REFUSE AND GARBAGE DISPOSAL-A GE by fjzhangweiqun

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									   REFUSE AND GARBAGE DISPOSAL-A GENERAL
                  SURVEY.
                               LouiJs L. TRIBus,
                     Consulting Engineer. ANew York City.
                FOREWORD.                   troy disease and nuisance producing
 SMALL municipalities are wont              elements.
        to consider the collection and         (d) disposal of resultant products
        disposal of household, street       in healthful manner.
and nuisance producing light manu-                 FINANCIAL AND OPERATIVE.
facturing wastes, as an evil to be en-
dured, and with a "hold your nose"             (e) ownership of receptacles.
attitude-gather the material in a more         (f) municipal or private collection.
or less desultory and unsanitary man-          (g) lengths of hauling routes.
ner and get rid of it in some way or           (h) treatment plants.
other, without regard to efficiency or         (i) management.
economy.                                       Many of these factors bear upon
   Large communities usually have           each other in such fashion that choice
more attractive or more popular pro-        of some particular method may cause
jects that take public attention, so        change in others. It is just because
act towards this essential municipal        of such effects, that the subject for
function, with rather less considera-       any given place, must be studied with
tion than even that given elsewhere.        unbiased mind after securing compre-
   When the quantities are large            hensive knowledge of conditions.
enough, longer visioned corporations          The agent of a special furnace or
are permitted to reap a harvest from        process, or some particular kind of
the money making part of the prob-          collection device can not dissociate
lem, while the city burdens itself with     himself sufficiently from it, to give
abnormal and too often unnoticed            the most intelligent study to and
expense for collection and delivery.        trustworthy advice upon the main
   There is but one real side to the        question.
subject, i. e.-good business, though           Consequently, those must be looked
the one usually overlooked. It may          to for opinion, who to good judgment
be divided into two main characteris-       and common sense, have added care-
tics; viz., Sanitary and Financial;         ful investigation and actual practice.
with further sub-divisions as the prob-        The physician-"health officer"
lems are studied.                           will recognize the evils due to unsani-
                                            tary methods and the advantages ac-
               SANITARY.                    cruing from a well solved problem;
   (a) nature and care of receptacles.      the city engineer accustomed to a nice
   (b) frequency and method of col-         balance of cut and fill in his street
lection.                                    grades and economical disposition of
   (c) treatment of collections to des-     materials for strength and permanence
                                          307
1808           The American Journal of Public Health
in his plans, with an eye even to the ing to fit themselves for decision and
esthetic and artistic, does not usually action.
have the actual experience necessary          It is impossible however, for offi-
to wise decision in waste disposal cials, having other regular duties of
cases.                                     importance, to give such time and at-
   The city manager, with his charts tention as shall enable the preparation
and diagrams, and arrangement of of the basic plan in so intelligent a
working forces, and willingness to take manner as to produce final results of
expert advice on technical matters is efficiency and economy.
rather closer to the heart of the subject,    Frequently appears the item that
for, if worthy of his position, he is con- Jonestown, Smithlake, Brownsbury or
stantly studying to maintain a right some other well known place, has
balance between the different parts of entered into contract for a garbage
his work, scientific, practical and incinerator, or a reduction plant, with
financial.                                 glory to the officials in charge and
   It may safely be stated that neither profit to the sales agent, but in the
in the United States or abroad have unfortunate ignorance of the tax-
the problems been solved completely in payers, with continuing annual waste
all their features in any one given city. of their money.
   Some have reached economy, con-            Not necessarily waste, so far as the
venience and sanitary success in one plant's operations go, but waste due
or more characteristics, but have to a lack of harmony between collec-
failed in others. At first thought one tion and disposal.
might say, why not take the different         A few are studying the combined
features that have been successful in problems and may give good account
various places and combine them into in results, but until the public is edu-
a complete success for some particular cated up to its own interests, so long
city.                                      will failures continue to develop,though
   That is just what numberless cities they are not often made public by the
have atvtempted to do, following the unfortunate community, which fre-
reports of various officials upon their quently is ignorant even of the actual
junketing trips of investigation and fact of failure.
the accumulation of reports, sugges-
tions, plans, proposals, etc., from all                    SANITARY.
kinds of sources.                          (a) Nature and care of receptacles.
