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Humans make a lot of garbage every day, and a lot of it ends up in big, smelly dumps. Luckily, there are things we can do to reuse a lot of our garbage and keep the Earth healthy and clean! Join Jessi and find out how!

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(Intro)

Hey guys! Nice work, Squeaks. We're just taking out the trash. You probably don't spend much time thinking about trash. At least, not 'till it starts to smell, and it's time to take it out.

But we all make trash everyday. Like the egg shells left over from breakfast, or the plastic bag from your lunch, or metal cans that your mom or dad might open up at dinner time. Plus, we bring a lot of papers home from school, and they don't all fit on the refridgerator. 

We usually throw a lot of this trash, or waste, into the garbage can. But, did you ever wonder what happens to all this waste?Well, it doesn't just magically disappear, and what happens to it depends on what it's made of.

For example, some waste decomposes. When something decomposes, it breaks down or rots. If you've ever taken a walk in the woods, then you've probably noticed things decomposing. Like the leaves that fell last Autumn, or an old log. You can tell that those things are decomposing, because they are very slowly getting brown and mushy. They decompose because those things came from something that was once alive. The leaves and the log were once parts of a tree. 

And we make waste that decomposes, too. Usually, this waste is also made of things that were once alive, like apple cores, egg shells, bananas peels, and pretty much all of the left over food from your table. This kind of waste can be put to good use as food for your garden, called compost. We're going to talk about how you can make compost in another episode. 

But, what about the waste that doesn't rot or break down? Some of this waste goes into a dump, also known as a landfill, and it basically just sits there making a big, smelly mess. And it will keep sitting there for a long, long time.

Luckily there is a way that you can get rid of your waste without adding to that mess by recycling. Recycling means taking waste and making it into something else. Maybe you have a recycling bin like this in your school or even in your own house. Things we can recycle include metal, plastic, and paper. So let's check out what happens to the waste that you put in the recycling bin.

First, all of the recycling is collected and sorted into different kinds of waste. All the plastic goes into one pile, all the metal in another, and the paper gets its own pile. The metal is taken to a special factory where it's crushed, and then squished together with the metal from other recycling bins. This big lump of metal is then chopped into little, tiny pieces. Next, those pieces are melted in a big oven, and then poured into molds shaped like blocks. These new blocks of metal are then sent to other factories, where they can be used to make other things made out of metal.So, the metal cans you throw into the recycling bin don't go to the dump. They get a whole new life as a new can, or even part of a bike, or car.

And your old milk jug, made of plastic, can be turned into something new too. It's also taken to a special factory, where the plastic is shredded into tiny bits, and then melted in a really hot oven, and made into little pellets. Factories can take these pellets, and make them into new things. Like water bottles and food containers, and even bigger things, like park benches, carpet, and even some types of clothing. 

So what about all those papers you've brought home? Paper is recycled in a way that's a little different from metal and plastic. It's taken to a recycling center, where it's mixed with other paper and a whole bunch of water until it gets all goopy. This goop is then smashed between two rollers, which squish it into big flat sheets. These sheets are left to dry. Then, they are cut into pieces of new paper, which we can use for art projects. 

If you think about it, when we recycle, we're breaking down waste that doesn't decompose on it's own. And that makes less waste for all of us! So keep recycling.

Thanks for joining us on SciShow Kids. Do you have a question that you'd like to ask us? Let us know in the comments below, or send us an email at kids@thescishow.com. I'll see you next time. 

(End Sequence)