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.