Refuse Removal Gets a Lift

Garbage trucks rolled onto US streets in 1918, giving cities a new weapon to combat the waste dumped into sewers and waterways and piled in the streets, posing health threats. In 1938, the first garbage truck featuring a hydraulic compactor was patented. That increased the amount of trash they could haul away to landfills.

But landfills pose their own health drawbacks: leaky liners, methane gas from decaying organic waste and limited space for ever more garbage.

Check GHN every Wednesday for an up-close look at one of the objects that made the list of 100 Objects That Shaped Public Health published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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