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6th October 1925, Page 11
6th October 1925
Page 11
Page 12
Page 11, 6th October 1925 — DISPOSING OF A TYNESIDE TOWN'S REFUSE.
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How the Use of Motor Vehicles Has Enabled the Authorities to Secure a Useful Income From the Refuse Collected. Details of the Activities of the Fleet of Petrol and Steam Units.

DRACTICALLY all municipal authorities now employ motor vehicles for the collection and disposal of house and shop refuse and, in many instances, for other tasks coming under the heading of city or town cleansing. There is general agreement amongst these bodies that, from the health standpoint, such vehicles are of extreme value, by reason of the more speedy and hygienic service which they make possible. it is further agreed by municipal engineers that motors have the added advantage of being much more economical than horses in most branches of municipal service for all but very short leads, and that, thereby,. they are performing another service to the general public by keeping down the rates.

There are, however, few instances on record: where mechanically propelled vehicles are • not merely reducing the burden of taxation incurred by this disposal of refuse, hut are actually playing a leading part in turning it into an asset. This is the case at Gateshead, however, where the corporation has so perfected its town cleansing system that it is now able to deliver regularly .each month upwards of 1,000 tons of manure which is manufactured from the refuse of the borough, and in this way relieve the ratepayers of much of , the cost of this service.

This authority was one of the first in the North of England to recognize the possibilities of pulverizing plant, and in a conversation recently with a representative of The Commercial Motor, Mr. Chas. .Eoden, M.I.C.S., the corporation cleansing snperintendent, outlined the manner in which the large motor fleet under his charge successfully co-operates with the pulverizing plant in securing the conversion and disposal of the town's refuse in a paying Manner.

The pulverizing plant was installed about five years ago, and it was at about the same time that the corporation first gave serious consideration to the substitution of horses by motors, Up to 1920 the cleansing department did not possess a single mechanically propelled vehicle, but the necessity for replacing animals commandeered in the war years, as well as other horses which were rapidly Deming the end of their working days, brought the whole transport question into the limelight, and the authority was faced with the alternative of purchasing additional horses or adopting mechanical power.

In view of the rapid development of the town and the vastly increased calls made upon the cleansing department, it was ultimately decided, after a number of exhaustive tests, that motors would most efficiently meet the situation, and prompt measures were taken to effect the change over. The outcome was the purchase of a fleet of petrol vehicles for the work of collection, and a number of Yorkshire steam wagons for distributing the pulverized product to purchasers, who are numerous amongst the farming classes of the counties of Northumberland and Durham.

Since that step was taken the whole of the services have been brought up to a state of efficiency which would have Nt‘n entirely impossible of attainment had horse transport been continued, whilst at the same time the dead less incurred previously in the task of cleansing the town has been replaced by a much more encouraging state of affairs financially. Horses, however, have not been completely supplanted, and, in fact, they still find a useful, if restricted, place in the present-day transport system for short journeys and for work in narrow alleys and similar places where motors cannot be used on account of their size.

At the outset of building up the motor fleet the department very wisely resolved to standardize, so far as the totally different requirements of the classes of work would permit, and as an initial step bought eleven 3-4-ton Mandalay vehicles with end-tipping bodies, these being seeured from Army surplus stock in February, 1920. The authority thereupon laid the foundation of the present fleet, and the next task was to find a type of machine suitable for conveying large loads of manure at an economical figure. It finally selected Yorkshires, and these wagons have, during four years of continuous running, proved most reliable.

Thu fleet at present eonSists of the following vehicles: eleven Maudslays, two 2-4-ton Commer Cars, five 5-6-ton end-tipping Yorkshire steamers, one Laere street-sweeping machine and one Yorkshire steani gully emptier. In addition to these vehicles, which are under the control of the cleansing department, the.borough engineer's department possesses two 3-ton Commor Cars and a 5-ton Peden steam wagon. In order to fit the Mendslays for the class of work upon which they are engaged, Mr. Boden had certain alterations made to the vehicles, including the reduction of the wheelbase from the standard 13 ft. 6 ins. to 11 ft. 6 ins., in order that they could more easily negotiate narrow thoroughfares.

Some idea of the magnitude of the task of carrying out Gateshead's " wash and brush up," as well as the necessity for detailed organization, will be formulated when it is considered that, at the present time, the population of this growing Tyneside town is in the vicinity of 130,000, and that the borough area contains 27,097 houses and 102 miles of streets. So far as street-sweeping is concerned, the Lacre machine has supplanted three horses, and is now performing the work in a more efficient manner and at a lower cost.

