Trial: Roadside Dumpers
- Adapted from Waste Management
Awareness Attitude Activities
- St. Lawrence County, NY
Back to Trash Goes to School
- GRADE LEVELS:
- SUBJECT AREAS:
social studies, government
Waste management and the legal system.
To encourage students to understand our legal system and note
the seriousness of environmental crime.
- classroom set up like a court
- costumes (optional)
- handout: Description of Characters
It is illegal to dump garbage or hazardous waste along roadsides
or in other inappropriate places. Roadside dumping is on the
increase for many reasons: it has become harder to dispose of
some garbage, it is becoming more costly to dispose of, and some
people just don't care. We need to be aware of these problems
and encourage people to dispose of their garbage properly. If
not, they will have to deal with the legal system.
- As you proceed, the students will participate
in a mock trial, including the following characters: defendant,
Reelie Sneaky; Judge, Hand D. Shaker; Prosecutor, B. Goodenough;
defendant's attorney, D. Vide; other witnesses as needed (at
teacher's discretion). The class will act as the jury (the jury
will write questions on 3x5 cards to assist the prosecutor and
- 1. Assign students to find out how
a trial proceeds (visit a courtroom if possible).
- 2. Define the roles of the:
- 3. Read about courtroom procedure.
- 4. Discuss what a roadside dumper is
and what motives exist for illegal dumping.
- 5. Have students read the appropriate
character descriptions, then judge, in a mock trial, Reelie Sneaky,
charged with being an illegal dumper.
- 6. Have students write an essay discussing
the harm caused to society by illegal dumpers.
- 7. What woul be appropriate punishment
for Reelie Sneaky if he is found guilty (fines, jail, clean-up,
- - Find out more about environmental
- - Research the Superfund Act.
- - Follow an environmental crime case
in your area.
- Description of Characters
- Reelie Sneaky - Defendant
You really know better than
to dump garbage on the roadside because you have been caught
before. This time while you were visiting Grandma Jones out
in the back 40 you didn't think anyone could possibly see you,
so you unloaded your pickup truck into an area that was already
You claim to be innocent and an outstanding citizen of Rose
- Hand D. Shaker - Judge
You are an O.K. judge who doesn't want to make too many waves.
You know Reelie Sneaky from the softball league and around town.
You listen to the case and then poll the jury to make a final
You will decide the sentence if one is needed.
- B. Goodenough - Prosecutor
You know the defendant and you know or strongly suspect that
he has gotten away with this before. You are going to do your
best in questioning him to make sure the truth comes out. Reelie
forgot to check his garbage and threw out a letter addressed
to himself that was found by the investigators.
- Witnesses - Sam and Mary Flack and
their two kids
You were having a family picnic on this nice sunny day. You
saw something unusual happening about 200 yards away. While
driving back home, you saw the new pile of trash and realize
that the blue and white pickup must have left it there. He apparently
didn't see you picnicking.
- Character Witness - Joe James
You have known Reelie for 10 years, and you don't think he would
do such a thing.
The class will act as the jury. You need to listen to the facts
that are uncovered and make a judgment whether or not Reelie