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Medieval Waste Management

Decent Essays
New York City cleaning policies are meant to keep the city streets clear of garbage and refuse, however, the policies only work in theory and do not eradicate all waste. This results in garbage pile-ups and dilapidated conditions in the poorer, underdeveloped areas of the city. During the medieval period, sanitation policies were developed largely because of the Black Death (plague), which caused millions of deaths in medieval England. Many of the medieval English health problems stemmed from a lack of sanitation and running water. New York City’s sanitation system stands to learn from Medieval English sanitation because Medieval sanitation sought to quickly address issues of odors and refuse in city and town streets in order to improve public health; New York City cleaning policies are slow to address the unsettling amounts of refuse and health issues associated with the growing population and unsanitary conditions. The following literature reviews will help support my thesis.
Medieval waste management was developed to improve overall public health. Sanitation and
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M. Jorgenson’s thesis, “Private need, public order: Urban sanitation in late medieval England and Scandinavia.” In her study, Jorgenson investigates “medieval sanitation technologies.” She focuses primarily on the effectiveness of sanitation policies and the much-needed collaboration between city inhabitants and government on public health issues. Similar to my argument concerning the needed improvement of New York City sanitation efforts, Jorgenson highlights how medieval sanitation was developed through the critical interactions between the conditions of society and the social systems. That is, progress in sanitation existed only when the complex social systems and government worked together harmoniously and sought to improve the poor physical conditions of their city—a necessity
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