Format: field trip

Length: approx. 60 minutes (plus 30 minutes for optional Tidewater bus-tour)

Requirements: *all students must be at least 8 years of age; Waste Story and Relay or Journey of Waste and Sort to follow within two weeks of tour

Topics/subjects: waste reduction, waste processing system, "why" and "how" of local recycling, solid waste careers

Recommended companion lessons: Waste Story and Relay, Journey of Waste and Sort, Waste Audit, Compost and Decomposers, Compost and Soil Chemistry, Plastics in the Water 

Summary: When we put our garbage and recycling at the curb, it seems to just go "away"; come and see where it actually goes! Take your class or Green Team on a tour of our county's massive transfer station and learn how garbage and recyclables begin to be processed and shipped. On thi outdoor tour, you'll walk through Columbia Resource Company's West "Van" (Vancouver) Materials Recovery Center on NW Old Lower River Road. See the bales of each commodity that result after the towering piles of mixed recycling are sorted. It's an eye-opening experience - garbage piled high, a huge trash compactor, a mound of glass and the areas where hazardous waste, tires, electronics, appliances, and more are collected for transport and disposal. Following the West Van tour, a tour of Tidewater, the company that barges our garbage upriver to the landfill, may be available for students traveling via school bus; students stay on the school bus as it is routed through the site. See tugboats, watch a garbage container get loaded onto a barge, and learn what it takes to transport waste by water. Clark County Green Schools pays for transportation.

Contact us about scheduling a tour