Waste Timeline Continues

invent In 100 years we moved from throwing waste in the streets and using pigs for waste management to an overwhelming number of inventions and companies that made our lives safer, easier, healthier, and more energetic!  We have been on an invention rocket ride!!  All of this excitement has given us a great sense of power and achievement.

Last week, I promised to post the remainder of the ASTC timeline.  A very impressive reader with more precise history information on his radar brought some misdates to my attention, like Ben Franklin died in 1790 so his garbage brigade could not have occurred in 1792 and the first Woolworths was in Lancaster, PA. not Utica, NY.   This week, I dug deeper and discovered further misdates in this part of the timeline.  Without changing the ASTC version, I have added what may be more updated information in red.  So!  We have a Wikipediaized version evolving!  I still think we get the point.  All this activity brings us face to face with our current waste abundance and our culture of more is better.  Take a deep breathe and hang on for the ride.

1902 A survey of 161 cities by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that 79% of them provide regular collection of refuse.
1903  Corrugated paperboard containers are now used commercially. 1st ones 1895 in USA
1904 The nation’s first aluminum recycling plants open in Chicago and Cleveland.
1904 Postmaster General Henry Clay Payne authorizes permit mail. This means that with a single fee, 2,000 or more pieces of third or fourth class mail can be posted without stamps. This opens the door for direct mail advertising and mass solicitations.
1904 Montgomery Ward mails out 3 million catalogues weighing four pounds each.
1905 New York City begins using a garbage incinerator to generate electricity to light the Williamsburg Bridge.
1907 An unexpectedly thick run of toilet paper is converted to become the first paper towels. 1931 Scott Paper
1908 Paper cups replace tin cups at water vending machines on trains and in public buildings.1909 by Dixie Cups
1909 “Kraft” paper pulp first made in the United States, a process developed in Germany in 1883.  the first use of kraft process was 1890
By 1909 102 of 180 incinerators built since 1885 are abandoned or dismantled. Many had been inadequately built or run. Also, America’s abundant land and widely spaced population made dumping garbage cheaper and more practical.
ca. 1910 – 1917 Juvenile sanitation leagues become popular in cities throughout the country.
ca. 1910 City beautification programs become more and more popular. Many cities have juvenile sanitation leagues whose members promise to help keep streets and neighborhoods clean. Sanitation workers wear white uniforms, reminiscent of other public workers such as doctors and nurses.
1914 W.K. Kellogg invents a wax paper wrapper for Corn Flakes boxes.
1915 The National Clean Up and Paint Up Bureau sponsors 5,000 local clean up campaigns.
1916  Major cities estimate that of the 1,000 to 1,750 pounds of waste generated by each person per year, 80% is coal and wood ash.
1916 Waxed paper is commonly used to wrap bread.
1916 A major shortage of paper pulp during World War I leads Secretary of Commerce William C. Redfield to ask the public to save old paper and rags to make new paper.
1916 Dr. Thomas Jasperson obtains a patent for making paper from de inked wastepaper.
1917 Shortages of raw materials during World War I prompt the federal government to start the Waste Reclamation Service, part of the War Industries Board. Its motto is “Don’t Waste Waste — Save It.” Every article of waste is considered valuable for industry.
1920 The first commercial radio broadcast. The technology held far reaching implications for advertising and purchasing. Americans buy 1.5 million radios within the year.
1920s During this decade, “reclaiming” or filling in wetlands near cities with garbage, ash, and dirt, becomes a popular disposal method.
1924 The Kleenex facial tissue is introduced.
1926 Clarence Saunders opens the first supermarket. Pre packaged food and self service packaging increase selection for consumers and lower the cost of food.Piggly Wiggly 1916
1928 Teleprinters and teletypewriters come into use.
1928 Cellophane is invented by the DuPont Cellophane Company. The transparent material is used as a protective wrapping for food and other products. invented 1923 DuPont
1929 Aluminum foil is invented.  patent 1889 by Charles Martin Hall
1930 A new plastic, polyvinyl chloride, is patented by B.F. Goodrich. It is used as a replacement for rubber, as protection against corrosion, and for adhesives. 1926 plasticized PVC
1930 Another plastic, polystyrene, is put on the market by the German firm, I.G. Farben, and also produced by Dow Chemical Company. The hard, shiny material is molded into tackle boxes, refrigerator linings, and other items. 1937 as Styron in the US
1930s Kimberly Clark develops disposable sanitary pads. 1920 Kotex
1932 The development of compactor garbage trucks increases vehicle capacity.1938 the Garwood Load Packer 
1933 Communities on the New Jersey shore obtain a court order forcing New York City to stop dumping garbage in the Atlantic Ocean. On July 1, 1934, the Supreme Court upholds the lower court action, but applies it only to municipal waste, not commercial or industrial wastes.
