Rubbish or waste is part of our lives. How we deal with it has changed through the ages. We know that out of sight, out of mind is a fallacy, and what we bury today has the potential to affect the environment for centuries. As a result, central and local governments regulate the construction and use of landfills.
In this activity, students use an interactive to explore modern landfill construction. The accompanying activities provide opportunities to deepen understanding regarding the history and science of landfills and how students can take action to reduce what goes into landfills.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- label the components of a modern landfill system
- discuss how these engineering practices help to protect us and the environment
- consider how waste disposal practices have changed over time
- consider how to further manage and minimise personal waste footprints.
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- background information for teachers
- student instructions.
Read the level 4 Connected article Turning old into new to discover where plastics and other materials come from and how we can minimise our ecological footprint.
Want to find out what a landfill looks like? Try this online labelling interactive or paper-based activity.
Thinking about landfills is a ready-to-use cross-curricular student worksheet for NZC levels 4–5. It does not require internet access – making it suitable for students working away from a school setting.
Some of the regional landfills in New Zealand
- Northland Regional Landfill (Puwera)
- Redvale Landfill and Energy Park Community – Albany
- Whitford Landfill – Auckland
- Hampton Downs Landfill – Waikato
- Tirohia Landfill – Coromandel/ Bay of Plenty
- Broadlands Road Landfill – Taupo
- Omarunui Landfill – Napier
- Colson Road Regional Landfill – Taranaki
- Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Landfill – Palmerston North area
- Wellington region landfills – Kapiti Coast, Carterton and south.
- Bluegums Landfill – Marlborough
- Kate Valley Landfill – Canterbury
- Green Island Landfill – Otago
The recycle.co.nz website has useful information and links to many quality Kiwi resources.
The Ministry for the Environment provides national regulations and guidance about landfills and waste.