Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mooke and Fylth

TeaAtTrianon, a history blog, links to an essay at History.com about sanitation in the good old days of the Tudors

The average householder lived on a narrow street crowded with people and animals: horse-drawn carts blocked the way, flocks of geese were herded to market, sheep and cattle were driven to be sold or slaughtered, hens pecked in the yards, dogs and cats scavenged, and then there were the rats, mice and pigeons…
Together, they produced a mountain of “mooke and fylthe”: entrails, bones and scales, fur and feathers, which mingled with rotting vegetation, food scraps, general household rubbish, dust, mud, ashes, the sweepings from workshop floors and “other vyle things”.

they had "scavengers" collect filth early in the morning, and others who cleaned horse/pig/cattle manure from the streets (if you were lucky).

Garbage collecting is something the elites who felt so self righteous protesting the Pipe line in North Dakota seemed to overlook: they worry a theoretical pipeline lead cold contaminate the river, but apparently don't worry about pollution fro human waste, rotting garbage, or deteriorating plastic bags getting washed into the river with the spring thaw.

Local and federal officials estimate there's enough trash and debris in the camp to fill about 2,500 pickup trucks. Garbage ranges from trash to building debris to human waste, according to Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering.

The protests there were an "in" type protest: not just Indian activists but lots of elites and Hollywood types looking for publicity. For these latter, cleaning and disposal of waste is not part of their lifestyle: after all a "dirty job" (to use Mike Rowe's term) done by people they rarely are aware of. I guess they think this job is done by magic garbage elves: they learned to separate stuff to recycle of course but probably don't know the details of what happens next.

History of Plumbing here.

Roman Military logistics, including waste disposal

US Army Field Manual 21-10 Field hygiene and sanitation.

If you live a good comfortable life, thank your local garbage man/sanitation worker.

Here in our town, we had open air ditches to drain waste. Our compound has two septic tanks (one for the house, one for the business are) that we clean out every few years. But the jail next door just drains into the ditch.

During the last mayor's race (when the murderous ex mayor's daughter was running against her family's rival, who they tried to kill), we actually had men make some of the ditches larger and cover them. Of course, in usual Pinoy fashion, all civic improvements which were ignored for years are started a few months before the election.

The Mayora lost, and the new mayor has actually continued the work: The narrow open ditch near the old city hall is now being made larger so it drains (it is full of water thanks to plastic bags etc. discarded there).

The old mayor also put open plastic bins for people to put out garbage. Sometimes the trash men even collected the stuff. We were tipping the local guy to collect our garbage daily, until Kuya said no, he is being paid, and we need to add our side's garbage to the larger stash outside the business entrance. So now, if the garbage overflows, I just pay a taxi driver to dump it in the nearby dump where the streetcleaners dump the garbage. Kuya is trying to get the staff to properly separate the garbage from the trash and make a nice compost heap: the staff does it sometime, but hey, it is extra work, and only done when they are pushed to do it.

UP to a year or two ago, a lot of people also dump in the nearby vacant lots, where the dogs and cats eat what can be eaten and the kids and beggars scavage for stuff to recycle. And if it gets too high, someone would start a fire and burn what was left.

In recent years, this has improved thanks to the garbage collectors usually removing the trash.

Since dogs often are left out at night to do their thing, and feral cats are all over, often the bins are tipped over and make a mess for the locals to clean up in the morning.

Presumably recycling would work, but no one is trained in it, although beggars and kids sometimes do scavenge to recycle for extra cash. With the increase of city workers doing this, however, even the vacant lots are fairly clean, allowing the local sheep and goats to graze without the worry they will die from eating the wrong thing.

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