Trash Stalking

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By Bryan Mossing

With a refined design for Adam’s farm cart, we next hunted—nay, stalked—useable construction waste like a Black Friday shopper going for the limited edition something er’ other. Savannah Tech interns Bill Holden and Nathan Streety—the Dynamic Duo—transformed into part-time pickers.

After scouring Craigslist for a used trailer to model our prototype upon, the Dynamic Duo—led by ES board member Mark Fitzpatrick—visited two of Savannah’s construction recycling centers as well as a couple of Mark’s current job sites. The Dynamic Duo grew ever familiar with the sorts of construction waste that exits jobsites, and eventually honed in on some fantastic insulated panels that were going to be landfilled from one of those sites.

“Materials that can be used in so many other ways are put in dumpsters and sent off,” Bill Holden observed. “The sites we visited allowed us to see the numerous types of materials that can be reclaimed, and how much can truly be reused.”

Half the fun of stalking trash is envisioning the potential future use of the found materials while you’re digging through a dumpster or demo pile. This was part of the process when we visited the Mitsubishi plant to gather materials from their metal recycling location. “I wonder what this came from/was a part of/is used for?” was echoed repeatedly as everyone uncovered mysterious metal bits and pieces as they dug around for something useful. Several metal battens as well as a bunch of screws were rescued from their recycle destiny and added to our stock. Thanks, Mitsubishi!

The following day, with the insulated panels fresh in our mind, we scored big at a Broughton Storefront remodel, managed by Secretariat International, when finding large amounts of metal studs and track.

“While the materials are nice, the sizes and shapes available are out of your control.” Nathan Streety observed of the dumpster content. “So what’s already limited, also has to be carefully thought of how the shapes you need can be made by combining materials together and even utilzing the left over scrap from a big piece being cut out.” Creative thinking is a must!

Thanks to Mitsubishi Systems, Green Acres Recycling, Secretariat International, and Fitzpatrick Construction.  And a special thanks to Emergent Structures’ vice president Mark Fitzpatrick!

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