What happens when we throw something “away”? Where is this magical “away” land that takes all our trash? It’s closer than you might think, and it stinks too!
Lady Grey’s Beyond Recycling students got an up close look at Golden’s landfill this week. Our knowledgeable tour guide Carmen Fennel (a waste reduction facilitator with the CSRD) met us to explain all that happens to the stuff we throw out and recycle.
Some students were amazed to learn that everything we throw into the trash, gets buried in a hole at our landfill and it will stay there forever. Decomposition rates are so slow in a landfill that a head of lettuce thrown into a garbage bag and buried will still be a head of lettuce in 30 years (if we dug it up)!
The Golden Transfer station does a lot to help people divert waste from the landfill, with programs in place to recycle many items like concrete, wood waste, metal and even those old mattresses.
Fun fact: the wood, springs and foam from a mattress are all recyclable!
Our landfill still has a long life ahead of it, it shouldn’t fill up until 2098. Our students hope that day doesn’t come at all, and that we all start to take more responsibility for amount of trash we create and throw away.
Reduce comes first in the three R’s.