Product Profile

Solid Waste (Earth Matters unit)



This product is an individual unit from the high school curriculum Earth Matters. Purchase the unit now and you’ll immediately receive the unit as a PDF. Scroll down to see the list lessons plans and readings included in the unit.

Note: If you’re planning to purchase Earth Matters or have already done so, you don’t need to purchase this unit as it is included within the larger Earth Matters curriculum.

Other Earth Matters units include: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Energy, Food and Hunger, Forests, Oceans, Personal Consumption, Population Dynamics, Public Health, Rich and Poor, Urbanization, Water Resources, and The World’s Women.

SKU: EM_Solid-Waste Category:


The following are included with the purchase of the unit:

Lesson Plans:

  • The Great Bag Debate – Students conduct research either in favor of or against plastic bag bans and taxes, then debate their assigned stance.
  • Trash Trouble in Paradise – Role playing a city council meeting, students weigh various real-world economic, social, and environmental factors when siting a landfill on the Hawaiian island of O‘ahu.
  • Secret Life of Tees – Students use guided research to perform a five-stage life cycle analysis on a t-shirt and brainstorm ways to reduce the garment’s social and environmental impact.

Background Reading:

  • What a Waste! – How do we deal with the growing problem of solid waste? This reading provides an overview of waste disposal options and the need for waste reduction.

Case Study Reading:

  • Electronic Waste: The Case of Agbogbloshie, Ghana – A profile of a town in Ghana that is the world’s capital of e-waste.