Toxic Waste

Toxic Waste as a symbolic team game activity

Toxic Waste is a team game that epitomizes of the hazards of blatant urbanization. It sort of symbolizes what we might be up to in near future if irresponsible urbanization is not controlled. Not delving to deep into the distant theory, it is a fun game and excellent team building activity.


Equipment: Two Buckets (preferably one large and one small), 1 rope, 1 bungee cord loop, plenty of bungee cords,  5-10 ping pong ball.

Group Size: 6-20

Time: 20-40 minutes

Effective Group Age: 20 and above

How to play Toxic Waste?

  • Take the rope to create a circle about 3-4m in diameter. Put the balls in the smaller bucket and put the bucket at the center of the circle.

    Players trying to get rid of toxic wastes
    Players trying to get rid of toxic wastes
  • The circle represents a toxic zone which is hazardous for the players like the real toxic zone is hazardous for us.
  • The teams should invent a way to transfer the ping pong balls from the smaller bucket to larger bucket without getting their bodies inside the toxic zone like in the picture on the right.
  • The players who get exposed in the toxic region get killed (blindfolded or made to sit out for the rest of the game).
  • Similarly if toxic waste ball get dropped on your body, it’s the case of severe injury (blindfolded, or made to put their one hand on the back, or asked to perform on one leg)
  • The team with the largest number of recovered toxic balls emerge victorious.

Key Takeaways:

  • Attach the bungee cord to bungee loop and try to take the balls out of toxic region.

    Correct geometry of toxic waste
    Correct geometry of toxic waste
  • The killed player blindfolded and injured player made to stand on one leg is a lot of fun.
  • Picture on the right shows correct alignment for placement of toxic wastes.

Learning Outcomes:

  • This game helps to increase your brain’s precise calculating power as balls are not easy to grip with bungee loop.
  • This game helps for effective communication between your peers.
  • Toxic Waste when analyzed deeply remind us the hole humanity has dug. This might just be the game, but the when looked at the macrocosm, the entire world itself, it’s a scary picture.