A civilization on a distant planet has found a way to solve its garbage problem: turning it into energy and beaming it into outer space. A flaw in this system is found when the signal is accidentally picked up on Earth by the Putterman Family's home satellite dish. While this would ordinarily be just another mess, this particular transmission contains a hungry trash monster who quickly begins snacking on the Puttermans and their guests. Only young Sherman Putterman has any clue what is going on, but nobody will believe him. Is there any hope for the Earth?