   Then the ruling bodies, by that time       Decrepit coal scuttles, wooden soap
well saturated with information (bio- boxes, battered and leaky wash boilers,
logical and financial hash), decide on newspapers, galvanized iron pails,
a scheme, and one more economic cans with or without covers, and
crime is launched.                         waterproofed tough paper bags, all
   Often sincere are the men who thus are found in service.
act, and none should decry their              The generally accepted receptacle
gathering of information and attempt- for garbage is the heavy galvanized
                       Refuse and Garbage Disposal                              1309
pail with close fitting cover, but in        cities steel bodied water tight dump
some few places, the paper bag is            carts, with or without tarpaulin covers,
added as the lining or actual container.     to presumably hide the unpleasant con-
   If used with care it is an excellent      tents and as some fondly hope, to
one, but its field is practically limited    prevent the escape of odors and dust.
to garbage, for hot ashes would create          Two-horse four-wheeled bottom
trouble and their roughness and weight       dump wagons have been tried some-
would exceed the strength capacity of        what, where the length of haul is
the paper.                                   considerable, and a few experiments
   Galvanized iron cans holding about        have been made with motor trucks to
100 pounds are standard for ashes,           be loaded with the cans or boxes.
while general rubbish receptacles can           In at least one well known Ameri-
not be standardized.                         can city two-horse collecting wagons
   Too little attention is paid by many      are in service, provided with removable
householders to the cleanliness of the       steel bodies, which at an unloading
receptacles, and to their being kept         station are removed and stacked on
tightly covered. They should be fre-         railroad flat cars, for transporting
quently washed and scoured so that           several miles to the treatment works.
no putrifying old matter can remain          In some of our other large cities carts
to inoculate the new, and in warm            collect the garbage and dump it at
weather be sterilized with strong disin-     central stations, into steel hopper cars,
fectants. Any less care will insure          hauled daily to the works, or upon
the breeding of flies with all their         barges for water disposal or distant
nuisance and danger to health, as well       place treatment.
as the development of offensive odors.          None can say that either of these
(b) Frequency and method of collection.      methods is the best; local conditions
                                             and attending circumstances can alone
   Daily, i. e., six times a week is wise,   determine, but in general, the shorter
if population is congested, and is essen-    the haul between the house or shop
tial to decency, if hog feeding with         and the place of treatment, with the
the garbage follows; many places col-        least intermediate handling, the greater
lect but three times, and a few only         will be the efficiency in operation and
once weekly.                                 the lower will be the cost.
   If mixed materials are gathered, the
longer intervals may pass, from a sani-      (c) Treatment of collections, to destroy
tary viewpoint, so that quantity then             disease and nuisance producing
determines frequency, because ashes               elements:
and paper etc., absorb much of the              From time immemorial, household
moisture from the garbage to some            and municipal wastes have found final
extent therefore deferring putrefaction.     deposit in vacant lots and low lying
   The one-horse farm box wagon can          ground, where exposed to sun and
be often found doing service and the         rain, partially burned, or covered with
one-horse contractors' wooden dump           ashes or earth and sometimes sprinkled
cart, but more usually in the larger         with disinfectants they have gradually
1310           The American Journal of Public Health
found their way back to their original     earth, chemical and fire; each with its
elements creating nuisance or not in       own peculiarities, limitations and pos-
the process, as lack of care made          sible secondary problems.
possible or esthetic taste decided.
