Rotten Truth (About Garbage) logo

Rotten Truth (About Garbage) takes an in-depth look at the complex issues surrounding municipal solid waste. This on-line exhibition is organized into four major sections.

  • What Is Garbage? looks at how we define garbage, and why it consists of more than what we throw away.
  • There's No "Away" explores how burying, burning, and recycling garbage doesn't really get rid of it, and that reducing what we use is the only real solution to the garbage problem.
  • Nature Recycles shows how the natural process of decay makes new life possible by recycling the limited number of nutrients present in the environment.
  • Finally, Making Choices provides some helpful hints on how we can all create less garbage.
photo of tire dump
Photo courtesy of Rodale Stock Images

Throughout the exhibition, you can:

You can also consult an extensive resource list to find out more about garbage and what you can do about it.

For exhibit developers or those who work in museums:
Visit the section for exhibit developers to learn how Rotten Truth (About Garbage) was created. Find out how lead exhibit developer Kathy McLean became interested in the subject of garbage, or learn some tips on how to create environmentally-conscious exhibitions.

Who created this exhibition?
This exhibition was researched and developed with the help and expertise of many individuals and organizations.

Finding your way through the exhibition:
By following the arrow forward icon icon, you can sequentially visit each exhibit area. (Clicking on the arrow back icon icon will enable you to return to the previous page.) Please note that several activities, resources, and profiles are located at other web sites. After visiting them, click on your web browser's "back" button to return to your place in the exhibition. Finally, if at any time you want to visit a different exhibit area, return to this page by clicking on the "home" garbage bag icon, and selecting the desired exhibit area below. Enjoy your visit!


What Is Garbage?There's No Away
Nature Recycles Making Choices

© The Rotten Truth web site was created in 1998 by the Association of Science-Technology Centers Incorporated and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: Rotten Truth (About Garbage) links to a number of activities and resources provided by institutions other than ASTC and SITES. Every effort has been made to ensure that these links are accurate, but because neither ASTC nor SITES controls the content of these web sites, outside links are not guaranteed to be correct or active. Neither ASTC nor SITES shall be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages connected with, or arising out of, providing the information offered here. External sites are not endorsed by ASTC or the Smithsonian Institution.