Conveyance of Rubbish

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Lloyds siding

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Later it was taken in ships down the Manchester Ship Canal and maybe dumped at sea?
After the sewers were built came Davyhulme sewage works. The sludge from the sewage works were taken down the ship canal by boat (later a pipeline to Liverpool) and dumped in Liverpool Bay, started in 1898 and finished in 1998. Used to regularly see the 'sludge boats'.

Did they have much rubbish to convey (well at least before the 1950s and early 60s)? It's an interesting thought. Before the consumer society got fully going there was a lot less rubbish to deal with, and more of it was organic - food waste trimmings type stuff. Far less wrapping paper or containers etc., esp before the rise of plastics. People burned stuff at home on the fireplace often so the rubbish became ash , or buried other stuff in the garden, food bottles / jars etc would often be returnable, for money - those Victorian medicine bottles you dig up for example - tho obv not in dense city housing with no gardens.

I got a sense of what this might have been like when as a student I went to Poland in 1991. Stuff you got in shops was just handed to you unwrapped on many cases, there was no litter on the streets on the whole as there was nothing to drop as litter (there was lots of dust and grit against the kerbs but not western European style litter of wrapping, cans etc etc), I got beer from the local shop for I think about 20p a bottle, but c10p was refundable with the bottle I think ! I assume the costs of bottle production was greater than the cost of beer production so the bottle was of high proportionate value to the brewer.

Having said all this, there must have been some rubbish to convey, but towns were smaller so tips may have been not very far away etc?

A thought provoking post!
When I were a lad (1960), the only plastic in our house was my plastic drinking cup, bakelite electrical fittings (switches, sockets, light fittings) and a bakelite radio. (In case you are wondering: the electrical wiring was coated in rubber in those days.)
The only things in our bin were tins, glass jars, some food waste (bones and carcasses), and ash and cinders from the coal fire. Other items were dirty rags and footwear when they were beyond repair, broken crockery would have gone in the bin too. Vegetable waste was composted, the rest was burnt on the coal fire, as well as packaging: which was paper, a bit of cardboard and cellophane (not usually considered to be a plastic). Newspapers were recycled by taking them to the local chip shop for use to wrap chips. Milk bottles (glass) were taken away by the milk man and replaced by full ones, glass bottles were returned to the grocers, or off-licence to retrieve your 'deposit' (usually 3d in those days), which had been paid when you purchased the full bottle. Old clothes would have been recycled by the rag and bone man, scrap metal collected by the rag and bone man or the local scrapman. That would have been all our waste dealt with.
 
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Grumpy Git

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After the sewers were built came Davyhulme sewage works. The sludge from the sewage works were taken down the ship canal by boat (later a pipeline to Liverpool) and dumped in Liverpool Bay, started in 1898 and finished in 1998. Used to regularly see the 'sludge boats'.


When I were a lad (1960), the only plastic in our house was my plastic drinking cup, bakelite electrical fittings (switches, sockets, light fittings) and a bakelite radio. (In case you are wondering: the electrical wiring was coated in rubber in those days.)
The only things in our bin were tins, glass jars, some food waste (bones and carcasses), and ash and cinders from the coal fire. Other items were dirty rags and footwear when they were beyond repair, broken crockery would have gone in the bin too. Vegetable waste was composted, the rest was burnt on the coal fire, as well as packaging: which was paper, a bit of cardboard and cellophane (not usually considered to be a plastic). Newspapers were recycled by taking them to the local chip shop for use to wrap chips. Milk bottles (glass) were taken away by the milk man and replaced by full ones, glass bottles were returned to the grocers, or off-licence to retrieve your 'deposit' (usually 3d in those days), which had been paid when you purchased the full bottle. Old clothes would have been recycled by the rag and bone man, scrap metal collected by the rag and bone man or the local scrapman. That would have been all our waste dealt with.

Pretty much the same in our house.

Made my day to find an empty "Corona" bottle in the football field, (later "Carters" round our way) and get thruppence (3d or 1¼p in new* money) from the local shop.

*It only happened on 15th Feb 1971, so relatively new!
 

ChiefPlanner

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I *think* that might have been one of the last holdouts of LT steam ( into the early 70s ).

Up to some point - there were rubbish / ash trains -well a couple of wagons - from Baker St to presumably Neasden for Croxley. The huge Met built Chiltern Court apartment block had a private siding for this purpose. Electric hauled.

On a city basis - we must not forget that the NY subway ran (maybe still does) garbage trains for the stations division.
 

WesternLancer

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After the sewers were built came Davyhulme sewage works. The sludge from the sewage works were taken down the ship canal by boat (later a pipeline to Liverpool) and dumped in Liverpool Bay, started in 1898 and finished in 1998. Used to regularly see the 'sludge boats'.


