Tracking trash, in real life

Photo by Bill Pearson/Boothbay Register

Participants in Session IV (Tracking Trash: Secret Lives of Trash) received some real life lessons about what happens to our everyday trash. During a field trip to the Boothbay Region Transfer Station the students learned how discarded objects are reused or recycled – old lumber is turned into wood chips and used as biofuel, or possibly to make certain kinds of sheet goods. Newspapers can be recycled into different paper products. Metals are melted down and reformed into new objects.

According to transfer station manager Steve Lewis, about 65% of the refuse that is brought into the transfer station is reused. The rest ends up in a landfill where it is buried.

Session IV culminated with a “Trash to Treasures” mural spearheaded by Science Instructor Juliet Fluty (a student at the University of New England). The mural was created as a powerful depiction and reminder about the detrimental impact marine debris has on our land and ocean and the animals and plants that make their home there.

You can read more about this particular field trip in the Boothbay Register.