Trash is anything we don't want. Food, paper plates, broken toys, old clothes, empty shampoo bottles, old homework--once you throw it away, it's called garbage, waste, or trash.

Trash isn't made by any one person. Everyone makes trash. You, your mother, your father, your teacher, your best friend... every person on this earth contributes to the amount of garbage on our planet. Each American produces an average of 4 pounds of waste a day. That's 210 million tons of trash total every year.

So where does it all go? You might think that once you throw your garbage in the trash can or once your parents take it out to the curb, that the trash men take it away and make it magically disappear.

What really happens is that once your trash is picked up, it's taken to a landfill. A landfill is a designated place for trash to be discarded. Landfills are designed so that odors from trash are reduced and so that waste is separated from the surrounding environment. A thick lining of plastic separates the trash from the ground to prevent waste from mixing with groundwater and soil.