The importance of incinerator on combustible waste disposal


According to Herbert Lewis (2007), defined incinerator as an apparatus for burning waste materials especially industrial waste at high temperature until it is reduced to ash.

Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials (Knox, 2005).

According to Unuraye (2011), incineration is the complete destruction of combustible refuse by burning at high temperature of 1700 and 15000F, though this method is the most hygienic system; it is not a complete means of disposal as some volume of residue in form of ashes is left un-burnt.

Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are described as thermal treatment” incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas and heat. The ash is mostly formed by the inorganic constituents of the waste and may take the form of solid lumps or particulates carried by the flue gas. The flue gases must be cleaned of gaseous and particulate pollutants before they are disposed into the atmosphere; in some cases, the heat generated by the incineration can be used to generate electricity power (Rambell, 2006).

Incinerators are power plant like structures designed to form solid waste under controlled, nuisance free condition and at relatively high temperatures (15000F) for the purpose of reducing the components to an inert residue which can then be readily disposal by landfill or after further treatment as a road way or construction material (Adodipe, 2009).

Types of Incinerator

There are three basic types namely, According to Delawale (2013) solid waste authority.

  • Bar incinerator.
  • Bar less incinerator.
  • .Beelrience. Incinerator.
  • Rotary- Kiln incinerator.
  • Moving Grate Incinerator.
  • Fixed Grate Incinerator.

The commonly used in developing nations are the bar and barless incinerator.

 Features and operation of a bar incinerator

  • Storage bin.
  • Batching orane.
  • Combustion chamber.
  • Residue hopper.
  • Ashes cleaning fan.
  • Over hanging roof.

 Storage bin

This is where wastes discharged from collection vehicles are stored.

 Batching orane

This is the material used to direct waste through the stokers to the combustion chamber.


Light are passed through the stokers into the combustion chamber, where waste is ignited for combustion.

Combustion chamber

This where waste are consumed at a temperature not exceeding 9000C; Thermal volume reduction system may first be introduced to dry the moisture content of the waste for copper and effective combustion.  Offensive odour is finally controlled after combustion to the temperature started earlier.

Reduce hopper

This is where all un-burnt and halfly consumed the materials falls after combustion. It is allow for cooking or quenched with water before being packed out.

Ashes collector chamber

This is the reception of all the burnt ashes form the combustion.

Ashes cleaning fan

This is the equipment used in the removal of burnt ashes form where they are collected (i.e. the ash collector chamber) and taken to a sanitary landfill site for final disposal.

Over hanging

This is made to prevent rainfall inside both and barless incinerator at work during raining periods.

Advantages of incinerator

  • It requires less land for operation.
  • Many kind of refuse can be burn, combustible and in-combustible.
  • There is provision for long term operation of the system.
  • The ashes generated from the combustion are free offensive odour and organic content.
  • There is no attraction of rodents and flies.
  • It is not affected by climate and weather condition.

Disadvantages of Incinerator

  • Pollution of the atmosphere air due to malfunctioning.
  • The resultant ashes if not properly handled may lead to eye, throat irritation and blockage of respiration tract.
  • It is very expensive to operate and maintain.
  • Waste generated may require dry heating before processing.

Health and environmental implications

The Health and environmental implication associated with incineration includes;

Odour Nuisance, Environmental pollution and Bio-accumulation

  • Emanation of odour nuisance: Ezenwa (1985), is of the opinion that incinerators should be located at of human dwellings and with due concentration to the usual direction of the wind. Nigeria and many developing countries of the world practice what is known as Open-burning which is done in most hospital, commercial centre and individuals homes.
  • Pollution of the environment: (EPA, 1995), says that incineration impact on the environment is seen from air emissions which include particulate Carbon-monoxide, Acid gases (chloride and Sulphur): Volatile organic and mercury flue gas. These outputs may add significant pollution to the environment.
  • Bio-accumulation of toxic and acid rain: The inhalation of particulate matter posses health danger as Man particulate are more likely to carry heavy metals, which be refined in the long tissue and can easily gain entrance into the blood (Schubel, 1987).


According to the research carried out above it can be noted that there are different types of incinerators to ensure proper disposal of refuse which is more beneficial in terms of reduction of volume of solid waste and elimination of smoke and odour.

Secondly, the incineration should be located out of human dwelling. However, any factors that might lead to its inadequacy will result to some of the health implication that has been mentioned above.


  • The community should be health educated on the important of incinerator in combustible waste disposal.
  • Adequate and qualified health personnel (E.H.O) should be employed to oversee the management of refuse disposal.
  • The residual should dispose off sanitarily to avoid nuisance.
  • Provision of incinerator in the urban area and regular maintenance.
  • Adequate environmental sanitation


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Ichide, B. (2003). Industrial Sanitation and Waste Disposal [Lecture Note] Ofuoma-Ughelli: Delta State College of Health Technology, (Unpublished).

Mercie, I. (2010). Solid Waste Management [Lecture Note]. Ofuoma – Ughelli: Delta State College of Health Technology (Unpublished).

Nwachukwu, A.E. (2000). Industrial and Occupational Health and Safety. Owerri: Totan Publishers Limited, pp 10-11.

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Ururaye, L. O (2003). Industrial and Sanitation and Waste Disposal. Ughelli: Ama Ohoror Printing Press Coy.

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