• Garbage is a global problem that requires local solutions

  • Waste Management is an essential life skill that every child should acquire

  • Children are the best changemakers and this book aims to empower them to lead the change

  • The book has 5 easy chapters with hands-on activities that will help children understand the concepts better

  • Trashonomics can be included as the supplemental chapter to Environmental Science

Why Trashonomics ?
Features of Trashonomics
  • Clear and simple content

  • Practical solutions

  • Simple fun activities

  • A mascot with slogans

  • Glossary

Chapter 1 - 'PROBLEM' 

Garbage is a global problem that requires local solutionsIntroduce the quantity of waste generated per household, non biodegradable waste, irresponsible disposal that leads to hazardous living conditions.

  • Solid Waste - What is it ? How long it takes to decompose? 

  • Black spots - Littering the streets attracts pests and is hazardous for animals. In rivers and oceans, marine life is affected.

  • Mixed waste - Dumping non-segregated waste is hazardous. It releases methane and carbon dioxide - Greenhouse Gases. Occupational hazard for waste workers. 

  • Burning Waste - particulate matter, carbon monoxide, dioxins, ash, volatile organic compounds(easily become vapors or gases) - these permeate our environment causing air, soil and water pollution.

Activities for Chapter 1 - 'PROBLEM' 

Activity 1-Bury different types of waste that we generate on a day to day base
Organic waste (banana peel), Plastic (Plastic bag), Paper cup, laminated foil (chocolate wrapper). 
After a month, children will see that the fruit peel and the paper from the cup have decomposed whereas the plastics still remain including the liner of the paper cup.
        It will show children what is biodegradable and what is harmful for the         earth.

Activity 2- Research and essay on landfills

        It will help the students understand the suffering of the people living             around these landfills and why unscientific dumping is not the solution.

 Problem Video


Chapter 2 - 'SOLUTION'
  • Types of Waste - The 3 basic types of waste that is generated daily in households - Organic, Recyclable and Reject/Sanitary

  • Waste Segregation at Source - How to segregate the 3 basic types of waste in a colour coded manner.

  • The Three ‘R’s - Students should understand the importance of Reducing and Reusing which is later covered in chapter 5. Recycling should happen only when unable to reduce or reuse. Incineration and landfilling should be avoided as much as possible.

Activities for Chapter 2 - 'SOLUTION' 

Activity 1 -

Mix different types of waste and make them segregate in the 3 categories.

This activity will help students understand:

  • Sorting waste into the correct colour coded bins at source/home does not take effort and time.

  • Sorting mixed waste is a much more difficult task.


       It is impossible for waste workers to segregate mixed waste. The                  percentage of recovery of the different types of waste will be much                lower as the various types will now be contaminated.

Solution Video

Segregation Game

Chapter 3 - 'ORGANIC WASTE'
  • Life Cycle of Organic Waste - Organic waste can be recycled naturally and completely making it a very valuable resource. Organic waste can in-turn grow our food when converted to compost. It is also a good source of fuel when converted to Biogas.

  • Composting - Students can learn the 3 categories of home composting. Aerobic, Anaerobic and Vermicomposting

  • Composting Benefits - * Reduces waste in landfills *Improves soil health *Safe food *Conserves water, energy and fuel.

Activities for Chapter 3 - 'ORGANIC WASTE' 

Activity 1-

  • Have children compost fruit and vegetable peels at home for a week. 


  • Conduct the composting activity in school by:

* getting students to bring fruit and vegetable peels from home in a reusable container

* having students throw this organic waste into a compost drum along with microbial cocopeat OR dry leaves and sour butter milk. 

Visit www.SwachaGraha.in for more details.

This activity will show students that with very little effort, each one of us can manage 60% of our waste which is organic by converting it into valuable compost.

Activity 2 -

  •  In school or at home, get seeds of chilies/tomatoes and in pots put half soil      and half compost. The students should take care and water the plants regularly.    Sufficient sunlight is required.

        The organic garden will educate children on safe food and the value of         organic waste.

Composting Video

Gardening Video

  • Journey of Recyclable Waste - The recyclable waste journey begins once it leaves our homes. There are several stakeholders and destinations for this waste depending on the material. 

  • Our Heroes Keeping the City Clean - Students will understand the value of waste workers and all the work that is involved in keeping the city clean. Also, the importance of managing waste within our own neighbourhoods - decentralized waste management.

  • What is Recycling? - Glass recycling is used as an example to illustrate the entire lifecycle of glass.  Other examples show, what products can be made out of recycled resources.

  • About Plastic - Students will recognise that there are different types of plastics and the challenges of recycling low value materials. Not all materials will be recycled because of the cost involved. Virgin raw material could sometimes be cheaper than recycled material.

  • E-Waste - Importance of recycling e-Waste by authorised agencies.

  • Why Recycle? - Conserves resources, improves air quality, reduce landfills, saves energy. Each point is illustrated with an example.

Activities for Chapter 4 - 'RECYCLABLE WASTE' 

Activity 1 - 

  • Visit a DWCC or a Scrap Dealer and find out the value of 5 types of waste.

        This will help students understand the importance of these centers and         the challenges they face when residents do not give clean and dry                 recyclable waste.


Activity 2 -

  • Chart out the different recyclable waste collected in a week.

        Students will now be aware of the amount of waste collected in their             homes that is not easily recycled. Teachers can stress on reducing this         type of waste.

DWCC 1 Video

DWCC 2 Video

Chapter 5 - 'REDUCE WASTE'
  • What it takes to make a Product - Discourage ‘single use and throw’ culture since every item in a store, from a small spoon to a large refrigerator, requires natural resources like water, oil, trees, minerals etc for manufacturing and distribution. 

  • Being a responsible consumer - Adopt sustainable options for a healthier planet.

  • Reuse - With a little bit of imagination, we can find a second use for a product that we may have thrown away. A simple practice that can make a big difference. 

Activities for Chapter 5 - 'REDUCE WASTE' 

         Activities are meant to teach students to adopt a zero-waste and                  sustainable lifestyle in school and at home. At the end of this chapter            the students learn that we have limited resources on the planet and              we need to value it.

         An Eco-Club will allow the entire school to become more eco-                          conscious.

         Make sure after the end of the 5 sessions, the school is segregating its          waste in 3 categories and managing it responsibly.


If possible do a separate session with girls about Sustainable menstruation.

Zero Waste Video

Zero waste


Sustainable Menstruation