In modern and postmodern society it is easy to forget that trash pick up is a relatively modern invention. Organized trash pick up didn’t exist until the late 1800s. And began in cities like New York and Paris. Most of rural America didn’t have trash pick up until the 1950s.¬†

So how did the world deal with trash before trash pick up? Trash wasn’t a huge health concern until people began living in cities. Native Americans, for instance, only generate about 5.3 pounds of trash per day. This trash was often buried or burned or sometimes just left in place.

Since the population of the Earth was so spread out and agrarian until the Industrial Revolution there wasn’t much need for trash pick up. The small amounts of trash a farmer might produced could be easily buried or burnt on his own land.

Trash pick up and waste management would only become an issue when the majority of the world’s populate ¬†began shifting towards the city and an industrialized towns where people migrated to find jobs. Cities began to organize trash pick up as a way of controlling disease and removing enormous amounts of trash that would pile up in cities.