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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: ecology, math, business

Timeline: one semester/one year

Grade Levels: all (7-12 recommended)

Purpose: to develop an aluminum waste disposal system for the community; to provide funds for other projects


Sherie Steele
Garbage Disposal




Square bullet Activities

  • Invite city sanitation workers, health aides, or other officials into class to discuss problems of waste disposal, regulations, etc.:
  • consider history of waste problems. When did it become a problem? Why?

  • Have students write to Anchorage and Seattle aluminum depositories to obtain return-per-pound rates (approximately .24/lb.):

    choose the business with the best return-per-pound rate.

    Solicit donations of free freight or reduced freight charges from air taxi companies:

    solicit subsidies from local businesses or EPA to help defray freight or other expenses.

  • Set a poundage goal and a monetary goal, figuring in any cost.

    Locate collection sites, with the approval of village and IRA councils. Set up schedules and routes.

    Advertise the project in posters, radio spots, newspapers, etc.

Square bullet Resources

  • garbage bags, trash cans, cartons for collection, and hammers or bricks (or a trash compactor to crush cans for easy transporting 
  • 12 Facts About Waste Paper Recycling, Paper Recycling Committee, Box TK, American Paper Institute, 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 (free) 
  • Solid Waste Information Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 10460, Hotline: 800-228-2525 
  • Fairbanks Lions' Clubs
  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, P.O. Box 0, Juneau, AK 99811-1800


  • If your community has road access to a major city, tin and paper can be recycled for money, too.
  • If money is not a priority for your group, collect paper, tin, and other junk:

    recycle trash for use in art projects, paper making, vehicle repair, etc.

  • Clean up debris and trash for a community health and safety project:

    discuss reasons for cleaning up the village

    plan what the clean up will include (e.g., pop cans, garbage)

    get permission form property owners to remove their garbage

    determine how to collect the trash: divide the town into areas and assign groups to each area, or have an open, general clean up

    determine where collected trash will be deposited

    select a date; make posters; build enthusiasm

    conduct the clean up

    offer rewards for most garbage collected; have a picnic or party to celebrate completion of the project.


Village Map and Directory

Land Selection

Local Weather Station

Star Mapping

6" Newtonian Reflecting Telescope Construction

Planetarium Construction

Investigation of Snow Melting

Insulation Experiments: Cardboard Boxes/Snow-Fenced Houses

Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

Practical Application of Alternative Energy System

Solar Energy Uses

Construction of School/Community Facilities

Bush Shop or How to Learn Carpentry Without Wood

Basic Home Maintenance

Snowmachine Maintenance

Glider Construction (Aviation Shop)

Subsistence Tool Construction

Operating a Trapline, Subsistence Trapline, or Subsistence Net

Survival Skills

Heritage Campout

Netting Fish Efficiently

Natural History

Study of a Food Resource

Effects of Diet on Mice or Rats

Medicinal Plants

Farming the Sea

Summer Marine Science Program

Vegetable Gardening

Greenhouse Construction and Gardening

Chicken Farming

Water Usage Study

Garbage Disposal

Village Dogs

Fire Safety



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 17, 2006