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Down in the Dumps

| A Day in the Life of a Scrapper
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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Down in the Dumps

    Wanted to share the latest scrapping adventure, a Township Dump that will be cleaned up and returned to it's natural condition. These were common in the country as families disposed of unwanted items. A miniature municipal landfill created by generations of farmers that includes metal, glass, and trash. The dump is in a gully and over the decades trash has been buried. This project will include salvage, restoration, and reclamation. If all goes according to schedule grass will be planted next spring.




    Give back more to this world than we take.



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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    The previous picture is taken at the top of the gully and does not accurately portray the scope of the project. Recent generations started dumping at the edge of the gully, the gully is 100 yards long and about 15 ft. deep.

    The following picture provides an example of the mounds of trash buried in berms. The rake on the skid steer is used to bust the mounds and then they are sorted into ferrous, nonferrous, glass, and trash.


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    Wow that's exciting!

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    It is also the intent to share some insights into some of the things I have learned the hard way. If anyone has any suggestions or short cuts I would appreciate your ideas. First the business relationship you develop with the scrap yard can make or break a scrapper. There are many perks the average person does not get. One such perk is reducing the amount of time a scrapper spends at the scrap yard.

    The first picture is the entrance to my closest yard. There are three excavators in use in the yard most of the time. They have one with a magnet, one with a claw, and one with a shear. It is set up as a loop. When they are loading out trucks, most people have to wait their turn. I have been pushed in and unloaded and allowed to back up my 40ft. trailer passing the waiting line twice.



    Since I have earned a reputation for clean loads, sometimes I do not even go into the yard. Instead I am unloaded by a forth excavator right at the pile ready for shipment by rail. This location is outside the yard so it saves a lot of time. The next picture shows being unloaded at the rail car loading station. If my load was not clean, they would have to haul it 100 yrds. to be sorted with the rest of the steel. This is a big perk in my mind.


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    if they pay u more than what they pay others, then u can say that they really appreciate the effort u make to bring in clean loads.

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    Are there any local bottle digging groups in your area? I joined a FB group, recently, which has hundreds of US collectors and diggers and this is the kind of stuff they dream of finding.

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakage View Post
    Are there any local bottle digging groups in your area? I joined a FB group, recently, which has hundreds of US collectors and diggers and this is the kind of stuff they dream of finding.
    That is a good idea. The modern garbage piles are the only ones that have been tackled so far. I have found a few unique bottles and other things that were saved. I will take your suggestion before getting into the older parts of the dump. Since this is a reclamation project everything is sorted by hand and should be a great opportunity for collectors.

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    This picture is of the surrounding area above the main dump. Beyond what can be seen is numerous piles similar to these and this is before the main dump in the gully will be tackled.


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    Will you be using a large magnet to do some of the work? 73, Mike
    "Profit begins when you buy NOT when you sell." {quote passed down to me from a wise man}

    Now go beat the copper out of something, Miked

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    P76, I commend your community spirit in cleaning up such an old dump. There are many "dump gullies" in this state, ranging from individual farms, many long exited by people living there regularly, up through the project you're going to tackle. Maybe some day in the future, some kid will arrow a Pope & Young whitetail down in the reclaimed gully in a place where it would have been unsafe to probably hunt in prior years and probably not attracting as many deer. Good luck on your efforts!!

    Breakage- I'm sure there a few bottle collecting groups in South Dakota but probably way less than out east for a couple of reasons, 1) a small population, and 2) Euro-American settlement is only about from the early 1870s in most places in the state, such as P76's area. I have read & seen a few "(old) privy diggers" in some of the cities where they locate old outhouses of the past and find old bottles and such that got thrown down the holes. They get hepatitis shots and go after it. They find some neat old stuff but it certainly isn't for everybody...

