garbage vs. trash

Mark Odegard markodegard at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 22 17:36:47 UTC 2001

>Garbage and garbage can, for me. Trash has no food waste component,trash
>pile = junk pile. Trash is, or was, usually burnable, often in a small
>stove called "a trash burner".

Yes. Another way of saying it is that garbage is the wet smelly stuff.

The distinction may indeed date from when people burned their trash, in the
little kitchen trash burner, or in the barrel out in the back yard. I'm old
enough to just remember when such kitchen units were still sold; in fact,
you could buy one built into your kitchen range. Air pollution legislation
ended these.

We might mention 'rubbish'. This suggests the stuff left over from a
construction site. It's outdoor trash, and much of it would seem to be

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