ABSTRACT

As villages become cities, there comes a time when municipal planningreplaces individual waste disposal decisions. So solid waste “dumps” are asold as cities themselves. In the United States, cities began to assume responsibility for waste collection and dumping by the end of the nineteenth century (McBean et al. 1995). The first dumps were little more than open pits, with frequent spontaneous combustion-even intentional fires to reduce volume-and attendant smoke, odors, noise, rats, and seagulls. Typically, until the late 1970s, each city and large town operated its own small landfill, charging a modest “tipping fee” for commercial and industrial users and for the trash of small towns and villages on its periphery.