs and aluminum cans and calculating the volume it takes up. Is there a way to make the trash take up less space?

Hypothesis

The hypothesis is that compacting trash reduces the space it takes up.

Method & Materials

You will fill a large box with egg cartons, plastic jugs and aluminum cans. Then, you will calculate the total volume of trash in the container and see how much space would be required each year if everyone in your house contributed the same amount of trash each week. Next, you will compact the items that can be compacted. Calculate the total volume of the trash.
You will need a large cardboard box, egg cartons, clean plastic jugs and water bottles, dozens of aluminum cans, paper and pencils, and a calculator.

Results

We found that compacting trash reduces the space it takes up. This is important to know because trash placed in landfills and garbage dumps may last far longer than desired.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting and unique because it helps us understand the impact of our trash on the environment.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include researching the life of a product package in a landfill, and finding alternatives that generate less trash for items you buy.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!