   On a farm, hogs consume the vege-       (d) Di8posal of resultant products in
table and animal household wastes,                     healthful manner.
usually in .a fresh condition, hence a        From a reduction plant the waste
perfectly unobjectionable process. In      liquors can safely pass in the sewer,
a small town with sufficiently frequent    without nuisance en route or involving
collection, the same method is followed    large difficulty in operating sewage
without particular detriment, though       disposal works. The grease is ex-
some of the material could scarcely        tracted, barreled and transported as
be thought to be in very choice condi-     an inoffensive manufactured commod-
tion; even for hog food.                   ity; animal hides are salted or crudely
   For large places, though actually       tanned and baled for ready handling;
in vogue in several, the practice is       tankage is dry, fairly odorless, can be
condemned by the most progressive          packed in bags and usually be re-
sanitarians.                               moved in car load lots.
   The nature of a population has also        As a general rule such plants are
much to do with the suitability of         located near a railroad.
method. With rigid and careful sepa-          From incineration works, nothing
ration of garbage, ashes and dry refuse,   of offensive nature exists as a product;
where quantities are large in the ag-      power is developed for local use and the
gregate, it may be wise to treat the       slag, bricks, blocks etc., are transported
garbage for recovery of its grease,        as are other building materials, without
ammonia and tankage. The ashes             offence.
can usually be used for filling, or even
                                                          FINANCIAL.
be separated to recover their fair
residue of good coal; while the other        No municipal operation can be
materials can be assorted for sale and     considered, no matter how important
                                           even from public health standpoint
the worthless remainders be burned.
Corrosive disinfectants, like quick        without weighing its financial factors.
lime, are occasionally used as a tem-      Here is where so many places com-
                                           pletely fail, because most attention is
porary treatment, but practically
                                           given to that which seems to chiefly
never outside of the tropics and mili-
                                           interest the public at the time; senti-
tary camps as a general means for          mental objection too often outweigh-
destruction.                               ing good business sense.
   Treatment by fire is very effective,
absolutely sanitary, and successful             (e) Ownership of receptacles.
if conducted intelligently.                  Almost universally, receptacles are
   Briefly summarized therefore final      the private property of the house-
disposition can be classed as animal,      holder, being carried full to the collect-
                      Refuse and Garbage Disposal                          1311
ing cart and returned empty and foul,    article similarly to that of gathering
to  again be filled.                     the raw materials.
   In view of the unsanitary condition      If general private collection be in
-that usually so wholly prevails, due    vogue, this last problem is of but small
to neglect in caring for the emptied     import, but if full municipal operation
 receptacles, the plan has been tried,   is in effect, particularly in a large
though not on large scale, of removing   city, the item becomes of importance.
the refuse in its receptacle and leaving    The public removal of wastes has
 a clean sterilized can in its place.    grown up from the sanitary side, to
 Naturally this tends to municipal       free the householder and the small
ownership of the can, and as a matter    tradesman from the nuisance and ex-
-of full community economy, such is      pense of removing small quantities
wise, for, bought in large quantity,     of putrescible matters and those having
the lowest prices can be secured, and    no further household or store use; into
.under the right kind of supervision,    one having universal community im-
better care would be accorded by the     portance. It has been further adopted
collectors, than they usually give to    as a means of greater net civic economy
privately owned receptacles. In the      as well as of health.
 long run therefore this means lower        With the very rapid growth of the
net cost to the taxpayer.                large apartment houses and hotels
   With municipal ownership there        and development of the department
 should go municipal cleansing.          stores, the questions may well be
                                         raised; are not the wastes technically
  (f) Municipal or private coUection. of "trade" nature, and therefore should
   Unsightliness and uncleanliness have they not be removed at private ex-
universally gone hand in hand with pense.
private collection. If the contracts        Some cities solve the problem by
be made with the individual property limiting the quantity for daily re-
owner, extortion and petty graft ac- moval from any one place, more nearly
company them; if made with the com- equalizing the expense therefor, but
munity, on basis of doing the work for some injustice is inevitable.
the least sum per year, inattention         Probably the only measure of strict
and skimping the service follow, with justice would be to require payment
more petty graft; if on basis of yardage of small fixed sums for each can or bar-
or tonnage hauled and delivered, rel or cartload of refuse removed,
every incentive to pad the figures, and using a ticket system to prevent
to take material not properly col- crookedness of collectors; this is in
lectible:                                effect in a few places.