When I were a lad (1960), the only plastic in our house was my plastic drinking cup, bakelite electrical fittings (switches, sockets, light fittings) and a bakelite radio. (In case you are wondering: the electrical wiring was coated in rubber in those days.)
The only things in our bin were tins, glass jars, some food waste (bones and carcasses), and ash and cinders from the coal fire. Other items were dirty rags and footwear when they were beyond repair, broken crockery would have gone in the bin too. Vegetable waste was composted, the rest was burnt on the coal fire, as well as packaging: which was paper, a bit of cardboard and cellophane (not usually considered to be a plastic). Newspapers were recycled by taking them to the local chip shop for use to wrap chips. Milk bottles (glass) were taken away by the milk man and replaced by full ones, glass bottles were returned to the grocers, or off-licence to retrieve your 'deposit' (usually 3d in those days), which had been paid when you purchased the full bottle. Old clothes would have been recycled by the rag and bone man, scrap metal collected by the rag and bone man or the local scrapman. That would have been all our waste dealt with.
A great summary! And people like to claim that 'it's young people who are keen on the environment', which in my experience is very hit and miss - no more or less interested than other age groups, and often rather less interested when it comes to ordering takeaway food...
 

341o2

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In our house it was because the hot ashes would have gone straight through the bottom, (we only ever had galvanised bins).
If you had a garden, the ash from the fire would often end up on it. My parent's home suffered from heavy clay soil, my father would use the ash and clinker to break it up
 

mike57

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To back up what others have said

As a child in the 60's we had one round metal dustbin, into this would go ash from the fire and anything else that couldnt be burnt or composted. The rubbish was loose, not bagged. Until the mid 60's we relied on a fire with back boiler to heat the water, so had a fire in the back room even in the summer for a few hours before tea, to heat the water. So anything vaguely burnable that wasnt compostable was burnt including for example meat waste (my mother would say "dont put that in the bin, put it on the fire or we will have maggots"). As part of my chores I had to clear the ash and lay the fire every morning while my mother did breakfast. Garden waste too chunky for composting was burnt on a bonfire, together with any other occasional large items, even old furniture etc. In our street there was an unwritten rule that Friday afternoon/evening was bonfire day, this carried on into the 70s. So we did not get the large volumes of waste, but with coal ash our bin would be heavy. So there wasnt the need for landfill or incineration in the way that we have today, as the bin contents were mainly ash, with the odd tin. Glass bottles were returnable for a deposit, milk was delivered to the doorstep in glass returnable bottles. Newspapers and paper waste was saved carefully for fire lighting. So there would not have been the need to cart large volumes of waste over distance to dispose of them, so certainly no dedicated trains in our area

This seemed to change in the 70's, by the time we got to the winter of discontent in the late 70's we were faced with piles of rotting rubbish in the streets. On our street we started burning rubbish rather than leaving it piled up, and of course it was done on a Friday
 

mpthomson

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Tour de France cyclists do or did discard their drinking bottles with a good conscience, for adoring fans gathered them as souvenirs.
La Vuelta and the Giro both have rubbish zones where riders can drop rubbish/bottles etc and it will be cleared up. If they do so anywhere else they'll get penalised for it.
 

billh

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The "sludge boats" on the Manchester Ship Canal certainly in their latter days were kept in immaculate external condition and gave no hint as to their cargo. In fact the sludge they carried had been treated at Davyhulme, at which time methane was extracted and used (might still be?) to power dual fuel Mirrlees engines generating enough electricity to power the works. By the time the sludge was aboard ship it would be fairly inert compared with when the product first arrived at the works. Sludge is still carried ,by road tanker, on a daily basis from sites around Manchester to Davyhulme.
 

mailbyrail

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The book 'Manchester's Narrow Gauge Railways - Chat Moss & Carrington Estates' published 1985 by the Narrow Gauge Railway Society details how the two areas were reclaimed using waste from the city.
About half a million tons of night soil had been sent to Carrington between 1889 and 1899, 68% by canal, the remainder by rail.
A breakdown of refuse received at Carrington over the years shows tonnages by rail and by barge. In 1933 2302 tons of rubbish arrived by rail and 2679 tons came by barge with an additional 9388 tons of 'sweepings' coming by rail and just 913 tons by barge. Nightsoil had arrived by rail before the first world war but only small quantities continued by barge until 1933.
A fascinating read about a most unusual subject.
 

matchmaker

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The "sludge boats" on the Manchester Ship Canal certainly in their latter days were kept in immaculate external condition and gave no hint as to their cargo. In fact the sludge they carried had been treated at Davyhulme, at which time methane was extracted and used (might still be?) to power dual fuel Mirrlees engines generating enough electricity to power the works. By the time the sludge was aboard ship it would be fairly inert compared with when the product first arrived at the works. Sludge is still carried ,by road tanker, on a daily basis from sites around Manchester to Davyhulme.
The Glasgow Corporation sludge boats on the Clyde even carried passengers in the summer!
 

