Why Landfills are Good for Kids and How to Build One in Your Back Yard

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Photo by Muhammad Numan on Unsplash

Last summer, I took my children to Los Angeles during our summer vacation, and surprisingly, they wanted to skip the Hollywood Stars Tour and visit Puente Hills, the country’s largest landfill…and we all had such a great time! We saw the sights of dead deer, smelled the earthy aromas, and listened to the plaintive squawks of seagulls soaring overhead with plastic stuck in their necks. We were so absolutely blown away by the beauty of Puente Hill that we decided to build a landfill in our back yard, and it has changed our lives for the better!

Making your own DIY landfill is pretty simple: pay your local trash man to dump four days’ worth of trash in your backyard, let it sit for a month, and you’re set! Once we separated out the glass, I let my kids spread it around, ignoring naysaying neighbors who cried out “child abuse” while their kids and friends begged those same parents to let them play in our backyard paradise. The pride I now feel for my children is more impressive and powerful than the 300 tons of stinking refuse sitting in my back yard.

My biggest piece of advice for mothers starting their own DIY landfills: get in that wonderous garbage with your kids! Family time equals good times, so pull out the grill and lawn furniture, set up the picnic table and string Tiki lights in the middle of your Garden of Eden. Build a campfire, pitch a tent and spend the night. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe! Solvents, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and PVCs are not the contaminants contributing to greenhouse gases — it’s a lack of love.

And having a Sahara Hazard in the back of your home gives your children an advantage on an educational level — show your kids how to calculate cubic yards of trash and measure methane gas and CO2 levels while mucking around in the goo. Four days’ worth of trash — $100; intellectual growth, healthy development, and the loss of smell and taste — absolutely priceless.

Landfills promote sociability, too. When your kids invite their friends and the neighborhood children over for birthday parties, help them stuff a pinata you found in the muck with other hand-picked, insect-ridden goodies seeping into your neighbor’s lawn. Then, watch. your kids and their friends frolic while they make paths to play “King of the Hill” — the same game you played when you were a kid, except you weren’t lucky enough to have a heaping mass of other people’s discarded treasures in your back yard!

It wouldn’t be realistic of me to say it’s all fun; you have to put in the work to maintain its filth. Teach your kids some awesome responsibility by assigning them maintenance chores like watering, raking and hunting mutated cockroaches. There’s nothing like instilling a healthy work ethic in your children as they properly discard radioactive bio-fluid from muscular rats.

Speaking of rats, never again worry about finding appropriate pets — wildlife abounds in landfills and your tykes will learn to identify voles, mice and shrews. They’ll have a blast catching and releasing possums, skunks and raccoons. It’s like having a personal zoo!

Trust me, your kids will love their junkyard so much, they’ll never pressure you to take them to Disney World!

Debbie L. Miller is a Brooklyn, New York comedy writer whose hobbies include raccoon-raising and devouring carrot cake. Visit her website at



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Debbie Lynn Miller

Debbie Lynn Miller

Debbie writes satire and humor from Brooklyn, New York, where she enjoys carrot cake and watching raccoons.