Fun Stuff – Edible Candy Landfill

Make an Edible Candy Landfill

Items Needed:

  • Clear Bowl (serves as the landfill “cell”)
  • Marshmallows (fabric layer)
  • Fruit Roll-ups™ (liners & “cap”)
  • Chocolate Pudding (dirt)
  • Licorice (leachate collection)
  • M & M’s™, animal crackers (garbage)
  • Smarties™ (pea gravel)
  • Sugar Wafers (drainage layer)
  • Green Sprinkles (grass)
  • Spoon (to eat with!)

Step #1
Line bowl with fruit roll-up™ (liner). Liners seal garbage and leachate (any liquids) in the landfill.

Step #2
Cover the fruit roll-up™ with a layer of sugar wafers (drainage layer). The drainage layer collects any leachate passing through the leachate collection pipes. Leachate is pumped to a treatment plant.

Step #3
Add a second fruit roll-up™ (liner) over the sugar wafers.

Step #4
Add a layer of marshmallows (fabric layer). The fabric layer cushions the bottom layers from punctures.

Step #5
Sprinkle some of the smarties™ (pea gravel) over the marshmallows. Pea gravel filters leachate into collection pipes for treatment.

Step #6
Tear licorice (leachate collection pipes) in pieces the length of the bowl and lay in rows over smarties™. Leachate collection pipes collect leachate and pump it to a treatment plant.

Add remaining smarties™ (pea gravel) on top of licorice.

Step #8
Place another layer of marshmallows (fabric layer) over the smarties™. This layer cushions the layers below from any sharp objects that may be contained in the garbage.

Dump a layer of crushed animal crackers and M & M™’s over the marshmallows. This layer represents assorted garbage.

Cover with a thin layer of pudding. Each night, the garbage in a landfill is covered with a layer of material (usually top soil). This layer reduces odors and litter problems.

Step #11
Alternate crackers and M & M™’s (assorted garbage) with pudding (dirt) until layers are 1 inch from the top of the bowl. Top it off with a layer of pudding (dirt).

Step #12
Sprinkle another layer of marshmallows (fabric layer) over the pudding. This fabric layer protects the top layers from sharp objects in the garbage below.

Step #13
Unroll another fruit roll-up™ and place on top for the “cap”. A cap protects the landfill from rainwater. This reduces the amount of leachate entering the landfill and flowing into the leachate collection pipes.

Step #14
Add a final layer of pudding (top soil) and top off with candy sprinkles for grass (final cover to prevent erosion of top soil).

Unlike a real landfill, you can EAT this one! DIG IN!

Note: Adapted from “Incredible, Edible Landfill,” by REEP, MS/JHS Earth Science Unit.