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    Where I grew up it seems that many farmers had their own personal dump site. I remember visiting two as a kid. One was my uncle's and the other our neighbor. The neighbor used a burn barrel for most of the household trash. the dump sites were full of all things that wouldn't burn.
    Copper, brass, and Leather. 3 of my favorite things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HipoGear View Post
    Where I grew up it seems that many farmers had their own personal dump site. I remember visiting two as a kid. One was my uncle's and the other our neighbor. The neighbor used a burn barrel for most of the household trash. the dump sites were full of all things that wouldn't burn.
    Exactly how I grew up in Indiana. Mike

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked View Post
    Will you be using a large magnet to do some of the work? 73, Mike
    No, but my hydraulic rake is used to break open the piles and then it is hand sorted.






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    Hand sorting is going to be a tough go. Best of luck, Mike

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    Whoo! that looks like a lot of fun(and hard work). No telling what kinds of "treasures" you might find!
    Christopher Foote
    Operations Manager, REWORX of North Alabama a 501(3)C non-profit Company
    Office: 256.260.1791
    Cell: 256.606.5604
    chris.foote@capna.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaRog View Post

    Breakage- I'm sure there a few bottle collecting groups in South Dakota but probably way less than out east for a couple of reasons, 1) a small population, and 2) Euro-American settlement is only about from the early 1870s in most places in the state, such as P76's area. I have read & seen a few "(old) privy diggers" in some of the cities where they locate old outhouses of the past and find old bottles and such that got thrown down the holes. They get hepatitis shots and go after it. They find some neat old stuff but it certainly isn't for everybody...
    Exactly. You will probably find milks and soda bottles, which have steady collector markets, but you won't find anything of real, rare quality. But given that they are newer, they may be in better condition, overall, which pushes the value. They will probably be closer to the surface, too. At any rate, half of the people I see in the group are just hurting for places to practice the trade, whether or not they are treasure or trash.

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmoorad View Post
    if they pay u more than what they pay others, then u can say that they really appreciate the effort u make to bring in clean loads.
    They are paying very well for the effort. A first yesterday, they unloaded directly from the trailer into the gondola car. Trust is required because they could pollute the entire load if it did not meet their buyers specs.

    Another example of the benefits is this load. It is all tin purchased as prepared metal. These were full sheets of tin smashed with the skid loader and rake.



    This is a picture of a tie down method that is used on the trailers and shared before. One chain and cum-a-long provides three anchor points. Two chains and cum-a-longs secure the entire front of the trailer. This is the top view and you can see the anchors on the side in other pictures. The sheets of tin are added to ensure the wind does not take the load for a ride.



    Another idea for those that haul with an open trailer. This is a soccer net provided from a school. It is used here to prevent aluminum cans from flying out. On top of the cans is some aluminum breakage used to further secure them. The advantage of the net is it's ability to deal with the weather and it's light weight. The disadvantage is when it catches on the load.



    This is the entire load, prepared under sheets and six chemical totes full of aluminum. The cans are being sold at a very good price because the yard needs them.

    Last edited by Patriot76; 10-16-2018 at 10:05 PM.

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    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Some ideas for those that read this thread. Below is a picture of the leather chaps that are used when cutting metal, cold days, and for general scrapping. In addition to being burn proof, they are excellent in the rain, and do not rip or tear on every piece of metal. I do not worry about oil or grease staining them, it actually adds character and improves there softness. They are used sometimes during the hot season and when soaked with water are actually cool. There is no way to know the number of jeans they have saved. The best part is that I have not worn a pair out yet.



    On the right hand side shows the way I carry a magnet. The retractable key chain allows use without removal, it never gets lost, you can access it with gloves, and no fumbling digging it out of the pocket. Disadvantage is sometimes it sticks to a piece of metal and the ricochet is at waist level.


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    Gotta love those ricochets not being a little lower than your waist. Mike

  36. #20
    Patriot76 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked View Post
    Gotta love those ricochets not being a little lower than your waist. Mike
    The post was a nice way of saying they are lower than the waist.


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