Re: ash


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...> wrote:

The area around the Field Museum on Chicago's lakefront is largely
fill brought up from the
Chicago Tunnel System (an extensive narrow gauge electric network
that ran under most of
the downtown area, connecting the Post Office, RR freight stations,
stores, and many buildings).
Besides delivery of coal and packages, etc.., one of the major uses
of the system was removal
of ash and cinders from served buildings...
I haven't responded to this because it really seems to be off topic
for this list, but what the heck, list traffic is slow anyway.

Like Charlie, I'm a long time Chicago resident, and my reply to Phil
Dove is that the situation didn't look all that different here, as
long as there was widespread burning of coal for heating. We too had
ash cans. In Chicago, one, two, and three family residences qualified
for "free" (tax supported) rubbish collection. As far as I know, the
city crews would take ashes, however, an awful lot was diverted by
homeowners for the uses already mentioned, or simply dumped in the
alley to fill the ever present potholes. Come to think of it, the
alleys used to be paved with cinders, most likely from the City of
Chicago's internally generated ash from schools and water pumping plants.

Commercial buildings and multi-family residences with more that three
units had to contract for rubbish removal, and that's where their
cinders and ash went. In some cases this was collected by dedicated
trucks, because a full load of cinders could be disposed of for free
(there was never any lack of places to dump "clean" fill around
Chicago) but loads with organic wastes (what we used to call "garbage"
before the P.C. term came into vogue) had to go to the either a
landfill or incinerator, which charged a fee for each load brought in.
That being said, there were certainly enough instances where a can of
still hot ashes went into the "garbage truck" and it wasn't uncommon
to see a driver with his load dumped on the street and the fire
department hosing it down after it caught fire in his truck.

I guess the point of all this is there was really no rail traffic
generated by all this; most every place in the US needed a source of
fill for continued development and construction. The waste product
likely to be handled by rail was fly ash from coal fired power plants,
and that's not the same as cinders (but it may be what was used in
"cinder block")

The only large scale movement of cinders by rail I can think of would
be the disposal of the output of the railroads own ash pits, and these
only went a short distance in company service cars to places where
fill, or secondary track ballast, was needed.

Dennis

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