Encouraged by challenge posted by @abundance.tribe, I decided to write a bit about the general clean-up here on Stone Turtle (a.k.a. Stone Dragon, but we're not going to get lost in semantics). I realize, I should have done this sooner, probably two months ago when I arrived here, and continued posting on a weekly basis about my activities on making this property - and thus the world - a better place. As it turns out, this is my last week here, and so this post will remain my only one for this challenge.
The Type of Cleaning We're Looking At
As I mentioned in my previous posts, this property was completely covered in garbage when I arrived here two months ago. Okay, I gotta be reasonable: the situation weas in fact far from landfill conditions. However, there WAS a good amount of plastic, cardboard, metal, and wood trash scattered mainly around the structures and vehicles. Since then we've been busy picking it all up, sorting through them, packing them in bags, and carting them to the dump, once we have a good van-load together.
Callenges of the Pick-up
Normally you'd say, nothing is simpler than picking up trash, right? Well, imagine that trash has been sitting out in the intensive desert sun for years on end! That means, anything from plastic bags to milk jugs may look nicely preserved, but as soon as you touch it, it literally crumbles into a million pieces. Dangit!
So what can you do? We've tried sucking it up with a shop-vac, which works okay, you just gotta turn it off in time before it starts vacuuming in the dirt. For cases that are too far for an extension cord, we picked it up with a shovel, trying our best to leave the dirt, but none of the plastic.
Challenges of Recycling
Of course not everything lying around is trash. Sure, looking at this place, you may think that simply EVERYTHING not natural is trash. And sure enough, most items are way beyond usability, with parts missing or broken, or simply in a condition that' beyond repair. For many other objects the oppoite is true. First, however, one needs to properly identify them.
What is it? Does it work? Is it an essential part of another object, somewhere else? In the worst case, can it be gotten to work? Otherwise, could it be useful for something else? If all answers are No, the next question is which recycling pile to put it in.
In for the Long Haul
So far we have taken twenty full size contractor bags to the dump, and have prepared another twenty. But honestly, this valiant effort is just the start of what promises to be a long-term effort. There are still two camping trailers, plus a cabin, that are all in such a horrible condition that I don't believe anything in them is salvagable at all. Also, eventually we won't get around getting a big container here, to dispose large and heavy objects. But all that are thins for the next year to worry about.
These are my other posts about my doings on Stone Turtle:
Introduction to Stone Turtle
The Natural Building Project I Started
A Natural Venue for Performing Arts
An Encounter with a Local Woodrat
Wildlife on the Property
About the Stuff Found Among the Trash
Two of the Most Prominent Trucks on the Site