07 June, 2009

A New Record for Junk Collectors

Sometimes, the most satisfying projects aren't the ones you can photograph. Today was like that. Ted and I were standing in the garage, contemplating what to do with a ginormous pile of scrap metal left by the previous owners. Most of it was extra garage door parts--springs and tracks and the like--that we've been hanging onto "just in case." But we recently decided that if the garage door ever does need to be replaced, we'll convert it back to a two-door style and won't need this stuff, anyway.

"Let's just haul it all to the curb," I said. "It's garbage night, and I'm sick of looking at it."

"Okay," Ted agreed. "We'll leave it for the tinkers."

Almost every day, we can spot an overloaded pickup truck slowly driving down our street in search of scrap metal. There are so many of them, in fact, that the city considers them a nuisance and wants to start regulating them. Evanston, which charges a $25 fee for special pickups, claims it lost nearly $90,000 in revenue last year to junk trucks that beat them out. I say "whatever," we already pay a lot in taxes and fees 'round here, and if a junk collectors does take something, at least we know for sure it's actually being recycled.

"Let's just lean them against the bins, then," I said. And just as I was dragging out the first piece, what did I see rumbling down our alley? Yup, a junk truck. So instead of trying to figure out how to carefully balance everything without it spilling into the alleyway, we just waved the driver down instead, and he loaded up his truck directly. A new record for the removal of unwanted junk!

Eager to clear out more space, we decided to put a curb notice for an old refrigerator on Craigslist.com. Since last summer, I've been meaning to list it for fifty bucks or so, but never seemed to get around to it. The ad said it was on the driveway, come and get it if you want it. We rolled it out to the curb and...fifteen minutes later two big, burly guys drove up in an SUV to take it off our hands. Woo-hoo! A Craigslist record, too! I'm sure it will find a second life as a beer fridge in someone's garage.

So, while we didn't get much done on our place this weekend (although we did help my cousin hang up drywall at his), it felt like a satisfactory day just clearing out that stuff.

What do the rest of you think? Should junk trucks be regulated?


Jennifer said...

Awesome! I save up piles of things for the "tinkers"... when we were pulling the old nails out of the brick I saved every one. I asked the scrapper I emailed to come get some of the broken steel siding, a completely broken grill, and some other things if they wanted the nails, too... and they said yes. Good to know it's being recycled!

(Though, I DO get annoyed when said scrappers try to get perfectly usable things off of freecycle/craigslist to scrap instead of use.)

Michi said...

I love the tinkers and reusers!!! I feel so guilty when I throw away something someone might give a new life to. I try fix it up and put it on the curb a few days before trash pick up. I think the city is just being greedy trying to regulate them.