On Tuesday, I got rid of much of the scrap wood collection that has been accumulating in my basement, waiting to be disposed of. The total included:
- 2 milk crates full
- 2 buckets full
- a chopped-up hollowcore door that I had been using as a folding station atop my washer and dryer, but hasn’t worked for that since I moved the dryer to a different wall, so that said dryer can vent directly outdoors instead of through a long and twisting duct
- a couple thin long scraps from very beat-up CDX plywood
I brought them to the nearby recycling center. The municipality shreds the wood and uses it to line the “roads” through the dump for garbage trucks. Not a perfect recycling system, in that the wood doesn’t get perpetually reused, but it saves the municipality from purchasing gravel to line the paths.
I also brought them the old aluminum ductwork from the aforementioned dryer, miscellaneous pieces of iron, and an athletic shoe – all of which will be recycled in the more traditional sense.
I of course forgot to take a picture of the huge mass of stuff as I piled it outside my front door, which makes it a lot less satisfying, I’m sure, for you the reader. Trust me when I tell you that it pretty well filled my friend’s station wagon.
Of course, the irony of burning gas in order to bring something to the recycling center is not lost on me. I hope that I decreased the irony by combining the trip with a doctor’s visit and a run to the home center, where I returned a gasket that I ended up not using in the toilet installation, plus several gas pipe joints that I ended up not using when I moved the aforementioned dryer, and picked up 5 pounds of screws for a friend (the same one who lent me the station wagon). Given that I saved him a trip to the home center, I’m hoping it’s all a wash.
My basement is looking a little tidier than before the recycling trip, but it didn’t make as dramatic of an impact as I’d hoped, largely because the milk crates and buckets of wood had all been stashed under the utility sink and couldn’t be seen unless one looked for them. The biggest improvement is that I can now get to my bike trailer without having to move the copped-up hollow-core door.
Of course, there will inevitably be more scrapwood where that came from. I’ve been working on building a bike ramp to the basement, finishing some trimwork, nice-ing up a cabinet and building cat furniture. So the entire pieces of wood that I currently have in a corner against the wall (all of which were rescued from other people’s demolition projects) will be transformed partly into usable objects and partly into buckets of scrapwood. Once I go through all the wood that I have right now, I may have to call a sabbatical on carpentry.