   It is a moot question just what          With municipal management the
wastes should be publicly removed, collecting cart, wagon or truck can be
and what should be considered "trade" more readily standardized and greater
with the cost of removal, included as a cleanliness be controlled. Greater imi-
factor in the value of the manufactured tial expense may prevail, though tak-
181912         The American Journal of Public Health
iug all factors into consideration, the        There are seasonal variations, not
community will be better off in the         only as to quantity of garbage, ashes
long run and certainly is likely to be      and rubbish, but as to their qualities
better served and satisfied.                as well. All these factors have bear-
      (g) Lengths of hauling routes.        ing on suitable method of treatment
   This is a subject solely of local        and of course the net, cost of operation.
import; no direct comparison between           There are two practices in plant
different places can be made to ad-         development which depend largely
vantage, unless their topographical,        on contract conditions. If the mu-
geographical and development condi-         nicipality is to handle its own wastes
tions are identical, which of course is     there is little excuse for the niggardly,
rarely the case.                            which usually means ultimate waste-
   The ideal is to have the collecting      fulness. If a private corporation is
routes start at the higher levels, and      concerned the time of contract be-
                                            comes a controlling factor. With a
proceed downhill to the treatment or        short term of years, say five to ten
disposal centres, with the minimum          with uncertainty as to renewal it
traction distance for the filled vehicles   would not pay to erect permanent.
after leaving the last collection point.    structures, or go to refinements in
The nature of occupancy of the dis-         machinery with the possibility of
trict will determine the quantity of        scrapping the whole, or selling out at
material, therefore the length of haul      a figure so low as to be an almost
for each vehicle during loading. Other      negligible return.
conditions will somewhat determine             For this reason discredit has been
the place of treatment or disposal,         cast on so many existing systems, and
therefore the total lengths of haul.        the idea prevails that such conditions
These conditions fix the daily service      must necessarily be unchangeable.
of each vehicle, consequently the cost         Three main types of plant have been:
of collection; obviously therefore, if      popular or rather have been enilured.
the places of treatment can be at the          The earlier form, burning the gar-
centres of the producing districts,
so arranged that there is the minimum       bage and refuse at temperatures under
of dead traction, there will follow the     900 degrees, with almost inevitable
maximum collecting efficiency and the       escape of noxious gases, smoke and
minimum of collection cost.                 dust. The next, cooking the garbage
                                            and extracting its elements of value,
          (h) Treatment plants.             usually though not necessarily creat-
   Each city presents its own charac-       ing local nuisance, and the third, in-
teristics, dependent on geographical        cineration at high temperature (1,40&
location, as to latitude; on topo-          to 2,000 degrees Fahr.).
graphical position, seashore, river            The first mentioned is scarcely con-
front or inland; and on type of occu-       sidered any longer as a method worthy
pancy, residential, business or manu-       of adoption.
facturing.                                    Under the second it is quite possible
                      Refuse and Garbage Disposal                             1sis
to take  raw garbage even in a more or      place is not entirely out of question.
less putrid condition and treat it with     The value of the daily wastes to an
live steam in closely sealed receptacles    individual household is slight; the
and pass the by-products and residues       combined collections, aggregate such
through stage after stage in practically    quantities of many different classes
closed processes, with induced draft        as to be well worthy of recovery and
ventilation and fire consumption of         treatment to insure first, sanitary
gases, so that even within the build-       safety, and second, sale for remanu-
ings themselves there will be little        facture.
offense, and outside, practically none         If the municipality handles the
at all from the process itself. Unfor-      case itself in the most economical
tunately however most plants are not        manner, all factors considered, there
conducted along such lines.                 should be a sales or utilization value
   The third and more recent form is        in by-products from both reduction
the high temperature incinerator where      and high temperature plants to pay
all classes of collections are burned,      for running them and yield some sur-
without the use of extra fuel and if        plus towards the costs of collection.,
properly designed and suitably oper-           Obviously collection must represent
ated, without causing local nuisance        expense; interest on capital invested,
of odor, smoke or dust. Such a plant        depreciation, wear, and labor.