1935 General Electric begins producing and marketing a garbage “Disposall.”
1935 Rohm and Haas invents Plexiglas, a clear plastic used in headlights, lenses, windows, clocks, and jewelry. invented 1928 brought to market 1933
1935 Krueger’s Cream of Ale, Richmond, Virginia, produces the first can of beer.
1936 Milk products are now commonly sold in paper packaging.
1937 The DuPont Company patents nylon, the world’s first synthetic fiber. Its strength, resistance to moisture and mildew, and good recovery after stretching lead to its use in stockings, electrical parts, power tools, and car accessories.1932 Wallace Carothers
1939 Coal and wood ash make up 43% of New York City’s refuse, down from 80% in 1916.
1939 Wisconsin Select beer is sold in no deposit, no return bottles, to compete with the recent introduction of beer in no return cans.
1939 Paperback books are introduced, selling for 25 cents. 1935 Penguin Books
1939 Birds Eye introduces the first pre cooked frozen foods, chicken fricassee and criss cross steak. First sold 1930
1940 Japanese conquests in Southeast Asia cut off America’s supply of tin, hampering canned food production.
1941 America enters World War II. Rationing of such materials as wood and metal forces an increased reliance on synthetic materials such as plastics. Low density polyethylene film, developed during wartime, replaces cellophane as the favorite food wrap by 1960.
1942 – 45 Americans collect rubber, paper, glass, metals, and fats to help the war effort. Paper collections are so successful they overwhelm the markets by the spring of 1942.
1942 – 45 Methods and materials for wartime shipment of food make World War II “the great divide” in the packaging and storage industry.
1944 The Dow Chemical Company invents an insulation material called Styrofoam. 1941
1945 The first American ball point pens go on sale for $12.50 each at Gimbel’s in New York.
1946  Fortune magazine heralds the arrival of the “dream era…The Great American Boom is on.” 
1947 “Our willingness to part with something before it is completely worn out is a phenomenon noticeable in no other society in history…. It is soundly based on our economy of abundance. It must be further nurtured even though it runs contrary to one of the oldest inbred laws of humanityCthe law of thrift.” J. Gordon Lippincott, industrial designer.
1948 American Public Health Association predicts that the garbage disposal will cause the garbage can to “ultimately follow the privy” and become an “anachronism.”
1950s An improved paper cup for hot beverages is introduced. It is lined with polyethylene instead of wax. not finding good dates on this
1950s A second hydraulic system to eject garbage is added to garbage trucks.
1950s The growth of convenience foods (frozen, canned, dried, boxed, etc.) increases the amounts and changes the types of packaging thrown away.
1953 The American economy’s “ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods.” Chairman of President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors
1953 Swanson introduces the first successful TV dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, and peas.
1953 “It is our job to make women unhappy with what they have.” B. Earl Puckett, Allied Stores Corp.
1954 “Never underestimate the buying power of a child under seven. He has brand loyalty and the determination to see that his parents purchase the products of his choice.” Dr. Frances Horwitch (“Miss Frances” of TV’s “Ding Dong School) at Chicago advertising conference.
1957 High density polyethylene (HDPE) is developed by Standard Oil of Indiana and Phillips Petroleum invented by Karl Ziegler of the Kaiser Wilhelm Instituteand Erhard Holzkamp 1953
1958 The Bic Crystal Company introduces the throwaway pen. 1950 Marcel Bich
1959 The American Society of Civil Engineers publishes a standard guide to sanitary landfilling. To guard against rodents and odors, it suggests compacting the refuse and covering it with a layer of soil each day.
1959  Philadelphia closes its reduction plant (a facility for turning organic wastes into fats, grease, and oils), the last one in the country.
1959 The first photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced — 22 years after it was patented.
1960s  Easy open tops (pop tops) for beverage cans are invented. Iron City Beer in Pittsburgh is the first to try the invention and its sales increase immediately. 1962
1960s  Bead molded polystyrene cups are introduced. They provide better insulation for hot drinks. patented 1942 by Fritz Stastny and BASF
1960s The first disposable razors are sold. 1920s razorblades by Gillette and 1975 razors by BIC
1960s Bread is sold bagged in polyethylene rather than wrapped in waxed paper.
1961 Sam Yorty runs successfully for mayor of Los Angeles on a platform to end the inconvenience of separating refuse. A city ordinance eliminates the sorting of recyclables.
ca. 1963 The aluminum can for beverages is developed. by Reynolds Metal Company
1965  The Solid Waste Disposal Act, the first federal solid waste management law, is enacted.
1968 President Lyndon Johnson commissions the National Survey of Community Solid Waste Practices, which provides the first comprehensive data on solid waste since cities began to record amounts and types of waste in the early 1900s.
