No curbside collection on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23. Collection is delayed one day for the remainder of the week with Friday collection on Saturday. 
For MWA facility holiday hours, click here.

Classroom Education

Classroom Education Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

One of our goals is to educate students about what they can do to help protect the environment. So we support teachers and schools by coming into the classroom to conduct programs, provide tours and lend educational toolkits. For more information contact Jenny Koska at jko@mwatoday.com.

Classroom Presentations

Teachers can choose from a variety of presentations that include hands-on learning activities and follow-up student activities. 

  • Grade: Pre K-1

    Recycle Me!

    Grade: Pre K-1   •   Time:  30 minutes
    NEW! Numerous times each day, we are faced with the decision of how to get rid of waste. Where we toss things can add up to make a big difference. In this program, students learn what belongs in the garbage, what can be recycled and why it's important to know the difference! An interactive lesson with samples of things found at school and at home will get kids excited to be recycling experts.

    • NGSS: K-2-ETS1-1

    • ICELA: SL.2.2.

    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts

      • Geography - Understand how geographic processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.

  • Grades: 2-6

    Recycling:  What Does it Really Mean?

    Grades:  2-6   •   Time:  45 minutes
    NEW! The recycling industry is more than tossing items in a recycling cart. It is an engineering and economic achievement. In this program, students learn the processes responsible for turning water bottles into carpet, pickle jars into baby food jars, old newspaper into new, and shingles from a roof into pavement on the roads. Samples of recycled materials and videos help illustrate the closed loop journey items take after they are collected by a recycling truck.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS3-1; MS-PS 1-2; MS-LS 2-4; MS-ESS 3-3

    • ICELA: SL.4.2.; SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.

    • Iowa Core Social Studies Concepts;

      • Geography - Understand how human factors and the distribution of resources affect the development of society and the movement of populations; understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.

      • History - Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.

      • Political Science/Civic Literacy - Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action.

    Tour of Metro Park East Landfill

    Grades:  3 and up   •   Time:  60-75 minutes
    Students learn about garbage, recycling, composting and methane gas on this driving tour. An observation deck atop the oldest part of the landfill provides a panoramic view of MWA's resource conservation practices along with an illustrated cross-section of a landfill cell. Groups must provide their own transportation.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS 3-1; MS-ESS 3-3; MS-ESS 3-4
    • ICELA: SL.3.2.; SL.4.2.; SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.
    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts
      • Geography - Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
      • History - Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
  • Grades: 5-8

    Throwing It All Away, But Where is Away?

    Grades:  5-8   •   Time:  45 minutes (plus 15 minutes cleanup)
    That paper towel was handy, but now that it has been used, what happens to it once we throw it away?  This and many other questions can be answered when your students view an Enviroscape® Landfill Model. Students learn about the workings of a landfill, just like Metro Waste Authority’s Metro Park East Landfill in Polk County. Find out what happens to your garbage when it leaves the curb and how landfill by-products – leachate (waste water) and methane gas – can contribute positively to the environment and community.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS 3-1; MS-ESS 3-4

    • ICELA: SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.

    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts:

      • Geography - Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.

      • History - Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo; understand cause and effect relationships and other historical thinking skills in order to interpret events and issues.

    Don't Dump It!

    Grades:  5-8   •   Time:  45 minutes (plus 15 minutes cleanup)
    What is household hazardous waste and how should we get rid of it?  Students learn the do’s and don’ts, as well as the impact hazardous materials can have on water quality, by watching a demonstration of an Enviroscape® Hazardous Materials Model.  Effects of discharges and spills and environmental risks associated with contamination are topics of discussion.  Students learn how to identify and safely dispose of household hazardous waste.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS 2-1; 3-5-ETA 1-2: MS-LS 2-4; MS-ESS 3-3

    • ICELA: SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.

    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts:

      • Geography - Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.

    Tour of Metro Park East Landfill

    Grades:  3 and up   •   Time:  60-75 minutes
    Students learn about garbage, recycling, composting and methane gas on this driving tour. An observation deck atop the oldest part of the landfill provides a panoramic view of MWA's resource conservation practices along with an illustrated cross-section of a landfill cell. Groups must provide their own transportation.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS 3-1; MS-ESS 3-3; MS-ESS 3-4
    • ICELA: SL.3.2.; SL.4.2.; SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.
    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts
      • Geography - Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
      • History - Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
  • Grade: 9-12

    Wasteonomics: The Economics of Waste

    Grades:  9-12   •   Time:  45 minutes
    NEW! What happens to your items after you toss them in your curbside recycling cart, and why can’t EVERYTHING be recycled? During this program, we will play an interactive game that mimics the economics of the recycling industry and reveal the answers to these common recycling questions. By the end of this lesson, students will be exposed to careers in solid waste that could make a difference in their community and even the world.

    Tour of Metro Park East Landfill

    Grades:  3 and up   •   Time:  60-75 minutes
    Students learn about garbage, recycling, composting and methane gas on this driving tour. An observation deck atop the oldest part of the landfill provides a panoramic view of MWA's resource conservation practices along with an illustrated cross-section of a landfill cell. Groups must provide their own transportation.

    • NGSS: 5-ESS 3-1; MS-ESS 3-3; MS-ESS 3-4
    • ICELA: SL.3.2.; SL.4.2.; SL.5.2.; SL.6.2.
    • Iowa Core Social Studies Essential Concepts
      • Geography - Understand how physical processes and human actions modify the environment and how the environment affects humans.
      • History - Understand the role of individuals and groups within a society as promoters of change or the status quo.
  • Grades: All Grades (Education Resources)

    Want your class to dig deeper into the recycling and composting?

    Check out the Keep Iowa Beautiful teaching kits. These kits offer lesson plans that combine industry best practices and educational research to provide engaging activities for classrooms, afterschool and summer programs. Kits are linked to the Iowa Core and NGSS standards and provide all the supplies to implement lessons! If you’re interested, learn more here.

    Teacher Learning Opportunities

    Take advantage of the University of Northern Iowa's College of Natural Sciences education workshops, lesson plans, books and other educational resources. You'll find information on waste issues, waste reduction workshops, a bibliography of environmental books, among other things. Upcoming graduate credit teacher training workshops may also be found at this site.

    Recycling at School

    Metro Waste Authority has worked with several school districts in the greater metro area, including Des Moines, Johnston, Southeast Polk, Urbandale, Norwalk and North Polk, to get classroom recycling up and running for their students and staff. In the early days, it was just paper and cardboard. But now, as residents in Metro Waste Authority's service area embrace mixed recycling, schools are making it happen as well.

    Recycling is a great way for schools to do their part in reducing the amount of waste sent to Metro Park East Landfill while educating students about environmental stewardship.

    Is your district still thinking about how to make recycling better? Metro Waste Authority can point you in the right direction. Contact us today.
     

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