Date in History: 1830s on

TWhat did the citizens of Fort Atkinson do with their garbage before garbage trucks and recycle plants? Early settlers did not have the amount of material goods (and hence garbage) that we now have so they often simply buried it in the backyard and fed kitchen scraps to the family’s livestock.

The Rock River was a popular dumping site for citizens up until the construction of the river wall. According to early citizens, when the City Dump was established, Saturday nights there were great social events. While people dumped their trash others scoured the piles for “one man’s treasure.” It was a unique opportunity to visit with friends.

In 1936 city wide pick up was established. Unlike today, the garbage collector would retrieve the can at the house then return it after emptying the garbage.

his historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 09/25/2006.