Resources for Municipal Solid Waste Activity 4 – Composting

Students will explore the value of composting as part of a community solid waste management program and learn about the chemical reactions that occur during decomposition. Students will create their own compost containers, collect compostable waste, and create compost.

This is one of 8 activities that can be found in PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Municipal Solid Waste. To get the activity, attend a training and receive PLT’s Municipal Solid Waste secondary module. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 


The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • Starting with Soil

    Soil is more than dirt under our feet. Students ages 7-9 can use this Starting with Soil app to learn about the organic materials that make up soil, and how plants and animals work together to make the soil that we depend on to grow food. With this app, developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy, students can simulate the 500-year process of making 1-inch of topsoil by planting seeds and building compost. The app can be accompanied with classroom instruction or students can use it on their own.

  • A Guide to Setting up a Simple Backyard Compost System

    Composting is easy, especially if you are already working with your students on a school garden. A Guide to Setting up a Simple Backyard Compost System explains where to place it, what you can and can’t put in it, and the necessary steps you need to take to be successful to create “black gold.”

  • US EPA Facts and Figures About Materials, Waste and Recycling

    US EPA Facts and Figures About Materials, Waste and Recycling website has information on municipal solid waste in the United States. The data includes information on energy recovery and landfills as well. 

  • My Garbology

    We toss items into the trash every day – about 4.4 pounds per person per day, on average. With garbology, the study of waste, students can learn about waste reduction and steps they can take to reduce the amount of trash on the planet. This website’s interactive interface allows students to learn about the recycling, reusing, composting, and disposing of several everyday items.