After recently centralizing item storage and sorting at my base, I found myself with some chests approaching overflowing. Especially some mixed farms (like the generic mob farm) produce more of some items than I know what to do with - like arrows. And as I don't want my sorting system to jam up (or discard whatever passes unsorted... e.g. in case another farm's collection system picks up my trident I'd accidentally dropped on a hopper) I need to periodically empty the overflowing chests, and e.g. discard a double chest of arrows.

So I built a trashcan. I'd move the arrows to a double chest in the floor, and it would transfer them through a hopper to a dropper into lava. And as I'd work around the item storage area I'd suffer clicking of the dropper for another 12 minutes as it kills 1728 arrows, one by one.

I managed to about halve the time by applying a faster clock and feeding the dropper through two hoppers from the same double chest at once, but it's still six minutes of incessant clicking (at double rate).

Can you suggest a trashcan system that can either kill a double chest of items relatively silently (may be slower) or do it so fast I won't be driven mad by the clicking? (and no, just dropping them on the ground to despawn isn't the right solution because I need to drop every stack of items separately, while transferring the full inventory to a chest just requires me to doubleclick a stack of arrows while holding another stack of arrows.)

Moderate compactness is a plus. Like, I don't mind dedicating an 8x8x8 chamber to the trash system, but I'd prefer the solution not to be a chain of hoppers so long it carries the items outside my hearing range. (also, while I began seriously considering throwing full shulker boxes into lava, I'm not quite that rich yet...)

Minecraft 1.13.2 Java Edition, PC.

  • Options > Music & Sounds > Blocks 0%.
    – L_Church
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 14:45
  • @L_Church: I don't want all the block sounds off, just this specific one...
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 14:46
  • the clicking is going to be a definite thing unless you involve chests
    – L_Church
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 14:48
  • @L_Church: I'm quite willing to sacrifice 4 logs (required for a double chest) per one cleanup, but I'd prefer the solution to be rather automatic. Not "craft 2 chest, place them, fill, do some other magic, items gone" - that's why the idea with shulker boxes, they can be deployed and broken automatically. BTW, TNT is definitely an option.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 14:55
  • Could you have the arrows go into a separate chest, then just take all the arrows and throw them at a cacti or lava? Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


This question really stumped me. I spent a number of hours messing around with different redstone contraptions, trying to make something that matched what you wanted. I was able to get somewhat close but I wasn't left satisfied by it. Here is that contraption regardless:

Solution 1: The Pit

contraption overview

It starts with two hoppers transferring the contents of the trash chest into a chest in a minecart (Note: You should be able to make a two cart version with just a few adjustments). That minecart sits on a powered rail that is connected to "the junction". More on that later. The rail itself points towards a pit, 14 blocks deep. At the bottom sits one piece of obsidian, as seen here:

the pit

Now back to "the junction". "The junction" is what I named the three paths of redstone all connected to one lever. The right path leads to a redstone alternator in order to trigger the powered rail. The center path consists of 6 redstone repeaters all set to max time that terminates at a sticky piston. The left path is an alternator that leads to a simple redstone line in order to trigger the centerpiece of it all, a block of TNT.

In practice, you load up the center area with a block of TNT, as seen in the overview image, then place a minecart chest on the rail before pulling the lever. The cart will fall to the obsidian block, the TNT will be lit, and, after a small delay, the TNT will fall 16 blocks and blow up the cart, spilling its contents everywhere in order to despawn.

Note: As I write this now, I also realize you could put a obsidian block for the TNT to land on and you don't have to worry about timing at all which should let you compact it quite a bit more.

This was the closest I could get but I'm not really happy with it. It costs a minecart and chest (or two) every time along with a block of TNT. And while it's possible to save chests in order to reuse, I couldn't find a way to save the cart. So I went to find another solution.

My next solution is just as much as a bit of a hackjob. I ran out of ideas for some redstone contraption or clever chest usage and so I turned to different methods.

Solution 2: Overkill

I made a resource pack that removes the sound from the game.

This might not be ideal as the click is used for dispensers, buttons, menu buttons, levers, etc, but it undeniably makes it so you never have to sit through 6 minutes of clicking plus you don't even have to make some big machine with it.

You can find it here: QuietDroppers

I do hope someone finds a better solution though.

  • Hmm. Minecart with chest, detector rail over TNT dispenser both aimed at a pit of obsidian... 4 wood, 10 iron and 2 TNT per cleanup... that's affordable.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 13:17
  • Hmm... Minecart with chest breaking on cactus, a sorter-locked hopper that takes the two with some luck, a lava dispenser to kill most the rest fast (or not. just let them despawn)... Now how to make a hopper take in only a minecart and chest and nothing else...
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 13:55
  • @SF. That was one of the issues I ran into when making the original design. It's easy enough to save chests, as they stack, but carts are a different story. Another design I was trying out involved having the cart ride a rail far away and deposit its goods in a hopper under the last rail on the other side. Then you could call it back after an allotted time period. It takes a lot of time though with its one major plus side being that it didn't take any resources per cleanup. Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 14:10
  • Doublechest of minecarts with chest can last a long time. :) "Getting the items far away" was my first plan, but while I can afford quite a bit of space locally, I really don't want this "sprawling" - long pipelines or railway tracks or such.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 14:44

enter image description here

This is what I came up with.

  1. The double chest feeds the dropper through double hopper feed (one hopper visible, the other connects to another that feeds the dropper from a side).

  2. The hysteresis circuit waits until the dropper is full, then starts the clock (moving the observer towards the other one). This starts the emptying process. Once the dropper is empty, emptying stops until it's full again, so if the hoppers don't keep up, the process stops.

  3. The other observer can be moved up then down (by a lever) - this is a quirk that about doubles the observer clock speed. This halves the time of noise.

Further improvement:

Instead of one dropper, this uses two. Only one is measured, but they should receive about the same amount of items, and the clock won't stop until one of them is full, so no risk of one of them gradually filling up. This time the hoppers definitely won't be keeping up, but the droppers are emptied at full speed and the total time of noise is halved again.

enter image description here

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