Waste Management Practices Have Always Been A Part Of Large Societies Throughout History

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Waste management practices have always been a part of large societies throughout history. Archaeological studies have pointed out that humans first encountered garbage as an issue when they began migrating from their nomadic habits to organized cultures around 10,000 BC. By 6500 BC, archaeologists estimated Native American tribes were producing 5.3 pounds of waste per person per day. On the other side of the ocean around 500 BC, the city of Athens created the first waste disposal site and required citizens to dispose of their trash at least one mile from the city limits. Another Mediterranean empire, the Romans, developed the first garbage collection service which consisted of groups of two men who would walk throughout the city collecting…show more content…
By the mid-1700s it was common practice to dispose of waste into pits rather than throwing the garbage into the streets. One of our founding fathers even implemented the first organized waste removal service in Philadelphia in 1757. Like today’s garbage men, pairs of two would travel the streets and pick up any trash that could dispose. Proper waste removal and sanitation did not become a priority for our government until the mid to late 1800s. People in America did not relate filth to disease and did not care much about proper sanitation. In England the sanitation theory that proposed that filth contributed to human illness became word-of-mouth and eventually made its way to America. Although America was becoming more urbanized; pigs, goats, dogs and other stray animals were free to roam and eat all the garbage that they could in the streets. Some cities such as Charleston, West Virginia established an act to prohibit hunting vultures only because they helped with the city’s garbage. United States government took notice in the late 1800s of proper sanitation and waste removal and decided to become more involved. Instead of focusing on these problems, the United States government focused on water and wastewater systems rather than solid waste management. Multiple epidemics in the 1870s made Americans concerned about waste and sanitation. Cities and individuals were producing more trash than ever. At
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