April 30, 1990 12:00 PM


Which will take longest to deteriorate outdoors: a newspaper, a disposable diaper or a leather purse? Stephanie Yu, 13, poses that question in this half-hour, which she calls “a different kind of trash TV.” Part of PBS’s fine 3-2-1 Contact science series, the program, written by Alpha-Betty Olsen and Marshall Efron, explains our garbage crisis with clarity and wit. Yu guides viewers through the “Museum of Modern Garbage” and discusses the “Not in My Backyard Syndrome,” which makes it hard to find new dump sites. She stresses, “You can’t make nothing from something.” That is, all those throw-aways end up somewhere. The topic prompts class discussion and adults can learn too, including the quiz answers: the newspaper will disintegrate in a year, the purse in 50 years, the diaper not for at least 300 years. (Children’s Television Workshop, $17.45; 800-822-1105)

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