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Managing Food Waste Through Plastics
Author Name: ruthrobinson
Date added: February 16, 2011 12:38:03 PM
Category: Arts & Humanities

people still threw their household trash out on the street, as their parents had done and their grandparents too, and all their ancestors back to the dawn of civilization. Cities were overflowing with trash. Deep gutters lined streets to collect and, hopefully, wash away the refuse during rainstorms. Food waste has always been a problem. Even in these modern times when refrigeration is commonplace, spoiled food items remain the largest portion of discarded household waste. In olden days, pigs roamed the streets of towns and cities, consuming the leftover food that was unfit for human consumption. Needless to say, rats and other pests were rife and rampant. The smells would choke a modern day pedestrian and the potential for disease lurked on every corner and in the blocks between. Thankfully, public sanitation improved. People began to put their waste into metal barrels to be collected by trash men. Municipal systems deployed a corps of dedicated sanitarians set up to patrol a community on a set schedule to cart away unwanted refuse. Without mouldering food outside every doorstep, the air quality of cities improved, incidents of communicable disease fell off, and communities began to resemble the clutter-free, hygienic streetscapes to which we are now accustomed. Metal barrels and bins remained the trash receptacle of choice for most of the twentieth century. After World War Two, with increased research and development in the plastics industry, new materials were deployed for food waste management, storage, and delivery for curbside collection. Space Age ingenuity created new designs with walls that resisted puncture and were incapable of rusting. Flexible lids fit tightly. The functional improvements over the old bins were obvious and metal fell out of fashion as plastic became more durable and inexpensive. Form usually follows function and one detriment of the old bins was that they needed to be hoisted from a person’s elbows no matter how full. An over-full trash can would be dragged over rough surfaces because it was too heavy to lift. This caused wear and tear to the trash barrel’s bottom and limited its lifespan. When plastic was introduced, these bins suffered the same fate until some clever industrial designer happened upon the idea of installing permanent wheels to the base. Much like the trend in modern luggage, trash is now transported from back garden to street in wheelie bins that save a homeowner’s muscles and enhance the longevity of the storage equipment. Modern wheelie bins have become the trash bin of choice, dominating the landscape in front of buildings on collection day. Plastic wheelie bins are constructed in a variety of sizes, ranging from 140 litres to 1100 litres. They resist impact and are sturdy enough to withstand any amount of abuse. They contain copious amounts of food waste, containing smells, and deterring rodents and pests from taking advantage of their outdoor location. Waste Management, Food Waste Management

Waste management protocols changed over the course of the twentieth century and they have improved for the twenty-first. As the 1890s drew to a close

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