Preventing Landfills

Ava Duszynski, Austin Blackburn, Kanon Orr, Jordan Kach

The Problem

Landfills cause many problems in the environment around us. Not only are we affecting the environment with landfills, but it is also a health hazard to animals and to us. Over ten toxic gases are produced from landfills, including methane, which is a harmful chemical. Studies have shown that children that live near landfills are more likely to suffer from heart and lung diseases due to the toxic chemicals being breathed in. These children are also significantly reduced in height compared to children who do not live in these environments. Both marine and land animals suffer from landfills as well. Looking for food, they attempt to eat it and become entrapped in the plastic, causing suffocation. Because we are so careless and wasteful, we cause many problems in the environment, and we have to do something about it.

Our Plan

We knew we had to prevent landfills and we had to start with our school. The idea of recycling has been brought up repeatedly in our school, but we knew there had to be something else we could do. We started with the first thing we could do to help our school. First, we had to spread awareness about the harm that comes with landfills. We jumped into our research without knowing much about it and were shocked to find out about the severity of landfills.

We had many attempts to achieve to our goal:

  1. We first focused on creating a slideshow to send out to the advisories. After getting only three responses back, we knew it would not be helpful to just send out a slideshow without being there to present and explain it.
  2. Next, we placed factsheets about landfills on the lunch tables in the cafeteria. We noticed a few problems that came with this plan even though it was in a noticeable place. The sheets could easily be torn up and stained from the daily use of the lunch tables. Plus, even though the sheet could be recycled, it was not completely true to our cause.
  3. Finally, we decided to go in a completely different direction. Our group wanted to do something creative that had not been done before. We decided to put on a short skit with jokes that could help spread awareness about landfills. We wanted to do this, because sometimes when you have a visual that entertains you, it engages you into the conversation. It also leads you to think more carefully about what you could do differently to change the world in a positive way.

The Outcome

After creating the jokes, we created a recycling bin made out of reused materials. Our group recited the jokes at lunch time in the cafeteria. It did not go quite as we had hoped. There were several problems with our plan. For one thing, the jokes were not fact-based and did not spread awareness of the huge problem and severity of landfills. In our opinion, the jokes did not have enough information to really send the message to others. The jokes did add some positive aspects to our project though. For example, it brought us to work together better as a group. At the beginning, we had a lot of different ideas for the project, but once we started working on the jokes, we were able to spread out jobs and start working together on the project. Maybe the jokes weren't substantial enough to really complete the project, but now we learned that we really need to invest careful thought and planning into the project in order to create a successful project.
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