Tag Archives: disposal

I Love NY, and it stinks

A big ball of garbageMaybe you’ve seen the Futurama episode, “A Big Piece of Garbage,” where “New” New York is threatened by an enormous ball of garbage launched into space by “Old” New York a millenium earlier. That’s not so far fetched, really–

As landfills close in big cities, garbage travels farther

From the Jackson Hole Star Tribune

NEW YORK (AP) — The trains that rumble from the Harlem River rail yard in the South Bronx are sealed tight, but there is no mistaking what lies inside them.

The stench gives it away. The trains, some a mile long, are filled with garbage.

The railcars are part of an armada that performs a nearly constant exodus of waste from the nation’s largest city. Each day, trains and trucks carry 50,000 tons of trash from New York to huge landfills and incinerators in New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina….

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Naples Stinks

Stench of battle hangs over Naples as rubbish protests turn violent

Naples Stinks

[Excerpts]

It is the stench that you notice first. Then, as you get closer, you see and smell the mountains of rubbish: coloured plastic bags, black dustbin liners, cardboard boxes sodden with overnight rain, a carpet of broken glass. Yesterday Italian troops from units more used to service in Iraq and the Balkans were called in to start clearing the festering piles of rubbish from the streets of Naples….

…The crisis has engulfed the centre, after the city’s landfills, long over-stretched, finally reached capacity over Christmas. Amidst claims that the Naples Mafia is sabotaging attempts to open new landfills, more than 110,000 tonnes of waste has been left festering on the streets….

Read the complete article

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In Days of Olde…

…the shit ran freely in the streets.

Gardy Loo!

An excerpt from Christine A. Powell’s excellent online essay, “A Matter of Convenience”

In Renaissance Scotland, the housewives threw their chamberpot contents and slops out the windows with the cry “Gardy Loo!” (This evidently derived from the French “Gardez l’eau,” meaning “Look out for the water!”) Unfortunately, the sound of the cry and the discarded material often arrived simultaneously. Woe to the one who looked up to see what was happening. It is believed that this may be the origin of the British term “loo” for a toilet (Pudney, 28-9). The high-rises of Edinburgh were hardly the only places in Europe to present a sanitation problem during this era.

Indeed, the period from 1550 to 1750 has been called the “two rather insanitary centuries.” When the court of Charles II spent the summer of 1665 in Oxford, the local diarist Anthony Wood observed they were “nasty and beastly, leaving at their departure their excrements in every corner, in chimneys, studies, coalhouses, [and] cellars.” Contemporary accounts and engravings frequently illustrate the morning ritual in English and Scottish cities of emptying one’s ordure out of upper-floor windows into the streets beneath (Wright, 75-8). It was not until the mid-1800s, when Dr. John Snow proved the connection between cholera and sewage-polluted drinking water, that cities began to control their waste (Colman, 46). There is no reason to suppose that Port Royal and other contemporary cities in the colonies were any cleaner than those in Europe during the “insanitary centuries.” (source)

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