Waste Field Trip

Let’s learn more…

  • When we throw things away, most end up in a landfill.  A landfill is like a giant hole that is packed with garbage and eventually covered with soil.
  • Often when we throw things away, we don’t think about what happens to them after they are in the garbage can.
  • When we learn what happens to our waste we can make better choices and potentially make less garbage which is better for the planet.




Choose one of the engaging activities below to take action:

  • Recycling Station Upgrade: Design and implement an improved recycling station for your home and/or classroom to make it as easy as possible to put things in the right place. Making recycling easier means fewer things get into the garbage by mistake! Think about where different materials goes at your local recycling depot, and if you can sort them in the same way at home/school. Include clear and colourful signage with words and/or pictures.
  • “Where Does It Go” Quiz: Write your own “Where Does It Go” quiz and challenge your classmates and/or family members. Who already knows the most about diverting waste from the landfill? Test the same people again a few days later, to see what they remembered and learned. Build a trophy from clean recyclable materials to give to the person who remembered or learned the most.
  • Disposal Research: Pick one piece of waste from your house and research it’s disposal cycle. Where does it go after you use it? Look up your local landfill? What happens next? Does it get turned into anything else?
  • Model Landfill: Build your own model landfill and see how well it holds liquids. Use whatever materials are available to you, for example clean recyclable items, loose objects found in nature, or Lego. Watch the videos below and read this website: How Stuff Works to learn how landfills are created. Include as many of the following parts in your model as you can: Bottom liner system, Cells (old and new), Storm water drainage system, Leachate collection system, Methane collection system, Covering or cap.


Journaling prompts

Choose one of the topics below to write about:

  • How could the landfill and recycling system in our town be improved? 
  • Learning about landfills and all the garbage that goes there makes me feel…
  • Imagine if there was no landfill or recycling depot. How would you manage waste if there is no “away” to send things?


Check out some of our favorite Waste Field Trip videos:







Related Podcast

Listen to the first 12 minutes (and more if you like) of this great podcast to learn more:


Programs in the RDCK

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