This editorial pertains mainly to current waste collection situations in urban metropolitan areas of North America. It should be noted that these technologies have evolved over many decades; for example, horse-drawn carts were used to collect waste in many cities, and open dumps were common in the USA, as recently as the early 20th century. While waste storage and collection practices are more basic in most developing countries today, advanced technological solutions most likely will become practical and affordable much sooner in developing countries than they were in North America.
For those attending WASTECON & ISWA in Baltimore in 2017, there will be a curated technical session addressing these and other trends on solid waste collection technologies.
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Author: Marc Rogoff, SCS Engineers edited by Dave Ross, SCS Engineers (retired).