Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Cleanup

April has been spring cleaning month.  We needed to  get rid of the accumulated  junk in the north end of the barn where we want to build the brick oven.  I didn't  have a clue what size roll-off container to order for the debris, but it turns out  all the sizes cost the same to rent, plus the cost of disposal for whatever you  put in it. So naturally I ordered the largest size, for good measure. Whew, it was BIG!

We doubted we would be able to  fill even half of the dumpster. 

But we had  use of it for up to 10 days, so after we  cleaned out the north side of the barn we were inspired to also clean out out the large middle section of the barn, which was deep in old hay and  building material scraps and garbage (a little bonus that came with the farm.) We purchased high quality respirators for that dusty job.  It took us a long weekend, but even then the dumpster still had plenty of  space left.

So, we decided to also tackle the woods along the pasture.  Typical of old farmsteads,  this one has several dump sites. The  worst area was on the south side of the pasture fence, where we pulled out old appliances, paint cans,  cookware, curtain rods, gutters, fencing, machine parts, car seats, and tires galore.

Some of the tires had been sliced apart, but we  collected 30 intact tires and approximately 30 more cut-up tires, which totally filled our pickup and our trailer.  In our county, there is a tire recycling charge of $3 per small tire and $5 per large tire.  The recycling facility manager was kind, charging me $3 per  whole tire, but only $20 for all the rest of the of cut-up tires. (Happily, we did not  find any big tractor tires---they cost $30 each to recycle.) 

We sorted out all the metal and hauled it to the scrap yard.   The scrap yard was a surreal experience: we drove into a chasm between steep walls of scrap metal where a crane lowered a huge magnet  over our little trailer. All the metal leaped from the trailer to the magnet --and it felt like the truck and trailer levitated for a moment.  We earned $37 for the metal, a little bit of profit to offset the tire recycling cost.

We also sorted out several large  boxes of rusty  cans of unidentifiable paints and chemicals (still full of liquid!) and  took them to the Household Hazardous Waste facility.  We were especially relieved to get those out of the woods before they rusted through and leaked the contents into the soil.
Amazingly, in addition to the  tire load, the HHW load, and the scrap metal load, we filled the 30-yard dumpster to the brim!  We haven't gotten the bill for it yet; I am a little bit afraid to find out what that will cost.  
That is how we celebrated Earth Day this year.  We are pleased to have made our little corner of the world a cleaner, healthier place.  


Becky said...

Wow! Fantastic job! You must feel so good to look around your farm and see pretty spaces instead of junk laying around. Wow, I had no idea you had to pay them to recycle tires.

Marie said...

So, any treasures amid the junk?

katiegirl said...

You guys must have worked hard! The farm probably looks and feels so much better!!

Barry said...

I am exhausted just reading this post! Wow! I have used a few roll off dumpsters in the last 10 years, but that one blows them all away. Congratulations on a massive job well done.

gz said...

No wonder you haven't been posting here!
A very good Springclean indeed!!

Sheila said...

I bet that is a great feeling of accomplishment!

Susan said...

I was hoping to find some fabulous treasures amid the junk, but only came across two things of interest--a very beautiful marbled porcelain doorknob (a matching knob was broken) and teh weathered face of an old vinyl spring horse toy--it will be great in a sculpture someday. Maybe the really good treasures are an archaeological layer down.

Despite cleaning up so much garbage, it really did not have a significant visual impact on our farm before. We didn't even know it was there when we bought the place--in winter it is deeply covered by snow and in summer by vegetation. I suspect the earth is breathing a bit easier now, though.