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The Effects of Trash and Garbage On the Environment
The Effects of Trash and Garbage On the Environment Bernadette M. Gilbert Charles Kozminski Community Academy 8336 S. LaSalle Street 936 E. 54th Street Chicago, Illinois 60620 Chicago, Illinois 60615 (312) 846-8840 (312) 535-0980 Objectives: To recognize the importance of solid waste management. To be able to identify the four "R's"; reuse, reduce, recycle and recover. To understand what a landfill is. To analyze individual solid waste management habits. To understand what is biodegradable and what is non-biodegradable. To understand why composting is a landfill alternative. To understand some of the associated pollution problems. To understand how incineration reduces waste and produces emission. To view the video tape "The Rotten Truth" provided by the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resource in order to enhance individual knowledge of solid waste disposal and the recycling process. To view the video tape "The Resource Revolution" to learn more about the recycling of plastics. To learn songs: "You're Really Making Me Sick" and "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" Materials needed: Two 2 liter plastic pop bottles, netting or mesh fabric, rubber band, classroom storage containers (will be decorated by students), plastic bags, soil (dirt), vegetable or fruit scraps, grass, newspaper, plastic and other garbage which will decompose in a landfill, video tape, "The Rotten Truth", provided by the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resource, video tape worksheets, video tape, "The Resource Revolution", guessing game activity sheets, aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper napkins, fruit peel and other "Clean" trash items as needed (avoid materials of organic origin), cassette player or tape recorder, television and VCR. Procedure: Learn the vocabulary and the categories of waste that occur daily. Questions--What is garbage? Where does it go? Discuss landfills and problems that relate to the landfills. Introduce the concepts of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. Set up a bulletin board divided into sections with the four "R's" categories as headings. Have students begin tacking up items appropriate to each heading and have them explain why the items belong in that category. Some items may be appropriate to more than one category Review video tape, "The Rotten Truth" and give a short quiz on information from the video. Make your own Compost Column. Observe and chart what happens over two to four weeks. Discuss the conditions of the various kinds of waste. Discuss biodegradability. Compare the compost to real landfills. From your observations, discuss the potential environmental problems associated with waste in landfills (leachate, contamination of water, smell, methane gas, garbage truck traffic, litter, scavenging birds, loss of natural resources and energy.) Students will play a game of twenty questions. Without letting the class see what you are doing, put one of the trash objects in a brown paper bag. Show the contents to one student then set the bag aside. The class will then begin asking questions to determine what is in the bag. Some suggested questions are: Do I come from the earth? Am I made from a renewable resource? A nonrenewable resource? Am I made by a person? Am I biodegradable? Am I packaging? Am I a container? Do I contain food? Am I recyclable? Am I compostable? Separate, prepare and label different types of recyclable trash. Learn songs: "You're Really Making Me Sick" and "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Evaluation: Students should be able to tell the difference between natural and human made materials, packaging and non-packaging items, animals, plants and minerals, renewable and nonrenewable resources and be able to identify compostable and recyclable materials. Conclusion: As educators and consumers, we are entrusted with the job of teaching children how to make intelligent decisions about solid waste. These decisions can begin in the schools and continue in the homes and stores. The solid waste dilemma will not go away. Changing our way of disposing of trash and garbage will help reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills. Solving the solid waste disposal problem will take a major overhaul in our lifestyle. As consumers and educators, we can accept this challenge and help educate our citizens for change. References: Solid Waste Activity Packet (for teachers) distributed by: Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resource in cooperation with the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois. Summer, 1991 Cassette Songs: "You're Really Making Me Sick" and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" The lyrics are by Dianna Dee Damkoehler and music and singing by Hans Damkoehler. Phone number for requesting an activity packet, video tape and cassette tape is (217)785-0310 - No charge for rental.Return to Biology Index