2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Underground Trash Burner “Powered” By Clothes Dryer
“I hired a local company to drill a hole 30 ft. deep and 6 ft. in diameter. I had a cap from an older incinerator hole, but I needed a way to get air down to the fire,” says Sarchet.
In his part of Texas, earthen incinerators are common. His local driller charged $10 per foot for the 6-ft. dia. hole. The 8-ft. dia., 6-in. thick concrete cap is precast with a 3-ft. square hole in the middle. A riser made from a 1/4-in. thick steel plate fits over the hole with a screen on top for a lid.
To get air into the hole, Sarchet suspended 28 ft. of 4-in. dia. stove pipe down into the hole. “As the hole fills with ash, I can pull the pipe up and remove one of the 4-ft. sections,” explains Sarchet. “That ensures the air is always reaching into the trash being burned.”
He positioned the clothes dryer next to the riser. An elbow on top of the stovepipe extends through the side of the riser where it can be connected to the drier vent.
“After I drop trash into the hole, I dip some newspaper in gasoline, light it, drop it in, and turn on the dryer,” says Sarchet. “With the air coming down the pipe, the trash lights and burns up completely.”
Sarchet says he doesn’t let much trash build up before burning. When he first moved to his property, he found an older incinerator hole packed full of unburned trash. He lit it and used a leaf blower to feed oxygen to the fire.
“After I got it going good, it burned for 3 days,” he recalls. “Every so often the flames would die back, gasses would build up and explode, reignite and burn some more.”
Regular burns and not overloading it prevent such explosions, adds Sarchet. “Explosions can cause the dirt sides to break off and fall in,” he says. “Ultimately, that can cause the incinerator to collapse.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Donald Dean Sarchet, 2404 CR 15, Tulia, Texas 79088 (ph 806 341-0747; email@example.com).
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