1969 Seattle, Washington, institutes a new fee structure for garbage pick up. Residents pay a base rate for one to four cans and an additional fee for each additional bundle or can.
1970 The federal Resource Recovery Act amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act, and requires the federal government to issue waste disposal guidelines.
1970 The federal Clean Air Act enacted. New regulations lead to incineration shut downs.1st in 1963
1970  The first Earth Day. Millions of people rally nationwide on April 22. Gaylord Nelson
1970 United States Environmental Protection Agency is created.
1971 Oregon passes the nation’s first bottle bill. By offering cash for aluminum, glass, and plastic containers, it removes about 7% of its garbage from the waste stream.
1972 According to William Ruckelshaus, head of EPA, solid waste management is a “a fundamental ecological issue. It illustrates, perhaps more clearly than any other environmental problem, that we must change many of our traditional attitudes and habits.” 
1972 The federal Clean Water Act is enacted to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.
1975 “That happiness is to be attained through limitless material acquisition is denied by every religion and philosophy known to humankind, but is preached incessantly by every American television set.” Robert Bellah, The Broken Covenant
1976 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act creates the first significant role for federal government in waste management. It emphasizes recycling and conservation of energy.
1976 The Toxic Substances Control Act is passed. Before this and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act went into effect, any individual or business could legally dump any kind and amount of hazardous chemicals in landfills.
1977 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soda bottles are introduced to replace glass bottles. The plastic was first developed in England in 1941. patented in 1973 by Nathaniel C. Wyeth
1978  The Supreme Court rules that garbage is protected by the Interstate Commerce Clause; therefore, one state cannot ban shipments of waste from another.
1979 EPA issues landfill criteria that prohibit open dumping.
1980 Polypropylene introduced and used for butter and margarine tubs, and for drinking straws. introduced in 1950s
1983 The space shuttle is pulled out of service to replace a window that had been severely pitted by a chip of paint from space junk.
1984 During the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, athletes, trainers, coaches, and spectators produce 6.5 million pounds of trash in 22 days, more than six pounds per person per day.
1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Act amendments and reauthorization to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act require tougher federal regulation of landfills.
1986 Rhode Island enacts the nation’s first statewide mandatory recycling law.
1986 Fresh Kills, in Staten Island, New York, becomes the largest landfill in the world.
1987 The Mobro, a Long Island garbage barge, is turned away by six states and three countries. The garbage (mostly paper) is finally incinerated in Brooklyn and the ash buried in a landfill near Islip.
1987 The Garbage Project at the University of Arizona, Tucson, begins to excavate modern landfills as if they were ancient archaeological sites. The goal is to determine exactly what is inside landfills and how much of it biodegrades.
1988  “Nobody ever has enough.” Lewis Lapham, Money and Class in America
1988 The EPA estimates that more than 14,000 landfills have closed since 1978, more than 70% of those operating at that time. The landfills were full, unsafe, or the owners declined to adhere to new standards.
1989 EPA issues “An Agenda for Action,” calling for an integrated solid waste management approach to solving solid waste problems, with waste prevention and recycling as its first two priorities.
1990 140 recycling laws enacted in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
1990 “Neither shortening nor lengthening product life can be a general principle. The strategy, rather, is to fine tune the durations of things, now avoiding cheap things that break too soon and clog our trash cans, now expensive objects that last too long and clog our lives.” Kevin Lynch, Wasting Away
1991 EPA issues comprehensive municipal solid waste landfill criteria required by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendment.
1991 “Our economy is such that we cannot ‘afford’ to take care of things: labor is expensive, time is expensive, money is expensive, but materials — the stuff of creation — are so cheap that we cannot afford to take care of them.” Wendell Berry
1993 Municipal Solid Waste landfill criteria become effective for most landfills in the U.S.
1993 “We’re reminded a hundred times a day to buy things, but we’re not reminded to take care of them, repair them, reuse them, or give them away.” Michael Jacobson, Center for the Study of Commercialism

timthumb.php How You Can Help:

You just did!  You learned alot.  Good work!

Until next week,

Garbage Girl


4 thoughts on “Waste Timeline Continues

  1. Pingback: Waste Timeline – in 100 years everything became disposable | Go Take it Offline

  2. Pingback: Waste Timeline - in 100 years everything became disposable | Gaia Gazette

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