[late edition, Monday update]

According to sources on wordnik, garbology is “the study of a society by analyzing its garbage.” What happens when we look at ourselves by looking at what is in our bins?


We might find something disgusting.

Or fascinating.

Deep philosophical discussions about what is and isn’t garbage might ensue.

Every item of trash is a mystery containing dozens of questions. What was this? Who bought it? Where did it come from? Why did they throw this part out? What could this be used for now?

We might even develop a taxonomy of trash to help us understand what types of things people throw out.

And you might finish the day with a little bit of reading.

trash and goats

A friend to Brightworks School needed a temporary home for four baby goats this week while she attended a conference… and where else would those goats stay but our school!

Not only are they the newest kids (pun intended) to experience a day in the life at Brightworks, but they’ve become excellent teaching tools as we move on from the history of San Francisco to how cities work. If we think about the school as a city, the question becomes: What do you do with goat poop? Will they be a problem to solve (where their excrement ends up), or can they become part of the solution (a part of composting)? We have a week to work it out while learning more about how cities deal with waste, transportation, and constantly-changing needs of their citizens.

The younger kids hung around school today to explore trash in the neighborhood. The first stop was the corner Starbucks with Chane, where a few of the six- and seven-year-olds examined the bins and counted the numbers of people using reusable cups compared to the paper cups.

Some of the other kids went with Josh to explore the taxonomy of shopping carts. Incredibly, there’s a whole classification system for carts, and they were able to find seven in the neighborhood, particularly near the Potrero Center up the hill.

In the meantime, the older kids went on an excursion to the South San Francisco Scavenger Company – aka the dump – and the Ox Mountain landfill.

And back home for clean-up and heading out. Words of the day? Spying, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot, shopping carts.