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Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Good Old Days

For those of you wanting to return to the simpler days of yore, a few facts:

1. In mid-nineteenth century New York, residents simply threw their trash out the window for scavengers to ravage. Often, by spring, garbage and less savory material might be two to three feet deep on the streets. Only the wealthy could afford trash collection.

2. Horses left 500,000 pounds of manure a day on Manhattan streets, and 45,000 gallons of urine. Horses worked hard; their average life span was 2.5 years and in 1880 15,000 dead horses littered the streets. Again, wild animals were expected to make the carcasses more portable by stripping the flesh off them so they could be dumped into the bay.

3. Ocean dumping virtually destroyed the famous oyster beds, but provided the land for the World's Fair and today's airports. It wasn't until 1948 that the public opinion demanded the first city dump.

Don't forget that today is the good old days of tomorrow.

From Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte
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