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April 30, 1910

THE SANITARY SIDE OF THE GARBAGE QUESTION

JAMA. 1910;LIV(18):1447-1448. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550440027005

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Abstract

In an American city of five hundred thousand population the refuse amounts to about three hundred thousand tons per year. This includes the garbage proper, or swill, ashes and miscellaneous rubbish.

From a sanitary point of view the proper disposal of a city's waste has a bearing on disease that cannot be waved aside lightly. The garbage, a fermenting and decomposing mass with a sour, noisome odor, is offensive enough to demand prompt and careful removal; and even though it does not directly "breed" disease, it does furnish a breeding-place for flies and food for rats and other disease-transmitting vermin. Boards of health, therefore, are entirely justified in demanding stricter regulations concerning the handling and collection of this material.

The care of the garbage in the household and its collection are even more important for sanitation than is its final disposal. Boards of health should require householders to keep kitchen

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