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Welcome to the Trace Your Trash Project,
November 15th is National Recycling Day. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how to incorporate this topic into my environmental science class. After a couple of days of hashing some ideas around in my head, I came up with the idea of having students try to figure out 1) what trash our students produce in a typical day at school and 2) what happens to this trash after it leaves the school. My environmental science book stated that typically, once the trash is picked up, the waste company takes it to a transfer station. Here, it is separated and sent to a dump, recycling plant, or an incinerator. I wanted to know if this was really true, so I have devised a project for my students to trace their trash. Our ultimate goal is 1) to educate ourselves on what happens to our trash, 2) to construct a layer in Google Earth that shows what happens to our trash, and 3) to devise a plan to reduce the ecological footprint of our school through breaking the chain of consumption and disposal.
If you would like to join this project, please feel free. I would start by watching the video at the link below. I have also included the documents we used to do this project. If you have any questions or ideas on how to improve this project, feel free to contact me: Thomas Cooper email@example.com.
You Need to Watch This!
The Story of Stuff -
Video of Wastes Produced at School
Interviews with Key Professionals who Process Our Trash
Wiki on the Issue
Google Earth Layer that Geographically Displays Each Step of the Process
Plan of Action to Reduce Solid Waste at Schools
Art Projects that Incorporate Recyclable Objects
Proposed Due Dates:
Nov. 30th - Brainstorm the Issue
Brainstorm the Issue.pdf
Dec. 6th - Storyboard due for School Trash Video
School Trash Storyboard.pdf
Dec. 12th - What Waste Do You Produce? (see below: "Walker Talks Trash")
Jan. 20th - Interviews with Key Trash Personnel (see below: Waste Industries Presentation; MOLAM Industries CEO Interview)
Feb. 1st. - Text, Pictures, Video Due on Wiki
Feb. 8th - Completion of Individual School's KMZ files
Feb. 15th - Compilation of Google Earth Layers
Feb. 22nd - Recyclable Temporary Art Projects Set Up and Pictures
March - Plan of Action Submitted to Wiki
March - Final Reports on Wiki
Calendar of Events
We have created a calendar of events to help you plan to complete this project. On the
we have also scheduled online conservations using Elluminate for teachers to get together, talk about the project, voice any questions and concerns, and to help build our community. We will also be offering monthly tutorials on how to use Google Earth. These sessions will be the last Monday of each month at 8 pm EST, excluding holidays. Sessions will be recorded and posted in the session archive on our site. Completion dates provided on the calendar are only suggestions. Schools may enter the project at any time during the year and data may be posted at any time up until May 30th when the project closes for the year.
* Previous project sessions are stored on the "
" page of The Networked Learner wiki.
Trace Your Trash Composite Layer
What Trash Do You Produce?
Walker Talks Trash
Interview Question for Walker Community - "What trash do you produce during your daily activities at school?"
How is Trash Processed in Georgia?
Disposal of Georgia MSW
Upload your own
Interview Questions for Waste Industries -
Waste Industries Interview Questions.pdf
What happens to your electronic waste?
Walker Interviews MOLAM CEO
Computer Recycling Process Used by MOLAM
Interview Questions for MOLAM Industries -
MOLAM E-Watse Recycling Interview Questions.pdf
Walker Interviews Grady Road Landfill
Upload your own
Interview Questions for Grady Road Landfill -
Grady Road Landfill Interview.pdf
Brainstorm the Issue -
Brainstorm the Issue.pdf
Guidelines for Conducting Interviews -
Guidelines for Conducting Interviews.pdf
Informed Consent for Interviews -
Video Podcast Storyboard Template -
Video Podcast Rubric -
Atomic Learning, Windows MovieMaker 2 Tutorials -
Google Earth KML/KMZ Tutorials -
Notes: Programming can be done in a text editor, such as Note Pad, but if you have a copy of Google Earth Pro, it would make life easier.
Izzy Video -
Notes: great photography and video tips and tutorials
Afterlife of Garbage -
Notes: NPR.org podcast on what happens to our garbage after it leaves our home.
Consumed - Marketplace
Tess Trash Challenge
Notes: Tess Vigeland of Marketplace is taking a challenge to carry her garbage around with her for 2 weeks. Compost and recyclables are exempt. Can you imagine carrying your garbage around with you? Could you put it in a small shopping bag or would you need a wheelbarrow?
Our E-Waste Comes Back to Haunt Us
20 Things You Didn't Know About Garbage
Estimating and Addressing American's Food Losses
Secrets of the San Men
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things -
Authors: William McDonough and Michael Braungart
Notes: Great book for background reading about industrial production, downcycling, and wastes.
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte (ISBN: 031615461X)
Manufactured Landscapes -
Notes: MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Recycled Life -
Notes: Great movie on people in developing countries and how their life depends on working and living in a dump.
Running Time: 35 minutes
The Story of Stuff -
Running Time: 20 minutes
Basal Action Network -
E-Waste Guide -
Free Cycle -
Georgia Landfills -
Georgia Superfund Sites -
Georgia Waste Industries Facility Sites -
Go With the Flow -
Green Museum -
Notes: Has information on environmental artists and those who do art with "found objects".
The Rock Garden-
Notes: Largest folk art garden in the world created over years made entirely of reclaimed materials found in dumps.
National Recycling Coalition -
Notes: Has information on the recycling process.
Plasma Arc Incinerator -
Notes: Developed by Georgia Institute of Technology
Problem-Based Learning Study Guide -
Notes: Gives a short summary of PBL and how it can be employed in the classroom.
Proper E-Waste Disposal Tips -
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"