The Coon Rapids recycling coordinator wanted me to make a garbage pizza to show students the typical composition of municipal solid waste by weight. So using a recipe from Jodi Stumpner of the North St. Paul Environmental Advisory Committee, I mixed 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt and 1 cup of water to make dough, then painted it with a mixture of glue and food coloring. Then I gathered the ingredients and glued 'em on. Tasty!
Adding the sauce
It looks real, doesn't it (not)
Gluing on the toppings
Paper makes up the biggest proportion (34.2%), followed by "other" (ie. rubber and wax) at 16.3%, then yard waste (13.1%) and food (11.7%), then plastic (11.9%), then metal (7.6%) and glass (5.2%). Total weight is 209.1 million pounds, and this comes from a 2005 U.S. EPA report "Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste Management Update."
Did someone order The Works?
UPDATE: I found much more updated data from the EPA for 2008. I'll have to see whether Colleen wants a more accurate garbage pizza. I had thought of doing this before I made the 2005 garbage pizza, but did I listen to myself at the time? Nooooo.
UPDATE #2: I redid the "other" section to reflect the EPA's more specific categorization, and the new slices fit in very nicely with the rest of the garbage pie.
The old slice and the new slices. The new slices are broken down into wood (6.6%), rubber, leather and textiles (7.9%) and other (3.3%).
The new, more accurate garbage pizza!