Let’s learn about Garbology…

  • The suffix -ology means “to study”. In this lesson, we study garbage.
  • Everything we throw into the garbage goes somewhere. Do you know where your garbage ends up? Is everything that goes into your garbage actually garbage? Many things end up in the garbage that could have been recycled, reused or not used altogether.
  • The “Three R’s” are “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. Reduce means to use less. Reuse means to use it again and again. Recycle means to make it into something new.
  • Composting is another way we can reduce waste. Compost means to convert plant matter to compost, which is decaying organic matter that is used to fertilize growing plants. Do you know someone who composts?



Choose one of the engaging activities below to take action:

  • Garbage Survey: Sort through a day of household garbage. Put everything in the bin into five piles: compost, reusables, food waste, recyclables, and garbage. How much of it is actually garbage? How much could have been re-used, composted, recycled, or reduced?
  • Community Clean-Up: Go for a walk around your block, playground, or along a local road. Bring a garbage bag and gloves, and collect as much garbage as you can to clean up your neighborhood. Add a little competition with your family members and see who can collect the most. 
  • Sorting Recycling: Help sort your family’s recycling into the proper categories. What things can be recycled? What things cannot? What items do you get refunds for? Are there items that you sometimes throw in the garbage, that can actually be recycled?
  • Garbage Scavenger Hunt: Go for a walk in your community and see if you can find: a discarded pop can, a glass bottle, a candy wrapper, a cigarette butt, a popsicle stick, packaging from a fast food restaurant, packaging from a local business, a straw, something old, something new, something that was probably lost or accidentally discarded, something compostable, something reusable or that can be repurposed, something surprising. Download and print the Garbage Scavenger Hunt pdf


Journaling prompts

Choose one of the topics below to write about:

  • How is the Earth like a cookie jar?
  • What are the 3R’s that have to do with waste? Can you think of other words starting with “re” that might be useful to help us reduce the amount of garbage that goes to landfills?
  • What might your world be like, if you could never throw anything away?



Check out some of our favorite Garbology videos:



  • WALL-E movie by Disney Pixar
  • 31 Day Zero Waste Challenge for Kids
  • Local Transfer Station Information: check out your municipal or regional district website for your local information.


Related Podcasts 

Listen to one of these great podcasts to learn more:


Programs in the RDCK

If you live in the Regional District of the Central Kootenay, check out these links:



Click below to a play a Kahoot game about Garbology.