Visualizing Sociology in Everyday Life

17. Do you ever interact with the people who collect your household trash?

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photo: Lisa Southwick
photo: Lisa Southwick
Do you ever interact with the people who collect your household trash?
photo: Chris Caldeira
Do you ever interact with the people who collect your household trash?
photo: Lisa Southwick
Do you ever interact with the people who collect your household trash?
photo: Chris Caldeira

In Vietnam, sanitation workers manually push carts through the streets, ringing bells as they go. Residents rush out of their homes to empty household trash into the carts. By contrast, in the United States sanitation workers drive trucks directly to each residence emptying large cans of trash with the help of mechanized lifting devices and no help from residents. The differences in the way trash is collected highlights more than a technological advantage. What does it say about a society when people interact with sanitation workers and participate in the trash collection process?

 

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