Although Athens, in 500 BC, was the first city to control garbage, Europeans heaved garbage out their windows until the 1300’s. They also threw the contents of their pee pots out the window, simply shouting “garde a l’eau!” (“Watch out for the water!”). It is from this we get “loo” and, eventually, toilets. Plagues in the 14th century put an end to this odd behavior, encouraging tidier living.
But the Industrial Revolution brought factory and transport waste. Horses, the way to get around in those days, each produced 22 pounds (10 kg) of manure and several gallons (litres) of urine a day. And the problem with horses is that they do their thing on the trot. That meant a few tons of horse manure dumped on the streets every month. Not only did it get stuck in shoes but the ladies’ dresses would drag in it at least until rows of street cleaners cleared the mess, albeit very temporarily. Some horses were fitted with a canvas bag behind their rear end to catch the droppings. Needless to say, flies were the problem of the day.
The burying of waste was introduced only in the 1920s. The emphasis changed to recycling in the 1980s and today about 25% of waste and up to 50% of aluminum cans and paper is recycled. But horse manure is still a problem with the Amish and other communities who depend on horses for transport.
Garbage generally is the word for waste from the kitchen while rubbish or trash is other household waste or anything that is disposed of. Junk is the remains of stuff that has been broken up or destroyed.
You can find recycling tips and recycle centers near you easily through Earth911.