What a lot of rubbish!

The most important public health initiatives have not been in the field of medicine, as important as discoveries like antibiotics have been, but have occurred in the areas which are far less technical; the provision of clean water and a good and efficient system of waste disposal. Sewers have brought immense public health benefits as have the regular collection of household rubbish. Continue reading

Rubbish, wheelie bins and recycling

For years the United Kingdom had a very unhealthy attitude towards its rubbish compared with its European partners. There were weekly rubbish collections from the home; some places allowed you to put your rubbish out in plastic bags, whereas others insisted that you place it in a traditioanl cylindrical bin. When the dustman came they hurled the contents of a bin into a waste compactor truck, or else threw the plastic bags into it. I remember that my part of London introduced wheelie bins in 1987. They held much more rubbish than the traditional dustbin but made it easier and faster for the dustmen, who no longer had to lift heavy rubbish. The wheelie bin seemed to fill itself up every week; clearly there is a law of waste: rubbish expands to fill the size of the receptacle provided for it. Continue reading