On average, each American throws away a staggering one ton of trash every year. Most of that trash will reach a dead end in a landfill, taking up space and polluting the earth. We can all make an effort to live a life less trashy by recycling, reusing, and being smart about what we buy. But what can we do with the trash we do make? Cities all over the world are making their trash work for them by turning it into energy. In waste-to-energy power plants, trash is burned in a controlled way to generate electricity while keeping it out of the landfill. Even landfilled trash can be used to generate energy, if we harness the gas released when garbage breaks down. Turning trash into energy is a practical way to help our landfills last longer and reduce our need for polluting energy from coal and oil. Tell your parents!