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Lessons at the Landfill

Second grade students take field trip to Mesa County Landfill

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - The Mesa County Landfill had some interesting visitors on April 2, who were not interested in dropping off any trash. Instead, they went to the landfill to learn.

Two second grade classes from Rim Rock Elementary School made the trip to the landfill to learn more about how it works, and to see where their trash goes. "It's in preparation for Earth Day, and for our students to see the impact that they have on the environment and our community," said Marye Helms, one of the second grade teachers at Rim Rock Elementary School.

Those with the landfill believe it is important to expose people to ideas like recycling and diversion at a young age. "You throw trash away and it's just gone. So it's really important to let these kids know that it doesn't just disappear," said Jennifer Richardson, who led the tour and is the solid waste operations manager at the Mesa County Landfill.

While on the tour, the students learned about the Hazardous Waste Facility, explored topics like recycling and how that can affect the landfill, and they checked out the Composting Facility. "How the landfill works, how it's designed, how it is not a dump, it's actually an engineered landfill," said Richardson.

Those with the landfill said it has less than 25 years before it reaches capacity. "Gets them really thinking about where are we going to put this next landfill, when this landfill fills up? And it will be those children that are going to have to make that decision," said Richardson.

This is only the first of these tours for second grade students in April and May. Those with the landfill said the tours are not limited to students, and they would be happy to show anyone around their facilities.


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