Lesson Packet

Grades 9-12

Solid Waste unit

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SUBJECTS: Language Arts, Science, Social Studies

TOPICS: Solid Waste, Sustainability: Sharing Common Resources

Resource Overview

Thematic unit for the high school classroom covers all things trash at the individual, local, and regional levels.

Includes teaching materials on the types and amounts of solid waste, waste disposal options, e-waste, conducting life-cycle analyses, and how to lessen our individual waste footprint.

Features of This Resource

  • Unit includes 3 lesson plans, 1 case study reading, and 1 background reading.
  • Environmental justice lesson uses real-world data and debate over landfill placement.
  • Scaffolded life cycle analysis is highly engaging.

Unit Lesson Plans & Readings

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. Students...

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...

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


What a Waste!

- Solid waste background reading: How do we deal with the growing problem of solid waste? This reading provides an overview...

Electronic Waste: The Case of Agbogbloshie, Ghana

- Solid waste case study reading: A profile of a town in Ghana that is the world’s capital of e-waste.

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