Traveling exhibits explain what happens to our trash

Trash Lab offers interactive and educational exhibits.
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 9:29 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - What happens to our trash at a landfill, or how does recycling work? We handle garbage every day, but many of us probably couldn’t answer basic questions regarding its journey once it leaves the house.

Those are exactly the blanks the Trash Lab hopes to fill.

The Trash Lab is the collaborative result of the Dane County Waste and Renewables Department and the Madison Children’s Museum. The idea started taking shape back in 2019, and a 27-foot cargo trailer that houses 10 exhibits was on display Wednesday.

The goal is to teach all ages about what happens to garbage, recycling, how to reduce waste, and how to be better stewards of what is around the house in general. Models show how trash is compacted at a landfill, what keeps it from leaking into natural waterways and how gas from the landfill is gathered and used.

It also has exhibits showing ways to recycle and offers ideas for using resources rather than disposing of them.

The Trash Lab holds 10 exhibits about what happens to waste and how to reduce and reuse what you own.

From the beginning, the Trash Lab was always a model exhibit, bringing it to people across Dane County, from schools to businesses to community organizations. The Trash Lab will take up residence at the Henry Vilas Zoo from April 17th-25th. The Waste and Renewables Department offers a calendar to find where the lab is on any given day.

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