Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Early Years of Trash Part Five

1940Japanese conquests in Southeast Asia cut of America's supply of tin, hampering canned food production.
1941America enters World War II. Rationing of such materials as wood and metal forces an increased reliance on synthetic materials such as plastics. Low-density polyethylene film, developed during wartime, replaces cellophane as the favorite food wrap by 1960.
1942Americans collect rubber, paper, glass, metals and fats to help the war effort. Paper collections are so successful they overwhelm the markets by the spring of 1942.
1942Methods and materials for wartime shipment of food make World War II "the great divide" in the packaging and storage industry.
1943The aerosol can is invented by two researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1944Styrofoam is invented by Dow Chemical Co.
1945The first American ballpoint pens go on sale for $12.50 each at Gimbel's in New York.
1946 Fortune Magazine heralds the arrival of the "dream era…The Great American Boom is on."
1947"Our willingness to part with something before it is completely worn out is a phenomenon noticeable in no other society in history…It is soundly based on our economy of abundance. It must be further nurtured even through it runs contrary to one of the oldest inbred laws of humanity, the law of thrift." - J. Gordon Lippincott, industrial designer
1948American Public Health Association predicts that the garbage disposal will cause the garbage can to "ultimately follow the privy" and become an "anachronism."
1948Fresh Kills landfill is opened in Staten Island, New York. It later becomes the world's largest city dump. Fresh Kills and the Great Wall of China are the only man-made objects visible from space.
1950A second hydraulic system to eject garbage is added to garbage trucks.
1950An improved paper cup for hot beverages is introduced. It is lined with polyethylene instead of wax.
1950 The growth of convenience foods (frozen, canned, dried, boxed, etc) increases the amounts and changes the types of packaging thrown away.
1953The American economy's "ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods." - Chairman of President Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisors.
1953Swanson introduces the first successful TV dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes and peas.
1954"Never underestimate the buying power of a child under seven. He has brand loyalty and the determination to see that his parents purchase the products of his choice." - Dr. Frances Horwitch ("Miss Frances" of TV's Ding Dong School) at Chicago advertising conference.
1957High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is developed by Standard Oil of Indiana and Phillips Petroleum (now used for milk containers.)
1958The Bic Crystal Company introduces the throwaway pen.
1959Philadelphia closes its reduction plant (a facility for turning organic wastes into fats, grease and oils) the last one in the country.
1959The American Society of Civil Engineers publishes a standard guide to sanitary landfilling. To guard against rodents and odors, it suggests compacting the refuse and covering it with a layer of soil each day.
1959The first photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced - 22 years after it was patented.
1960Bead molded polystyrene cups are introduced. They provide better insulation for hot drinks.
1960Bread is sold bagged in polyethylene rather than wrapped in waxed paper.
1960Easy open tops (pop tops) for beverage cans are invented. Iron City Beer in Pittsburgh is the first to try the invention and sales increase immediately.
1960The first disposable razors are sold.
1961Sam Yorty runs successfully for mayor of Los Angeles on a platform to end the inconvenience of separating refuse. A city ordinance eliminates the sorting of recyclables.
1963The aluminum can for beverages is developed.
1965The Federal Government realizes that garbage has become a major problem and enacts the Solid Waste Disposal Act. This calls for the nation to find better ways of dealing with trash.
1968President Lyndon Johnson commissions the National Survey of Community Solid Waste Practices, which provides the first comprehensive data on solid waste since cities began to record amounts and types of waste in the early 1900s.
1968The U.S. aluminum industry begins recycling discarded aluminum products, from beverage cans to window blinds.
1969Seattle, Washington institutes a new fee structure for garbage pick up. Residents pay a base rate for one to four cans and an additional fee for each additional bundle or can.
1970The Federal Clean Air Act enacted. New regulations lead to incineration shut downs.
1970 The first Earth Day. Millions of people rally nationwide on April 22.
1970 United States Environmental Protection Agency is created.
1971Oregon passes the nation's first bottle bill. By offering cash for aluminum, glass and plastic containers, it removes about 7% of its garbage from the waste stream.
1972 According to William Ruckelshaus, head of EPA, solid waste management is a "fundamental ecological issue. It illustrates, perhaps more clearly than any other environmental problem, that we must change many of our traditional attitudes and habits."
1972 The Federal Clean Water Act is enacted to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters.
1972The first buy-back centers for recyclables are opened in Washington State. They accept beer bottles, aluminum cans and newspapers.
1974The first city-wide use of curbside recycling bins occurs in University City, Missouri for collecting newspapers.
1975"That happiness is to be attained through limitless material acquisition is denied by every religion and philosophy known to humankind, but is preached incessantly by every American television set." - Robert Bellah, The Broken Covenant.
1976The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act creates the first significant role for federal government in waste management. It emphasizes recycling and conservation of energy.
1976 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act is passed, which requires all dumps to be replaced with "sanitary landfills." The enforcement of this act will increase the cost of landfill disposal, and that will make resource-conserving options like recycling more appealing.
1976 The Toxic Substances Control Act is passed. Before this and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act went into effect, any individual or business could legally dump any kind and amount of hazardous chemicals in landfills.
1976Three people from Bartlesville, Oklahoma get a patent on a method for purifying and reusing lubricating oils.
1977Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soda bottles are introduced to replace glass bottles. The plastic was first developed in England in 1941.
1978The Supreme Court rules that garbage is protected by the Interstate Commerce Clause; therefore, one state cannot ban shipments of waste from another.

Home Electronics Disposal

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