A Short History of Solid Waste Management : Klumm Bros.

A Short History of Solid Waste Management

August 18, 2021

If you’ve ever stood in the middle of your home wondering where all the junk came from, you probably know that humans generate a lot of trash. Waste management services make it easy for us to toss something in a bin and forget about it—but where does our trash go, and how can we cut down on it?

Waste management has been around for millennia. It might not be the most exciting part of history, but it’s an important one. Read on to learn about the history of waste management services, then call your friendly local dump truck services at Klumm Bros. to get started.

What is waste management?

Waste management covers everything from picking up garbage to transporting and disposing of it in a safe manner. It also involves treating the waste, monitoring the landfills and receptacles and taking action when the process isn’t working as efficiently as it could be. For example, some waste is incinerated, to save space. Some is buried, which can contribute to pollution and groundwater problems.

As a living, breathing human, you have used waste management services before—even if you didn’t realize it at the time.

Ancient waste management

Waste management services date back to at least 500 BCE, if not earlier. Citizens of Athens, in ancient Greece, had to drag their waste at least 1.5 kilometers outside the city walls. Later, the Roman Empire introduced the first garbage collection service. People would dump their trash in the street, which was then collected and transported to another location.

Of course, not everyone lived in cities. For the most part, people would dump their trash in uninhabited locations, leave it there to rot and forget about it. This went on for centuries, until the 18th century.

Modern waste management

By the 19th century, scientists had finally figured out that dumping your filth in the street actually contributed to illness and disease. The “age of sanitation” began around the time germ theory became prevalent.

In the United States, solid waste management was introduced by 1890. By 1930, virtually all cities had some sort of dump truck or waste management services in place. Landfills, incineration and dumping in the water or ocean were all accepted ways of dealing with trash, although water and ocean dumping is now prohibited.

As consumerism took hold, and chemicals were used in manufacturing, waste management became more of a problem. Now waste management teams had to figure out how to safely dispose of this toxic new trash, without polluting the earth further.

Over time, landfills have evolved. Now the bottoms are lined to prevent groundwater contamination, while still trying to compact trash as much as possible. We monitor surface water, groundwater and gas emissions to ensure no pollutants are harming the planet.

However, waste management continues to be a problem, due to the sheer amount of trash humanity generates. Let this be a reminder to recycle whenever possible, and to consume as little as you need.

For more information about our dump truck services, call Klumm Bros. today.

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