A spoon full of garbage
What would you do for a heaping helping of sweet, tasty — garbage?
Yeah that’s right I said garbage.
Not just any garbage though — garbage from an edible landfill.
Not Willy Wonka’s imaginary landfill but garbage from the Newton County Recycling Processing Center.
Students from West Newton Elementary lapped spoonfuls of landfill on Tuesday — some even asked for more.
Graham crackers, Twizzlers, Lucky Charms and Fruit Roll- ups — what’s wrong with eating that?
OK it’s not your typical landfill but so much more edible.
Karen Key with Keep Covington/ Newton Beautiful taught students from West Newton about the construction of landfills by making miniature edible landfills.
Students were more receptive than if just given a normal, everyday lecture on the process of building a landfill, and I’m sure, if asked, anyone of those students can recite for you what the different layers are and what purpose each serves.
I even learned a thing or two. I honestly thought trash just went into a big hole in the ground then was covered up with more dirt. Maybe I’m showing my ignorance, but I was impressed with the project — so you’re going to have to endure a replay of it right now.
Step one: a hole is dug and lined with a layer of clean soil — for the project a Dixie cup was the hole and crushed graham crackers stand in for dirt.
Step two: a liner is placed on top of the clean soil to protect the soil from pollutants. Fruit Roll- ups make a great edible liner — the green ones are particularly trashy looking.
Step three: pipes are installed to drain the liquefied garbage sludge into toxic waste containment. Untwizzled Twizzlers play the roll of the pipes and are dropped in on top of Fruit Roll- up.
Step four: another layer of soil covers the pipes to protect them from corrosion and environmental conditions — more graham crackers.
Step five: garbage is finally brought in to fill the remainder of the landfill. Lucky Charms are the trash ( I guess anything could be used as trash — trail mix might be a healthier alternative, but once you’ve eaten the other items in the landfill why not go for the sugary breakfast cereal).
The edible landfill ranks right up there with the kitty litter cake — but that’s another column and just completely disgusting. At least the edible landfill is educational.
Despite making my stomach roll, the edible landfill has found a permanent place in my brain and has made me a little more aware of what happens to my garbage and what effect my consumption has on the environment.
One of the students asked if there was enough room for all the trash — what a deep question. He probably didn’t mean to ask a question that would spark my internal debate but he did nonetheless.
Do we have enough room for all the trash?
Maybe we should all stop to ask ourselves that question.
If we continue to consume more and more ( myself included) without looking for solutions then we may all find ourselves served up a mouth full of garbage — and not the sweet sugar coated kind.
I haven’t always been the most conscious person when it comes to recycling, but with our current environmental state and the outlook being what it is we all need and should be at the height of consciousness.
Take advantage of the services offered in Newton County. We have 12 recycling centers located across the county. None of them charge Newton County citizens to drop off recyclable goods ( plastics, scrap metal, paper…).
What else could we ask for?