For all ages, requires preplanning and special equipment, this is typically part of a “teach in” and is a more in depth opportunity to consider our “trash”. One member of Trash Academy called it the “Single most impactful experience” he has had around understanding trash and consumption.

Sorting trash often leads us to question how much we consume in the first place, revealing how unsustainable our production of waste is, and the disconnect between assumptions and facts about recycling, landfill and composting. In a facilitated process, wearing protective gear, participants are led in a sorting activity of their own trash This activity reveals how common it is for recyclable materials to be sent to landfills and for the recycling stream to be contaminated with food residue and non-recyclable items that clog up the city’s machinery and limit our recycling rate. Trash Sorts open up space for people to talk about their experience of waste in their homes and on their blocks. Participants work together to determine what is recyclable and compostable.