In this Activity, students use multi-colored breakfast cereal and liquid to model the concepts of leachate and leaching from municipal solid waste disposed of in a landfill. Students create a modern landfill model with the same material. This environmental chemistry Activity can be used to complement a celebration of Earth Day. This Activity can easily be integrated into a discussion of waste composition and quantity. After this Activity, students may re-evaluate how much trash they throw away and how they dispose of it. This Activity could be extended to include a field trip to a hazardous household waste collection center or landfill.
Jenna R. Jambeck and Jean M. Andino, J. Chem. Educ. 2007, 84, p240A.