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COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF REFUSE (a).
It does not always happen that sanitary inspectors have the superintendence of this department, but, when convenient, it is very essential that the inspector should have the entire control of this work. The removal of night-soil and ashes is beset with many difficulties, which I propose to make a few observations upon, and assist, if possible, my fellow inspectors in their efforts to deal with this vexatious subject. The cost of this work varies according to local circumstances, as to opportunities for disposal, cost of carting, &c. With a view of bringing under the eye of the inspector the variation in cost, and also the average cost, which will materially assist him in making out estimates for new districts, I have appended the following table, the figures for which are extracted from the Local Government Board Report on Sewage Disposal.
(a) Removal of refuse in the metropolis, see section 125 of Local Management Act, 1855.
REMOVAL OF NIGHT-SOIL AND ASHES.
Table showing relative cost of removal of night-soil and
ashes. The various towns given below are those taken from the “Report on Sewage Disposal ” (c. 1410), published in 1876 by the Local Government Board.
Cost per Head
of the Population.
£ 324 229 800
940 1,600 523
780 3,835 2,996 8,288 18,000 29,295 7,024
£ S. d. 0 0 11 0 0 27 0 0 57 0 0 57 0 0 57 0 0 54 0 0 6 0 0 61 0 0 77 0 0 101 0 0 104 0 0 113 0 1 21 0 1 8 0 2 11
Average cost per head of population of the 15 towns, 94d.
For the purpose of dealing with this subject more in detail, we will divide it into two sections, namely, night-soil collection and disposal.
Collection.-In urban districts the collection of nightsoil is generally regulated by local bye-laws, which prescribe certain hours for such removal to be effected, for instance, between 11 o'clock at night and 8 o’olock in the morning.
In all cases where the inspector has the management of a night-soil department, he should by all means have the appointment of all the men under his charge, inasmuch as there are so many difficulties surrounding the work, and that unless he has the men under proper control the work will neither be done efficiently nor economically.
The collection of night-soil by what is known as the street row or rotation plan,” was first introduced many years ago by my respected friend and tutor, John Newhouse, Esq., chief sanitary inspector for the borough of Leeds. When this plan was introduced I was then assistant inspector to the gentleman just named, and so satisfied did I feel as to the superiority of this plan that when I was afterwards appointed sanitary inspector for the city of Carlisle, on the first opportunity I introduced the system there; and for the purpose of giving the reader some positive proof as to the superiority of this method, I have introduced below table of cost for Carlisle, which shows a gradual annual rise in the expenditure for the removal of nightsoil up to the year 1876, when it suddenly fell some £450, this being the first year I had this plan carried out in Carlisle.
If the reader will kindly turn to table c. 1,410, he will find that the average cost per head of population per annum for the fifteen towns named is 9 d., whereas for Carlisle it is 5}d.
Table showing the yearly cost (under the head of
Sewerage Expenses), of which the principal portion is cost of removing of Night-soil and Ashes since 1873, when the Town Council commenced the removal.
The principle of this system may be explained as follows:-It is to commence at one end of a street, and empty every ashpit in order as they come, completing street after street until you have got through your district; then commence at the former starting point again.
In going into the details of this system more minutely, it will be found that there are some very serious obstacles in the way :-
1st. Irregularity in size of ashpits.
2nd. The work having to be done during the night, many yards get locked up, and the people are disinclined to get up to open them, and are also disinclined to leave them open for you, although expecting you coming to empty their ashpits.
As to the first objection, the best plan will be to get the very large old middens reduced in size and reconstructed on improved principles. Also, where it is found that too many tenants are using one ashpit, thus causing the ashpit to be full long before the time of other ashpits in the district, the inspector must serve notice upon the owner, requiring him to provide more ashpit accommodation.
As to the second objection, the following circular sent round during the day to the householders in the district where work is going to be carried on during the night, will be found to have a good effect :
I beg to inform you that we intend (weather permitting) to empty the ashpits in the neighbourhood of your house to-night, commencing at eleven o'clock.