[Footnote: From selected papers of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, by Charles Slagg, Assoc. Memb. Inst. C.E.]

In large towns it is necessary to adopt some regular system of removal and disposal of the cinders and ashes of house fires, and of the animal and vegetable refuse of the houses, and, in short, of everything thrown away which cannot be admitted into the sewers. In towns where the excreta are separated by means of water closets, the disposal of the other refuse presents less difficulty, but still a considerable one, because the animal and vegetable refuse is not kept separate from the cinders and ashes, all being thrown together into the ash pit or dust bin. The contents, therefore, cannot be deposited upon ground which may afterward be built upon, although that custom obtained generally in former times. Hence the refuse has been removed to a depot where that wretched industry is created of picking out the other parts from the cinders and ashes.

The Burning Of Town Refuse At Leeds 362 7a



Section through feeding-holes of cells.

Section through air-passages of cells.

But in towns unprovided with water closets, or so far as they are not adopted in any town, where the privies are connected with the ash pits, and where, consequently, the excreta of the population are added to the other contents of ash pits, the difficulties of removal and disposal of the refuse are much increased.

Where the privy-ashpit system is in use--as it still is to a large extent--as much of the contents of the ash pits as can be sold at any price, however small, are collected separately from the drier portions, and sent out of town as manure; but what remains is still too offensive to be deposited on ground near the town; and when it is attempted to collect the excreta separately by the pail system, the process is no less unsatisfactory. These difficulties led to the adoption, under the advice of the late Mr. A.W. Morant, M. Inst. C.E., the Borough Engineer at Leeds, of Fryer's method of destruction by burning--that is, of the dry ashes and cinders and the animal and vegetable refuse. The author was Mr. Morant's assistant. The first kiln was constructed at Burmantofts, 1½ miles from the center of the town in a northeasterly direction, and has been in use since the beginning of the year 1878. In 1879 another kiln was constructed at Armley Road, a mile from the center of the town in a west-southwesterly direction, which has been in use since the beginning of 1880.

Each destructor kiln has six cells, three in each face of a block of brick work 22 feet long, 24 feet through from face to face, and 12 feet high. Each cell is 8 feet long and 5 feet wide, arched over, the height being 3 feet 4 inches, and both the bottom and arch of the cell slope down to the furnace doors with an inclination of 1 in 3. The lower end of each cell has about 26 square feet of wrought-iron firebars, the hearth being 4½ feet above the ground.

The Burning Of Town Refuse At Leeds 362 7b


Section through furnaces.

Longitudinal section.

Cross section.

There are two floors, one on the ground level, a few feet only above the outlet for drainage, the other floor, or raised platform, being 15 feet above it. The refuse is taken in carts up an incline of 1 in 14 on cast-iron tram plates to the upper floor, and deposited upon and alongside of the destructor, and is shoveled into a row of hoppers at the head of the cells. These hoppers are in the middle of the width of the destructor, and each communicates with a cell on each side of it. The refuse is always damp, and often wet, and after being put into the cells is gradually dried by the heat reflected upon it from the firebrick arch of the cell, before it descends to the furnace. This distinguishes the system from the common furnace, and enables the wet material to be burned without other fuel. No fresh fuel is used after the fires are once lighted. The vapor passes off with the gases of combustion into a horizontal flue between the two rows of cells, through an opening at the head of each cell, alongside that through which the refuse is fed into it, the two openings being separated by a firebrick wall.

The refuse is prevented from falling into the flue by a bridge wall across the outlet opening, over which the gases pass into the flue.

Between the destructor and the chimney a multitubular boiler is placed, which makes steam enough for grinding into sand the clinkers which are the solid residue of the burnt refuse. At Burmantofts an old chimney was made use of, which is but 84 feet high; but at Armley Road a new chimney was built, 6 feet square inside and 120 feet high. It is necessary to make the horizontal flue large; that at Armley Road is 9 feet high and 4 feet wide. A large quantity of dust escapes from the cells--about 7 cwt. a month--and unless the velocity of the air in the flue between the destructor and the chimney were checked, the dust would be carried up the chimney and might cause complaints; as, indeed, it has done with the 120-foot chimney, but whether with any substantial grounds is uncertain. The dust is removed from the horizontal flue or dust chamber once a month. Experience seems to indicate that there should be some sort of guard or grating to prevent the entry into the chimney of charred paper and similar light substances which do not fall to dust, and which are sometimes carried up with the draught.

A six-celled destructor kiln burns about 42 tons of refuse in twenty-four hours, leaving about one-fourth of its bulk of clinkers and ashes. The clinkers are withdrawn from the furnaces five times each day and night, or about every two-and-a-half hours, into iron barrows, and wheeled outside the shed which covers the destructor, and when cold are wheeled back to the mortar mills, of which there are two at each depot, each having a revolving pan 8 feet in diameter, with 27-cwt. rollers, the pan making twenty two revolutions a minute. Forty shovelfuls of clinkers and twelve of slaked lime make 7 cwt. of mortar in thirty-five minutes in each pan, which is sold at 5s. 6d. per ton. The engine driving the two mortar mills has a 14 inch cylinder, 30 inches length of stroke, and makes sixty revolutions per minute with 45 pounds steam pressure per square inch in the boiler, when both mortar mills are running. The boiler is 11 feet long, 8 feet in diameter, and has 132 tubes 4 inches in external diameter, which, together with the external flues, are cleaned out once a month.