Thursday, March 9, 2017

Building demolition advice, 1943

From L.M. Kilmister.  Farm and Home Mechanics' Guide.  Regina, Sask:  Farm Mechanics Publishing Co., 1943.

From a time when our society had a very different attitude towards re-using and recycling.  I understand that construction waste today has become a serious challenge, particularly in using up space in the rapidly diminishing capacity of our landfills where 10 to 30 percent of the fill comes from such sources.

Our neighbours were recently renovating their house, pulling out construction that their predecessors had built in only a few years before.  They had borrowed a large utility trailer, and filled it with tongue-and-groove pine, 2X4s, particle board, wood trim, and other lumber.  It also included a perfectly good wooden front door (with built-in windows) and a steel door.  My son, who's been building a paintball course in our back forty, went over and offered to take most of this stuff. They told him they had more still inside. We ended up taking the equivalent of 3 trailer loads, which would otherwise have ended up at the township landfill site. Getting a friend over, we really didn't use up much time removing the nails and screws (which got put into my scrap metal bin) and now my son has a generous amount of free building material.  Whatever wood was too small or damaged got cut up for the wood stove.  It's since given us several days of free heat.  (When the paintball course has ended its usefulness, it, too, will be fodder for the wood stove.)

The trailer also contained a full container of Varsol (which ended up in my shop), good screws and nails, children's books and toys (which we donated to the local school), furniture (dropped at a thrift shop), a number of large plastic hanging planters full of topsoil (the planters went into recycling, the topsoil into my wife's garden), paper in books and 3-ring binders (again, into the recycling box) and even a laptop computer (which went to electronic waste). I also rescued a lovely oak drawer from an old treadle sewing machine and a beautiful glass bowl.  There was even more re-useable/recyclable stuff, too much to mention. These folks have two small children and are nice people--they just don't see the problem with creating unnecessary waste. We really need an attitude adjustment to start taking better care of our planet's resources.

No comments: