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Gathered from Garbage.
A machine has been put in use in New York to sift from house refuse and street-sweepings all rags, old iron, broken glass, etc. The machine is described as being a vast rag and bone-picker of many Italian power, working by steam. Its daily capacity is 150 loads of 1,800 pounds each. The oscillator moves to and fro 250 times a minute, while two or three Italians stand alongside and pick all rags and scraps of paper out of the mass. What is then left, after the dust has fallen below, is passed into a washer, in which all straw, leather, vegetable refuse, or other light material rises to the surface of the water, and is removed and burned. The coal, iron, glass and other heavy objects fall to the bottom of the water, are washed in another vat of water and are sold.
Out of 150 loads of refuse but thirty are conveyed away as waste. The rags bring about $30 per ton, the old iron 40 cents per 100 pounds, the glass 30 cents per 100 pounds; the bones are the most valuable and about 400 pounds of coal and cinder are obtained from a load of 1,800 pounds.
The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 1, 1884