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COVID-19’s Impact on Waste Management

Sarah Borzo, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Metro Waste Authority, describes how COVID-19 has impacted waste management.

Metro Waste Authority Environmental Learning Center, Runnells, Iowa

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • How has pandemic impacted the environment?
  • Are there health risks or concerns with PPE being disposed of into the waste stream?
  • What can we learn from this experience and change in preparation for possible future pandemics?

Classroom Suggestions

  • Locate local, regional and global data to evaluate changes in water quality, air quality and temperature.
  • Identify waste management practices and how those practices were impacted with the design of better methods.
  • Identify and evaluate human behaviors, and develop an educational plan* to promote safe disposal of PPE (*Students could create podcasts, brochures, public service announcements, etc.).

Related Resources

Iowa Core Alignment

Earth and Space Science
High School (9-12)
Disciplinary Core Idea
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

Credit Info

Submitted by Karla St. John and Amber Fairbanks as part of their Iowa STEM Teacher Externship experience at Iowa PBS.

Location and information courtesy of Metro Waste Authority.

Media produced by Iowa PBS.


Have you used this resource in your classroom? Do you have ideas for improvement? Share your ideas, experiences and feedback about this phenomena.

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