will secure from the fuel value in the         Grease and tankage have market
ashes and the rubbish, heat sufficient      values of but slight fluctuation; at
to operate itself and leave a consider-     lowest, they should be more than
able surplus for other purposes. This       enough to meet expenses of well regu-
has been used to operate sewage and         lated works and help towards those of
water pumping stations, to furnish          haul.
electric lights and several kinds of           In incineration plants, steam be-
small manufacturing.                        comes an available by-product which
   One of its most valuable properties      can be converted into electricity or be
is the feasibility of erection within       used direct for power to pump water
the district of collection, practically     or sewage as well as run the works
eliminating excessive haul.                 themselves; the slag, in crude shape
   The reduction method has hereto-         makes an excellent light filling for
fore appealed most to private capital,      swampy lands, or if ground into vari-
for a very complete sale of by-products     ous sizes, can be used in lieu of stone,
could usually be effected, but as           gravel, or ashes in concrete for founda-
municipalities take over the care of        tion or mass-wall work; if ground quite
more of their own utilities, the diffi-     fine, with addition of cement it makes
culty of making sales to advantage,         a fair brick or block for walls not ex-
with the possibility of local utilization   posed to the weather or to abrasion.
of incinerator results, is tending to          Of course having passed through
cause quite extensive consideration         temperatures of 1,400 to 2,000 degrees
of that method.                             Fahr. all noxious matters are com-
   Using several systems in the same        pletely destroyed.
1B14             The American Journal of Public Health
   If proper credit be given to the               The reduction of garbage, so as to
value of these products, quite a respec-       produce grease and fertilizer base as
table margin above expense will be             the chief elements, offers to corpora-
shown, and a fair balance towards the          tions the most likely field for operation,.
cost of collection, as in the case of          so that this has probably accounted in
reduction works. Let no one imagine,           large measure, for the existence of so
however, that the combined work of             many reduction plants in the larger
collection and disposal will yield a net       cities.
profit to the community in any present            In the past there has been oppor-
day system.                                    tunity in most places for the ready
   In reduction works where the proc-          deposition of ashes and the burning
esses have been carried out in the best        of light rubbish without creating any
manner, the dry and ground garbage             large degree of annoyance. Again
tankage from which the grease has              there is in the collections, much material
been extracted makes a fair basic ma-          of real value which will warrant the
terial for land fertilizers, but needs first   sale of picking privileges. The munic-
the addition of other ingredients. The         ipality itself will not often bother with
different agricultural companies will          details, but is usually perfectly willing
however buy it at prices making it             to unload the responsibility upon a
worth treatment. The grease chiefly            contracting firm and allow it to make
goes to soap companies who are con-            what profit there is, and give the sem-
stantly looking for new sources of             blance of thoughtfulness for the tax-
supply.                                        payers by selling the privileges to the
   Incineration plants do not have             highest bidder, with rarely any re-
quite so wide a field for sale of by-          turn of equivalent value.
products, but if they are utilized                Unfortunately the output of power
direct, or worked up for other mu-             in incineration plants is not usually
nicipal department uses the net return         constant, so that unless used to sup-
is quite material.                             plement other municipal needs, it
             (i) Management.                   can not be sold on terms sufficient to
   A lack of understanding upon the            make it a paying enterprise, conse-
part of city officials in general has led      quently private corporations are averse
to such a condition of affairs that they       to adopting the method.
have hesitated to undertake complete              The foregoing review of refuse han-
municipal management, fearing the              dling is suggestive rather than ex-
criticism following nuisance in opera-         haustive, even as to number of topics
tion; also perhaps for less worthy             considered. Full articles could with
motives, yielding to the importunities         profit be presented on each of the
of those willing to face the contumely,        factors. For general discussion the
provided they could secure the un-             main points of sanitary efficiency,
doubted profits in running a disposal          financial economy and taxpayers' con-
plant, while the community stood the           venience may be emphasized, while
expensive features of collecting and           the many technical matters may be
delivering the materials for treatment.        left to each place to study for itself.

								
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