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London’s History Of Waste Management

And what we do Today!

London's History of Waste Managerment

The Great Stink

Corbyn Morris first proposed the concept of waste Management in London in 1751 who was particularly concerned about people’s health and suggested that there should be one uniform public management system. He argued that London’s waste should be diverted away and into the River Thames to ensure a more clean and sanitised city. Unaware that by 1858, during a spell of hot weather, the pungent smell of the untreated human waste in London would create the Great Stink. It was a repellent smell of human feces that plagued London and back then they didn’t have Febreeze!

The Dust Yard System

London's History of Waste Managerment

During the era of Jack the Ripper in the 18th century the government took drastic measures and had organised both an informal recycling collection system and an organised residual waste management system which was driven by the value of household waste rather than legislation. During this time, large proportions of London ’s waste were primarily dominated by coal ash from domestic fires partly due to the industrial revolution, and migration to cities. During this time this residue was in demand for both brick making and soil conditioning due to London rapidly expanding. With such anticipation, this meant that waste collectors were very efficient. The dust yard system became one of the earliest organised examples of waste management in London. However, not long after private contractors were hired to both collect dust and to sweep the streets of London.

The First Dustbin

London's History of waste managerment
Horse and Cart to carry your waste

Throughout the 19th century, there were a series of epidemics which were escalated by bad sanitation thus in 1846 “The Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Acts” gave life to the process of modern waste regulation. In hindsight, it was a lifesaver! Soon after however, came the “Public Health Act 1875” which made it compulsory for every household to deposit their weekly waste in ‘movable receptacles’ for disposal and thus creating the first concept of a dustbin.

You Can Make A Difference Today!

House Rubbish Clearance
We still have problems

As you can tell, we have come along way since the creation of the dustbin. We now have proper means of waste disposal and management for your house rubbish thanks to the likes of London’s professional rubbish removal services, like Speedy Clearances.

London now generates huge amounts of waste due to an increasing population. The main destinations for your waste are recycling, incineration to create fuel to power electricity or to heat your home, and landfill. Waste is an inevitable by-product of society, and regardless of how advanced our city has become, we cannot avoid creating waste products because of lifestyle and consumer choices in the 21st century.

Using a reputable company such as Speedy Clearances who hold an environmental waste licence which complies with “The Environmental Protection Act 1990”, allows you to be one of the incredible people who has shaped one of London’s waste management systems. By disposing of your rubbish or household goods properly, you, like Corbyn Morris, are setting better standards for London.

Help create a London that doesn’t stink and be part of a long history of waste management. If you want to make a difference and need help disposing of white-goods, bulky household or business waste then call Speedy Clearances today on 0208 506 0026 / 07553 445 852 or email them at

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