The work of some of the petrol vehicles is of a particularly strenuous nature. for they are now employed regularly on double-shift duty and each is engaged for 16 hours per day. By this means full use is made of the vehicles and standing charges are halved. During the day-time they are hired out to the surveyor, the building department and other branches of the corporation, and are engaged in the conveyance of building and road materials, and for other general haulage tasks, whilst at night they are used for the collection and disposal of refuse in conjunction with the horse wagons. The refuse of Gateshead Is disposed of in three ways. In the first place all material which cannot be turned to account remuneratively is led and tipped direct into large quarries on the outskirts of the town. In the second, quantities of refuse coming under the same .heading are conveyed to a large tip which has been erected at the riverside, and are there tipped into barges. and these are periodically towed 12 miles down the river and beyond the three-mile limit, their contents being shot into the sea.

These two means of disposal are. of course, carried out at a dead loss, but the remaining method is of a more satisfactory nature. This is in connection with the pulverizing plant. which is "fed" with all classes of refuse having a manurial value. These loads are taken direct to the plant and there pass through a number of processes, resulting in the production of a valuable manure, which finds a reedy sale iti the neighbourhood.

B28 Horse wagons are used on the shorter collection leads, and are considered to provide a relatively cheaper service than motors within a radius of three-quarters of a mile from the tips, whilst motors are employed almost exclusively for runs beyond that limit. Carefully compiled records show that the cost of collecting by motors is approximately the same as that by horses, but when it is taken into account that the motors operate solely in the outer districts, it will be seen that a considerable saving is effected by using motors for this particular work.

For collection purposes the town is divided into four districts, each under an inspector, and the systempermits of a daily pick-up of all shop refuse and a once-a-week collection of household refuse. The total amount collected weekly varies according to the time of the year. During the winter about 1,500 tons are dealt with in the course of a week, whilst during the summer months the total drops to about 1,000 tons. Each motor makes four journeys in the course of a night's work, and copes with maximum loads of 3e tons of wet refuse on each run.

In order to reduce the periods that the vehicles stand idle during their rounds two loaders accompany each lorry, one of whom works from each side of the street. Loads are conveyed to the pulverizer in their rough state, and there a sorting process is carried out. All tins and other articles having a separate market value are kept apart, and the remainder of the load tipped down one of the three chutes into a machine which reduces it to a fine ash, after which it Is delivered to buyers.

The final stage of this interesting method of disnasal of refuse is carried out by the fleet of Yorkshire steam wagons, which are reserved solely for distribution purposes. After passing through the plant, the ash is carried by elevators to depots, in readiness for loading into the haulage wagons, and by means of the use of rapid-loading chutes one of these vehicles can be fully loaded in the short space of three minutes.

As has been stated, the Yorkshires are providing a most satisfactory and economical service. The five vehicles deliver to farmers each month between 1,600 and 1,800 tons of manure and operate roughly within a ten-mile radius of the plant. Just as the utmost care is taken to ensure that the fullest possible service is secured from the petrol lorries, so arrangements are made to keep the steemers con

tinuously running with capacity loads, both outwards and inwards, and to this end these vehicles, on their return journeys from the farms, carry consignments of hay, straw, etc.

The 6-ton Yorkshire gully emptier in the service of the Gateshead Corporation has proved a valuable asset, and its use has entirely superseded the old insanitary method whereby the cesspools were emptied in the street and their contents left until they were subsequently collected by the slurry cart. The importance, from the health standpoint, of a vehicle which exhausts the whole of the contents of the gully and reseals it with clean water, and immediately removes the noxious contents, cannot be overestimated. This machine empties an average of 900 gullies weekly.

In the opinion of Mr. Boden, the most important advantages of motors for municipal duties are their greater carrying capacity and their higher turn of speed.

In the past some difficulty has been experienced in the way of slipping when the petrol lorries were negotiating the many heavy gradients in which the locality abounds, but happily this has now been satisfactorily overcome by means of closer attention to tyre equipment. Henley air-cushion tyres have been fitted, and they are standing up excellently to the heavy work. The design of the tread of these tyres is such as to give adequate adhesion and so secure a thorough grip of the road, thereby reducing skidding to a minimum.

Practically all repairs are carried out in the department's own workshop. By this means breakdowns are dealt with at once and a vehicle is returned to duty with a minimum of delay. The workshops give employment to one foreman and three mechanics, as well as wheelwrights, blacksmiths, etc. The interchange of parts enables repairs to be carried out in a most expeditious manner, so far as the standardized vehicles in the corporation's fleet are concerned.

In view of the particularly dirty nature of the work undertaken, the state in which the vehicles are maintained is something of a revelation. Each driver is allowed 30 minutes daily for cleaning and attention to details, and this results in the fleet in the service of the cleansing department of the Gateshead Corporation being maintained in good all-round condition, which results in efficient and economical service being obtained all the year round.


Organisations: US Federal Reserve
People: Boden, Chas

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