Materials List: This Landfill Is a Gas!

Needed for the demonstration:

  • 2-liter plastic beverage bottle
  • 1 standard party balloon
  • ½ cup of raw ground beef
  • 2 lettuce leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp. sand, such as playground or landscaping sand
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • small length of string of any type, to tie around the bottle opening
  • 3-4 inches of duct tape, to secure balloon around bottle opening

For the activity, each group needs:

  • 2-liter plastic beverage bottle
  • 1 tennis ball-sized mound of modeling clay; enough to line the inside of the top half of the 2-liter bottle
  • 3 cups of soil
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ sheet of paper, torn into small pieces; tip: use recycled paper from Activity 1 or newspaper
  • 2 lettuce leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 apple, sliced/diced into small pieces
  • 2-3 plastic food containers, cut into small pieces about ½ inch square; tip: use empty butter or yogurt containers
  • 8 pairs of rubber or latex gloves, 2 pair per student
  • 2 spoons or popsicle sticks
  • set of measuring cups, specifically, 1 cup, ½ cup and ¼ cup sizes
  • 4 inches of masking tape, for labeling landfills