Thursday, July 8, 2010

G is for Garbage

We had a real treat today. Since I could only come up with three things for G day- grocery store, golfing and garbage, I let "G"avin pick which we would do. No surprise he picked garbage since that kid loves garbage trucks and wants to be a garbage man (among other things) when he grows up. I looked up how to get to our county landfill and we were off. I must say, I am really amazed at how hospitable everyone has been when we just show up asking for a tour. It may have helped that I had two little boys who could not contain their excitement. Mukesh was our tour guide and he loaded us up in an SUV and gave us a real behind the scenes look at what goes on at a landfill. Our county is big on recycling, in fact, 34% of the trash that comes into the landfill is recycled. Not only do they have places for residents to drop off things like used oil, batteries, tires, electronics and appliances, they have a spot designated for "too good for trash" where people can drop off and pick up items that they just no longer need like furniture. I thought it was interesting that you are only allowed to be in that area for 20 minutes per day to scour for treasure... Mukesh drove us inside of their recycling facility where we saw how paper, cardboard and newspaper were sorted and crushed into big bricks that they send off to other recycling companies. Then we began our drive to the open face of the landfill. To get there we had to drive a ways back on the 800 acre property, past former landfills that were now covered with grass and only had pipes poking out to catch the methane that 40 years later is still escaping. Some of the methane is burned off but they also use some of it in a power plant that generates electricity. Who knew? When we finally reached the summit we were 350 feet above where we started and were literally driving over trash that had just been dumped. There were trucks everywhere doing various jobs at the active landfill. Garbage trucks would come and dump their loads and then bulldozers would push it flat so the compactor could come and run over it. Then another truck filled with dirt would cover up the compacted trash. Mukesh told us that at the end of the day all of the trash is covered in at least 8 inches of dirt. I know the question you all want to ask and it is the one reason I didn't want to go to the landfill today. Did it smell? No, not even a little. I couldn't believe it and kept waiting to catch a whiff as we got closer and closer to the top, but even right in the middle of all the action we didn't smell a thing. The kids were surprised too and maybe even a little disappointed since they had been practicing their best "PU" faces in the car. I must say this was my favorite so far. Not only did the kids learn a lot, but so did I. At the end of the tour Gavin was a bit disappointed that we couldn't get on a garbage truck, but since the trucks are owned by several different companies and none of them are parked at the landfill, we just didn't have that opportunity. Maybe next summer we will go to one of those companies headquarters for G day since today was so much fun!


Marsha said...

I love your alphabet days, what a cute idea! You are so dilligent to stick with it, way to go! That is funny that you went to the garbage place, how awesome!

Corri said...

I love it! Is Cameron still doing swim team everyday? How do you fit everything in?

Alex said...

That is so cool to be learning about stuff most people probably don't know anything about. :)