Recycling Old Farm Junk

recycle1Our house, though newly-placed upon this lot, resides on a dairy farm that was homesteaded around 1885. Of course the original farm was much bigger, but our lot has/had the last remaining buildings from the old farm- the barn and the silo. The barn fell down last spring, after not having ever been re-roofed since it was built in 1902. What we have left is a major rubble pile, not just of barn wood, but of metal products of every type imaginable.

100 years of farming tends to produce a lot of stuff, and it is our aim to clean it up and get it out of here. I understand how farms get messy, because farmers are busy and tend to leave things lying around. But we’re determined that our farm not be a messy one, so we’ve been working hard to incrementally clean up this century-worth of junk. We made a big stride forward in the last two weeks, by making a trips to the dump, the appliance recyclers, and the metal recyclers.

We had two old and broken refrigerators that were in the barn. In our county, there is only one place you can bring those, and you must pay $20 per appliance (they then dismantle them, use the good parts in decent-shape appliances, and dispose of the rest safely). So, it was good to see those things gone. The barn was full of bathtubs that were used for water troughs, and there was an old truck bed lying out in the dirt. Those comprised one truckload for the recycler- this was 5/8 of a ton of steel, for which we were paid $35 (I think). We were just happy to get rid of it and have it be recycled, so the money was a bonus. We were excited to find a new metal recycling lot very close to us, so it’s a convenient trip (and always an interesting one, to witness that little-seen side of the world- all the junk our society creates, and where it goes…)

recycle2The second load of metal was 60lbs shy of a full ton, and they paid us more that time, I think we got $60-something (not sure why- better metal than bathtubs?). There was a little bit of everything in there- stove pipe, broken gates, barbed wire, bent T-posts, black iron pipe, elecrical wiring and breaker boxes, cables, gutters, and I don’t remember what else!

We took a full truckload to the dump-mostly of old black plastic and orange plastic fencing, a few things that were broken when the barn fell (like my almost-brand-new fiberglass extension ladders! 🙁 ) and miscellaneous crud that was in the barn and around the yard.

Our Isuzu NPR flatbed truck sure comes in handy for these types of chores, and the hydraulic lift gate on the back is marvelous for lifting heavy things. It sure felt good to get rid of that more than two tons of useless junk!

2 thoughts on “Recycling Old Farm Junk

  1. jomegat says:

    Your post reminded me of an experience I had when I was a teenager. My older sister’s husband hired my brother and me to help clean out around an old, old building. The basement for this building had never been back-filled, so there was a deep sloping hill from the yard down to the building’s footings. Over the years, that space had been filled with all manner of debris, including a 16″ cast iron tee from a water main, I guess.

    We tied a chain to it, hooked it to the pickup truck and dragged it up out of there. Then we man-handled it into the bed of the truck.

    Since it was so heavy, I had the idea that instead of taking it to the dump, maybe we could make a small fortune by selling it at the scrap yard. So we drove there post-haste.

    It weighed 220 pounds. The manager wrote us a check for $1.10. I had no idea iron was so cheap!

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