Ferro e estanho em Mumford (1938)

Non-edible waste was doubtless harder to dispose of: ashes, tannery offal, the scourings of wool: but certainly there was less of it than in the modern city: tins, iron, broken glass and paper did not form such gigantic heaps. Here again, a few overgrown centers doubtless polluted their streams even in the Middle Ages; but big towns like Paris and London were quite exceptional places; and in the run of medieval towns the damage was insignificant. In the main, the waste materials were organic ones, which decomposed and mingled with the earth; and in these flimsy nests of buildings, particularly in the earlier centuries, there would be outbreaks of fire, famous in the annals of almost every town, which subjected whole streets and quarters to the most powerful of germicidal agents. It was the plating of the medieval town in imperishable materials and the heaping up of the living in smaller quarters, with more meager open spaces, that created the filthy conditions that met the eye in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The worst conditions prevailed when the city had lost its natural rural base, and had not yet created an adequate mechanical substitute. (Mumford 1938:46)

MUMFORD, Lewis. 1938. The Culture of Cities. San Diego: Harvest/HBJ.