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We've Always Made Garbage

"...the feast of fat things that come reeking under one's nose at each special puddle of festering filth that Center Street provided in its reeking, fermenting, putrefying, pestilential gutter! I thought I should have died of the stink, rage and headache before I got to 21st Street."
- a journal description of a New York City street, 1852
early photo of street cleaner
  Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Wherever you find people, you'll find garbage. And the ways we deal with it -- burying, burning, reusing, and recycling -- have been used for hundreds of years. The following timeline shows America's relationship with garbage since the 1600s.

Activity icon Activity: Oral History Project

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