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A Brief History of Household Recycling

A Brief History of Household Recycling is an interactive timeline written by Sarah Goodyear for CityLab. The second part of a four-part series on urban breakthroughs, this resource employs bright colors and engaging design using archival material, photography, text, and graphics to present the history of recycling beginning with the onset of World War II in 1939 and extending to 2015. Intended as a concise overview rather than as an exhaustive report, this timeline highlights especially noteworthy occurrences, such as in 1980 when the city of Woodbury, NJ became the first US city to make recycling mandatory, noting that "People throw trash on [the mayor's] lawn in protest at first, but within three months Woodbury reaches 85 percent compliance." While much of the timeline focuses on American events, countries other than the US are discussed here as well, such as Germany, which adopted "a national ordinance that makes manufacturers responsible for the disposal of their packaging materials after the consumer is done with them" in 1991.
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