I wanted to get some progress in the basements today, but before I continued with cleaning up the old part basement, I wanted to clear things out of the new part basement. I’d been putting garbage bags near the bottom of the stairs, and things were getting pretty cluttered.

It wasn’t just the garbage I’ve been cleaning up from the old basement, though.

Shortly after we moved in, one of the things we’d done was set up wire frame bag holders to hold bags for recycling.

This was back when we still thought recycling was worth doing out here. I’m not so sure anymore.

At the landfill, the only general household recycling they want sorted out is the glass. Everything else is supposed to go into the general bins, which then get shipped to the city for sorting. At first, we would take our paper products to the burn barrel, but with the fire bans in the past two summers, that stopped. Even starting up again in the winter didn’t work out, due to weather. So that all goes to the dump now, instead.

One thing that took some getting used to after the move, is that this province does not have bottle depots. You know all those things you pay an enviro fee on when you buy them at the grocery store? We used to be able to take them in and get that fee back. Here, we just pay the fee and it goes… somewhere.

However, I knew that aluminum could be taken in and sold by weight. It’s one of those things organizations do for charity drives; they collect people’s aluminum, then sell it by weight to raise money. Pop tabs are collected separately, as they are pure aluminum and get a higher price per pound. Pop tab collections are sometimes done to raise money for wheelchairs.

So we’ve been collecting our aluminum for close to 2 1/2 years now.

For a while, we had a wire bag holder for aluminum, another for paper and plastic, and a small bin for glass.

At some point, we needed to make space for company, so it all went into the basement, but never made it back up again.

Since then, we continued to bag the aluminum separately into smaller bags, all of which got tossed into the basement as smaller bags were filled. (Except the tabs from pop cans and food tins. We keep a small jar for those and when it’s full, I run a magnet through them to catch any that aren’t pure aluminum, then transfer them to a 1 gallon jar. We have yet to fill that jar.)

Then we got a can crusher, which allowed us to fit more into the little bags before they got tossed into the basement.

As you can imagine, things were starting to get ridiculous down there.

Today, I fixed that.

Most of this involved combining the contents of little bags into larger ones, but I found 3 recycling bags full of stuff from before getting the can crusher.

I just spent a whole lot of quality time with the crusher.

This is what I got out of the basement.

Six bags of crushed cans. Not everything could be crushed; some of the cans were too big even for our extra tall can crusher, and things like cat food tins don’t get crushed at all. Even taking that into account, each one of those bags is the equivalent of 3 bags of uncrushed cans.

So this is the equivalent of 18 bags of cans, crushed to fit into 6.

I honestly don’t know if this is enough to be worth taking to a scarp yard. They go by the pound, and aluminum is really light.

At least they’re out of the basement.

They are now taking up space in the garage, instead. 😀

I also got out a large bag of regular recycling, plus another 4 garbage bags from the old basement clean up.

Things are looking a whole lot better down there, just by getting this stuff out!

At some point, we will even be able to start using the new part basement as a workshop again!

I’m really looking forward to that. Even if stairs are my nemesis. 😀

The Re-Farmer

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