“We have just arrived at the landfill,” said the tour guide. “We are heading to one of our trash piles that is still being used.” I thought about how this place worked by machines and mechanisms. “If you look to your left, you will see the garbage being added to the pile.”

Now my bus was heading to the trash heap that is not being used. “On the right, you will see the generator that converts the methane into power for 100 homes in this area.” We got out of the bus onto the trash heap, and I tripped and rolled down the side. Nobody noticed I was gone because, at that moment, the bus went off and I was left behind.

I didn’t know until an hour later that I could attempt to get out. I said, “Maybe I can make my way out.” I made my way to the heap that was still being used. By then it was around 7 o’clock, so all the workers had gone home. At that time, I had to scale the fence by making something.dump

I saw lots of metal and plastic. I thought about making climbing claws and boots. I found old ski boots and gloves. I added metal hooks to the boots to attach to the fence. I also found pieces of metal that I attached to the gloves with some spare tape I found on the ground. I got to the fence and put an old gym mat where I was going to climb in case I fell off. I started to climb the fence.

Once I got over the fence, I wondered how I could get home. I got to the road and I saw a bus coming up the road. I got him to come to me and I asked the driver to take me to Central Middle School. He got me there, but no one was there. So, I had to build a tent in the forest by the school. I gathered some sticks and covered myself up and hoped I would wake up in time for school.

The next day I woke up and my bus arrived. “Great.” I said. I ran up to my friends and they said, “Where were you?” I didn’t know how to respond because it was too long of a story.

Sixth grader Lance Lauer, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, wrote about his visit to one of the county’s landfills.