The Timeline: Rubbish collection
Tuesday 04 January 2011
3000 BC Ancient waste
The first recorded landfills were to be found in Knossos, Crete. Dating back to 3000 BC, they consisted of large pits covered in earth. In Athens, legislation governed the construction of municipal landfills.
1300s Britain cleans up
In 1297, legislation was passed obliging households to keep the front of their house clear from rubbish. The law was largely ignored. By the mid-1300s "rakers" were being employed in London to remove waste.
1800s Industrial revolution
With the Industrial Revolution, Britain's waste problem grew. Increased production prompted increased waste; the practice of raiding other people's rubbish for sellable items becomes popular.
1848 Regulation and removal
The Public Health Act of 1848 began waste regulation, while a second act in 1875 put an end to scavenging. Households were obliged to store their waste in "a movable receptacle". The modern dustbin was born.
In the postwar period, landfills came to be favoured over incineration. The Clean Air Act reduced numbers of household fires; fewer families burn their waste, leading to an increase in the volume of rubbish to be removed.
1970s Recycling and revolt
Friends of the Earth launched its first campaign, returning thousands of bottles to Schweppes to highlight the amount of glass wastage in the UK.
1990s Greener government
In 1996, the Government published Making Waste Work, outlining its waste strategy and committing to the target of 25 per cent of household waste to be recycled by 2000.
2000s: Wheelie wobblies
Wheelie bins are introduced by councils in anticipation of planned pay-as-you-throw schemes. Equipped with microchips and able to weigh the amount of waste users create, they become a source of contention.
2011: Winter of discontent
Over the 2010-2011 Christmas period, a combination of freezing weather, industrial action and public holidays leaves streets piled high with uncollected rubbish.
Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Rare birds return to remote South Georgia island after successful rat eradication programme
The most stunning images of spider webs
Polar bears will die out if global warming is not reversed, US report finds
The Eastern Cougar will be officially listed as extinct — almost 80 years after last sighting
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...