We knew there was a bit of miscellaneous garbage on our property, and we knew we needed to get it out of the way to do some major pruning on the perimeter of our yard.
At a first glance into the “woods” that line our property, there were cinder blocks (tons of them), some cylindrical concrete thingies, some giant slabs of some other concrete whatchamahoozits, lots and lots of vines, toys from another era, and spiders. Lots of spiders. But we also knew that the previous owners owned rental properties, which means there were probably more than a few “handyman specials” laying around, so this was going to be an adventure.
So we grabbed a trailer and started loading ‘er up.
The goal is to get the yard cleaned up enough to plant some trees along the property line, and clear out debris for the wedding. We also needed to get some of the debris away from the back of the house so we could paint. The stuff next to the house wasn’t concrete or garbage that wasn’t ours…there were a lot of garbage cans full of kid-room-clean-outs. When we purge something from their rooms, we keep it for a while to see if they ask for it. If they don’t, we throw it away like the heartless parents we are, so that we don’t end up on that nice TLC show.
That’s the concrete slab under the oak tree where we’d like to say I Do, and behind it is a little gazebo overlooking a pond. That’s right, folks. There’s a pond back there, and you’d never even know it until you were about to step into it, that’s how crazy our jungle is.
We threw on our boots and some work gloves and started slinging concrete around like it was our job.
Trailer Load 1 is above. Here’s what we can recall: lots of metal pipes, 55 gallon drums (2, and one is still buried in the yard), and miscellaneous concrete pieces. We found a broken wheelbarrow and some rusted chain link fencing material, a toilet, a bathroom sink, a swing set, a stainless steel kitchen sink, several flower pots, and various poles.
Round two brought lots of concrete pieces that were so monstrous I couldn’t pick them up alone, and it took T and I both to hoist them in some cases. This stuff was buried in the dirt, and we would dig up a giant puzzle piece of concrete and find (literally) 5 more underneath.
We think those pretty pieces of concrete were part of a kit to build a BBQ pit (left by the previous owners), but they were gross and we were pretty desperate to get rid of all of the junk, so we didn’t try to use them or sell them. In hindsight I wish we had saved them to bust apart and make a walkway.
Here are those cylindrical things we found. Our neighbor ended up wanting them, and he is super wonderful so we gladly hauled them over to his yard (and out of ours, the ultimate goal).
Around this part of the day things started to get fuzzy. In our yard debris adventure, we ended up taking six trips to the dump. One trip was purely tires (we think we had 9 total) from the property. All in all we took over 6 tons of garbage to the dump. We had no idea we even had that much garbage around us, but dump scales doesn’t lie (neither do my hips), and each time we weighed on the way out and got a new receipt, we were stumped. SIX TONS, PEOPLE. Over 12,000 pounds of garbage that we slung with our own two (and sometimes 3- thanks neighbor!) hands. And all of it was just lying in the woods in the yard, and some of it behind the shed.
We also came across a pile of rebar in the woods. What I mean by that is we found a piece at a time while clearing out some vines, and then suddenly struck gold while digging in the dirt. Most of the giant pieces of metal were underground. We had right at 85 pieces of 21′ rebar just lying in our yard. Our neighbor wanted a few pieces and we were happy to oblige since he let us borrow his tractor to rip the vines out. We also used the tractor and chains to pull the rebar out of the ground. We were left with just over 50 pieces in our backyard, and so I called our friend Luke who’s a contractor to see what the going rate was for rebar, and also to see if he wanted any. I had no idea if we could sell it. Luke wasn’t sure what it was going for at the moment, so I checked out the Lowes website and it was selling for $6-7 per piece. I figured it couldn’t hurt to put it on Craigslist, just to see what kind of interest we’d get, so I posted an ad:
Within 2 days I had a guy coming to pick up the rebar, and we ended up making $240.00 on it. Which is pretty exciting considering each trip to the dump cost us a minimum of $10, but sometimes we paid upwards of $100 (for the tires). We ended up almost breaking even, thanks to our little craigslist sell.
So that’s the story of how we moved 6 tons of garbage over a fairly small period of time (4 days as we recall).
But now the house can be prepped for paint, the yard can be prepped for trees, and we can start pulling out some extraneous growth and maybe even clean out the pond.
It doesn’t look much better yet, but we definitely made some major progress- or so say our dump receipts.
PS-This is the 2nd Tropical Storm named after me that I can remember! Go Team Emily!