Saturday, December 29, 2012

Alamogordo, New Mexico: Beehive Burner

Beehive burner, Alamogordo, New Mexico

A beehive burner is also called a teepee burner, but the latter seems in such poor taste (all I can think of are horrible events such as Sand Creek), so I don't like to use it.

Beehive burner, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Alamogordo's beehive burner is a source of frustration for me because I can't get close enough to it for good shots. Private property with multiple "no trespassing" signs.

Beehive burner, Alamogordo, New Mexico

The wikipedia description of a beehive burner is short and sweet:

A wood waste burner, known as a teepee burner or wigwam burner in the United States and a beehive burner in Canada, is a free-standing conical steel structure ranging from 30 to 60 feet in height. They are named for their resemblance to beehives, teepees or wigwams. A sawdust burner is cylindrical.
They have an opening at the top that is covered with a steel grill or mesh to keep sparks and glowing embers from escaping. Sawdust and wood scraps are delivered to an opening near the top of the cone by means of a conveyor belt or Archimedes' screw, whereupon they fall onto the fire near the center of the structure.
Teepee or beehive burners are used to dispose of waste wood in logging yards and sawdust from sawmills by burning. As a result they produce a large quantity of smoke and ash, which is vented directly into the atmosphere without any sort of scrubbing or cleaning, contributing to poor air conditions wherever they are used. The burners are considered to be a major source of air pollution and are being phased out in most areas.

Teepee burners went out of general use in the Northwestern United States in the early 1970s, ...

Beehive burner, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Alamogordo's beehive burner has a name given to it by the EPA, No 1343.

I've heard the Mescalero Apache own the defunct waste-wood burner, but I don't know if this is accurate.

By the photos, you'd think the burner was in the middle of nowhere, but it's not. It is right on the edge of downtown Alamogordo, very close to Alameda Park, the zoo, and the visitor center.

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