Students have learned that technology
created many modern conveniences. However, with more advanced technology
and more products, additional garbage is created. This unit illustrates
where our garbage goes. We will focus on solid waste. Solid waste is any
useless, unwanted, or discarded material that is not a liquid or a gas.
The major types of garbage are:
paper, glass, metal, plastics, and rubber. Over 90% of all solid wastes
are deposited on or under land. The most common methods of disposing
solid wastes are: open dumps, landfill, and burning.
Refuse is collected either manually
or mechanically by a service provided by cities. In some large cities
like New York, taxes pay for the service. In many cities the service is
paid for by individuals. The refuse is then taken to a disposal site
which includes open dumps, landfills, burning dumps, or recovery dump
In open dumps, everything is dumped
directly on land and left uncovered. Landfills are where wastes are
spread in layers then compacted and covered with a fresh layer of soil
each day. Burning dumps are where garbage is simply dumped and burned.
Recovery dumps are where recycled materials are separated out from the
rest and then taken elsewhere to be processed into useful products once
Many cities are running out of
landfill space, and have begun to transport refuse to areas of sparsely
- Ask students to describe SOLID
WASTE by giving you examples. Point out that one man's garbage can be
another man's treasure. Use examples of aluminum cans, paper, or glass.
In the U.S. scrap metals are a big business.
- Use photos from magazines that
show solid waste not being properly discarded.
Ask students where local garbage
goes. If you don't know, call city hall or look in the telephone