Charles Fraser and Garbage 1949

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Charles  Fraser and Garbage 1949

A strange situation has arisen in connection with the garbage system which was inaugurated towards the end of last August. When the cans were being distributed each householder or businessman was supposed to get one only. But by some mistake a number of individuals got several which works out very badly for the financial setup of the new service.

Each of the garbage cans cost three dollars and this means if one householder, say, has three of them there goes a nine dollar investment on the part of the town. At the rates of collecting (10 cts a week—$5.20 a year) it will take the corporation almost two years even to get its money back for the three cans.

While the system has been in operation only a few months there have not been too many complaints. Some people of course ask too much of the collectors. It is said that very few people refused of the service and these will be charged for it whether they make use of it or not. At the present time Mr. R. France, town clerk, is making out the first instalment of the 800 bills that will go out to the householders, denizens of apartm ents and occupants of business premises.

These bills are sent out quarterly and are payable at the local branch of the Royal Bank of Canada. It is expected when the new Council gets in the saddle a complete report on the operation o f the garbage collection system during the first quarter will be forthcoming. It is understood there abuses that will have to be forced out and rates to be adjusted. The question of whether Charles Fraser is getting enough for his work is one that is often discussed. But as pointed out by this year’s council he was given the contract at his own figure, though he may have found out since that he tendered a trifle low. Nearly everyone gave the outgoing council credit for instituting the garbage collection system. It filled a long felt want and was a sanitary measure often urged by the Board of Health.

In the past, trash did not disappear; rather, it was everywhere. … Until then, Americans threw their trash wherever was most convenient. Broken dishes were tossed out the nearest door or window, while bones and other kitchen refuse were discarded in the yard where pigs, dogs, rodents, and other animals picked them over.

In the 1800s, the preferred method was horse-drawn carts, whose contents also carried human waste in the pre-sewer “night soil” days. Read-What Was a Honey Wagon?- The Job of a Night Soil Scavenger But by the 20th century they were replaced by pick-up style trucks which would fill their beds with trash and take it to the dump. While a simple and effective method, it posed a number of problems, including the smell of exposed waste, trash flying out of the back while they drove, and workers having to lift heavy loads into the too-high bed of the truck. In the mid-1930s the invention of the dumpster once again evolved the face of waste removal trucks. Invented by George Dempster (yep, that’s why they’re called “dumpsters”), the Dempster-Dumpster system used large bins that garbage men would fill with trash, and that would then be loaded into body using machinery on the trucks.

What Was a Honey Wagon?- The Job of a Night Soil Scavenger

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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