The jewish woman who invented recycling.

22. October 2019 | Social | via


Flora Spiegelberg (Credit: Jewish Museum of the American West)

Flora Spiegelberg of 67 Riverside Drive, New York, New York, had a grand idea, said Janna Weissman Joselite in her article on What if garbage cans and carts were covered with a lid rather than left open to the elements and urban refuse was incinerated rather than dumped into the Hudson River or deposited in poor neighborhoods? Determined to see her pre-WWI hometown shine, Spiegelberg buttonholed municipal officials, wrote numerous letters to the editor of The New York Times, and encouraged Thomas Edison to produce and distribute a film titled The Fly: A Menace to Public Health.

Garbage Can Flora,” as she came to be known, also made common cause with civic-minded women’s groups engaged in the business of municipal housekeeping. Sanitation, she believed, was women’s work. “The city clean—sanitary, dustless, odorless and flyless—should be the slogan of women,” Spiegelberg declared in 1912, urging them to join her in agitating for modern forms of waste disposal.