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Talking Trash

Talking Trash

Date: Sep 29 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. This is an expression used in the US to describe the most ideal way to deal with waste.

First, reduce the amount of garbage you create through lifestyle choices. For example, use cloth napkins instead of paper towels, or use a mug for your coffee or tea instead of a paper cup.

Second, reuse what you can. Rinse plastic bags and use them many times. Take your own grocery bags to the market. You can even buy used furniture and appliances.

Of course, no matter how little waste you produce, at some point you’ll have to throw away something, whether it’s yesterday’s newspaper, an empty soup can, or an old computer. And when you do, the best thing you can do is recycle it.

But depending on where you live, you may not be able to recycle very easily. And if it’s not convenient, chances are it will end up in the landfill.

Listen to Kevin and Toby talk about trash.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  I’ve read, um, that for many years, Portland is ranked as the best recycling city in the US in terms of percentage of overall garbage that is recycled.

Toby:  Really? That’s interesting.

Kevin:  And then there are other cities. Like my mother lives in Tampa, Florida where there’s essentially no recycling.

Toby:  Yeah.

Kevin:  It’s really pathetic.

Toby:  I know. I’m from Oklahoma, and my dad throws glass and newspapers in the garbage. Yeah.

Kevin:  Unbelievable. And the thing about that is even people who want to recycle like my mother. Like, she’ll take her recycling, but it’s a pain, I mean, the city doesn’t offer that service.

Toby:  Yeah, It, it is such a luxury. Especially if you go to other countries. Like, you’ve been to Thailand and so have I, and Mexico… Just being able to put your garbage and your recycling out on the curb and have somebody pick it up.

Kevin:  Yes. Yes. And that, you know… I think in many ways… certain US cities are really great, you know, but, like, but we’re still way behind. Like, I lived in Japan, and the Japanese… um, the recycling is…I mean, you can recycle almost everything. I mean, and it’s also very detailed. You have to follow the rules, there’s no mixing of things.

Toby:  And are… Do most people just do that as part of their lifestyle?

Kevin:  Mm hmm, mm hmm, you have to.

Toby:  Because here, I feel like, especially like, in the Midwest, like, I don’t even know if it would really fly to have curbside recycling. Would people sort their trash?

Kevin:  Well, I think, it’s sort of like, um, a cell phone kinda thing, you know, not talking in your cars. You just kinda have to make it a rule and you start fining people who don’t I guess. I mean, I don’t know any other way to do it.

Toby:  And putting them in jail!



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Toby and Kevin compare Portland’s recycling program to other cities.

Kevin’s mother lives in Tampa, where recycling is very limited.

Toby points out that in many countries in the world, you can’t just put your garbage on the curb and expect it to be recycled.

Toby and Kevin both feel that recycling is important, and joke about it being a law.

How much can you recycle where you live?



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Thanks to legislation, Taiwanese take recyle program more seriously.

05:25 PM Oct 03 2006 |



I think the trash problem in my country has been inproved.

10:29 AM Sep 30 2006 |


Viet Nam

The Trash problem in my country is so serious. People throw garbage everywhere. It’s so sad that people don’t know how to protect this beautiful earth!

07:51 AM Sep 29 2006 |

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