This low-pressure look at public-waste disposal and small-scale recycling avoids controversy in favor of consciousness-raising.
“An average kitchen-size bag of trash contains enough energy to light a 100-watt lightbulb for more than 24 hours.” Endpapers open and close with this and other unsourced but probably in-the-ballpark statistics. The book proper begins with a basic definition of “trash” and moves on to descriptions and tidy cartoon views of landfills and of collection sites for batteries and other hazardous household waste, then concludes with a few simple suggestions for reducing, reusing and recycling. Meisel’s sunny scenes of adults and children playing in a park laid over a landfill, re-using paper goods, presenting eco-science projects and watching garbage trucks roll by reflect the relaxed tone of Ward’s discourse. If topics like garbage-dump–related groundwater pollution and health issues or industrial- and nuclear-waste disposal receive scant or no attention, newly independent readers will at least come away with the basic notion that reducing trash production is a good idea.
This latest entry in the venerable Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series lays some groundwork for promoting responsible use of resources. Save the strident and scarier appeals for later. (website list, composting instructions) (Informational picture book. 7-9)