Roger1973

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The Newington Vestry (predecessors to Southwark Borough Council) established a 'refuse depot' at Longfield, Kent, in the 1870s, and trains (initially London, Chatham and Dover Railway) took rubbish from Walworth Dust Siding to Longfield.

Hartley Kent website article here. It seems to have continued in use until at least the 1970s (although may not have involved use of trains right to the end)

1950-ish OS map shows 'Borough Council Depot' off Walworth Road complete with sidings and lift (since the line is on a viaduct at that point) and slightly later map shows 'refuse depot' complete with sidings at Longfield.
 
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Not railway as such, but refuse used to be conveyed by tramway in Dublin between approximately 1907 and 1925. From Michael Corcoran's Through Streets Broad and Narrow:

On collection by horse-drawn carts, refuse and street sweepings went to the depots at Stanley Street [near Smithfield] or South Gloucester Street [near Tara Street and Westland Row/Pearse stations]. At Stanley Street, it went straight into the destructor, the clinker and ash being then loaded into tipping wagons built specifically for refuse disposal. There was a fleet of about 70 such vehicles, together with three electric locomotives. The refuse from South Gloucester Street...was ferried to Stanley Street for burning.
...
Most of the Corporation [i.e. local authority] work was carried out at night after normal tramway traffic had ceased, as was haulage of the incinerated material to Fairview. Here, specially constructed branches led into the sloblands [the present-day Fairview Park, which was reclaimed using the waste material] with spurs, which could be altered to suit requirements.

(Incidentally, the DART EMU depot at Fairview - formerly the Great Northern railcar depot - is built on part of the reclaimed land. Also, some of the track at the entrance to the Stanley Street depot is still visible: see below)

I'm sure something similar must have existed in at least a few cities in GB, particularly as tramways were generally municipal operations there (whereas in Dublin they were private, but the Corporation had legal powers of access which it invoked to set up the refuse operation - the Corporation owned the locos and wagons but purchased traction current from the Dublin United Tramway Company.).
 

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341o2

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Minworth sewage works was probably the last of its kind in the country to have an internal rail network 2' gauge, closed about 1990, it was hoped to retain part as a demonstration line, finally dismantled around 1995.
Abergnolwyn also had its own rail system, which explains the layout of the village, wagons were hand propelled to the foot of the village incline, then winched up onto the Talyllyn railway - night soil included.
 

Mcr Warrior

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The book 'Manchester's Narrow Gauge Railways - Chat Moss & Carrington Estates' published 1985 by the Narrow Gauge Railway Society details how the two areas were reclaimed using waste from the city.

A fascinating read about a most unusual subject.
Agreed and quite hard to track down a copy of same, these days. :|

51GNiThl3DL._AC_SY580_.jpg
 

Lloyds siding

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Thomas Fresh, the first 'Inspector of Nuisances' appointed by Liverpool City Council is considered to be the first 'Public Health Inspector (the forerunner of our current Environmental Health Officers). He rented a house in Formby, and enlarged it to be his family home. He then petitioned the directors of the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport railway to build a new station nearby, and provide sidings to bring in 'manure' (night-soil) that he was struggling to dispose of from the city of Liverpool. The railway agreed and the station and sidings were constructed, the new station being named after Thomas Fresh as 'Freshfield'. The siding was constructed right alongside Fresh's house and the delivery of night-soil by rail commenced. The manure greatly improved the nutrient poor fields of the surrounding agricultural land. Formby became famous for its asparagus, which may be related to the manure!
Formby Civic Society recently put up a blue plaque on Thomas Fresh's house.
http://www.formbycivicsociety.org.uk/residents/blue-plaque-for-thomas-fresh
 

Southsider

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I think part of the Argyle line follows the route of a line originally used for conveying refuse from Glasgow city centre hence the odd track alignments at Exhibition Centre.
 

PeterC

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Minworth sewage works was probably the last of its kind in the country to have an internal rail network 2' gauge, closed about 1990, it was hoped to retain part as a demonstration line, finally dismantled around 1995.
Abergnolwyn also had its own rail system, which explains the layout of the village, wagons were hand propelled to the foot of the village incline, then winched up onto the Talyllyn railway - night soil included.
Brentwood sewage works had a monorail, presumably from Road Machines. I remember seeing it when I commuted to Liverpool Street in the 70s and 80s but don't know when it was removed.
 

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