Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Early Years of Trash Part Six

1979EPA issues landfill criteria that prohibit open dumping.
1980Polypropylene is introduced and used for butter and margarine tubs and for drinking straws.
1983The space shuttle is pulled out of service to replace a window that had been severely pitted by a chip of paint from space junk.
1984During the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, athletes, trainers, coaches and spectators produce 6.5 million pounds of trash in 22 days, more than six pounds per person per day.
1984Hazardous and Solid Waste Act amendments and reauthorization to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act require tougher federal regulation of landfills.
1986Fresh Kills, in Staten Island, New York, becomes the largest landfill in the world.
1986 Rhode Island becomes the first state to pass mandatory recycling laws for aluminum and steel cans, glass, newspapers and #1 and #2 plastic.
1986Rhode Island enacts the nation's first statewide mandatory recycling law.
1986The city of San Francisco meets its goal of recycling 25% of its commercial and residential waste.
1987The Garbage Project at the University of Arizona, Tucson begins to excavate modern landfills as if they were ancient archaeological sites. The goal is to determine exactly what is inside landfills and how much of it biodegrades.
1987The Mobro, a Long Island garbage barge, is turned away by six states and three countries. The garbage (mostly paper) is finally incinerated in Brooklyn and the ash buried in a landfill near Islip.
1988"Nobody ever has enough." - Lewis Lapham, Money and Class in America.
1988The EPA estimates that more than 14,000 landfills have closed since 1978, more than 70% of those operating at that time. The landfills were full, unsafe or the owners declined to adhere to new standards.
1988The Plastic Bottle Institute develops a material-identification code system for plastic bottle manufacturers (this is our current #1-#7 system).
1989EPA issues "An Agenda for Action," calling for an integrated solid waste management approach to solving solid waste problems with waste problems, with waste prevention and recycling as its first two priorities.
1990140 recycling laws enacted in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
1990 McDonald's announces plans to stop the use of Styrofoam packaging of its food due to consumer protests.
1990Neither shortening nor lengthening product life can be a general principle. The strategy, rather, is to fine tune the durations of things, now avoiding cheap things that break too soon and clog our trash cans, now expensive objets that last too long and clog our lives." - Kevin Lynch, Wasting Away.
1990On December 4, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced that they will begin using a recycled PET (#1 plastic) bottle made of about 25% recycled plastic resin.
1991EPA issues comprehensive municipal solid waste landfill criteria required by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendment.
1991"Our economy is such that we cannot 'afford' to take care of things: labor is expensive, time is expensive, money is expensive, but materials - - the stuff of creation - - are so cheap that we cannot afford to take care of them." - Wendell Berry
1993Municipal Solid Waste landfill criteria become effective for most landfills in the U.S.
1993 "We're reminded a hundred times a day to buy things, but we're not reminded to take care of them, repair them, reuse them or give them away." - Michael Jacobson, Center for the Study of Commercialism
2000Cities in California are required to recycle 50% of its waste.
1998 - The Association of Science-Technology Centers Incorporated and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

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