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  • 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.

    Related content

    Find out more about the structure of landfills in New Zealand and the growing waste challenge with these resources that support students in levels 1–4 with learning about waste and recycling.

    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.

    Activity ideas

    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.

    Useful links

    Some of the regional landfills in New Zealand

    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.

    Contact your local, district or regional council to see if educational tours are available. For example, tours are available in Auckland, Hutt City and Wellington.

      Published 19 June 2018 Referencing Hub articles
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