ChemMatters : February 2011

How is Wastewater Recycled?

Teacher’s Guide (Feb 2011)



  • Recycling to Survive*
    By Tom Husband

    In a large Indian community, people living in extreme poverty recycle nearly every piece of plastic they can find. How do they do that? And how are plastics recycled in general?

Feature Articles

  • Is this Water Recycled Sewage?
    By Gail Kay Haines

    Sewage from homes is water from toilets, showers, sinks, and other sources of “dirty” water. After this sewage is treated in wastewater plants, does the cleaned-up water go back to your faucet?
  • Drugs Down the Drain: The Drugs You Swallow, the Water You Drink
    By Cynthia Washam

    What happens to drugs that are flushed down the toilet? Or to gels, creams, and lotions that wash away as we shower? Some of them end up in our drinking water. Scientists are looking for ways to remove these chemicals from drinking water.
  • Cleaning Up the Air*
    By Sarah Vos

    Carbon dioxide spewed out in the air by power plants and large SUVs is causing the Earth’s climate to change, with devastating consequences for the future of our planet. Is there a way to capture this excess carbon dioxide and clean up the air?
  • Kilimanjaro: Peering Through Disappearing Ice*
    By Linda Zajac

    Temperatures in various parts of the Earth are increasing, sea levels are rising, and glaciers are melting. What will happen in the future? One way to find out is by looking at similar climate changes that occurred in the past.

*Available in print issue only