Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drywall, almost 3,000 pounds total

Who knew?

The drywall (sometimes called by its trade name, Sheetrock) in a 900-square-foot house, would weigh 3,000 pounds. More or less.

The great and powerful Leandro single-handedly tore out, by hand, all drywall from my house, save one wall, and piled it up in the right-of-way. Disposal of construction material is the responsibility of the homeowner.

When I realized my four-cylinder quarter-ton Nissan was not up to the job of hauling a trailer beefy enough to carry even part of this load, I hired the big guns, G&M Haulers, two entrepreneurial Aggies who founded a business specializing in moving Texas A&M University college students between apartment complexes.

Hauling construction debris? Not so much.

Being accommodating businessmen, as well as good sports,  though, Joe and Jose showed up on on the dot of 7:00 a.m. pulling an immaculate shiny black 16-foot enclosed trailer with their dualie (I refuse to spell it dually, the Texas preference) pickup truck. For any Yankees reading this post, a dualie (or dually, but to me, the -ly ending implies an adverb rather than a noun) refers to a larger pickup truck with dual rear wheels on each end of the axle.

Four of us shoved, racked, scooped, and swept drywall debris into the trailer. We then drove to the county landfill, weighed in, and were directed to "road" carved into the side of mountain of landfill debris. At the pinnacle of landfill mountain was an orange-vested man directing traffic, so busy was this place.

The scene at the top of the mountain was surreal. Enormous earth-moving equipment with wheels 8 feet in diameter driven by grim-faced men pushed garbage around. Trash clung heavily to the huge wheels. I recognized red net grapefruit bags and green twine and plastic garbage bags. As the four of us hauled and swept and carried, two legitimate city garbage trucks backed up on either side of us and dumped their loads. Just another day at the office for them.

Circling overhead and alighting--sometimes atop the heavy equipment and sometimes on retaining fences were members of a committee--what a terrific collective noun!--of about 50 vultures.

Business as usual at the county landfill.

But that was only the first wave of drywall.

For the second load a few weeks later, I took the drywall to the largest indoor recycling center in Texas, Brazos Valley Recycling, about 6 miles west of my home, and about four miles west of Texas A&M University. What an operation! An enormous set of corrugated metal green buildings not visible from the highway. Although I had driven past the road hundreds of times, I had no idea it was there. Adjacent to the recycling facility, a dozer operator had carved an epic canyon over the years by removing fill dirt and top soil. To my Southwestern sensibilities, the canyon had very much the look of the reddish steep-walled formations in northern Arizona or southern Utah.

The owner of the recycling facility offered to give me a tour! Oh, YEAH! The business recycles construction materials; all manner of wood, and all color-separated for use as mulch; even the handy 5-gallon plastic buckets, all crushed and baled; and broken concrete. Now that's some recycling I can get behind! I was as excited as a kid at Six Flags!

In case you are wondering, gypsum--one of two components in drywall, the other being paper--is used to harden and make impervious the beds of cattle tanks (ponds holding for cattle to drink). Gypsum is also good for lawns.


Chile said...

That's a whole lot of drywall! Nice to know it can be re-used somehow.

Is the house livable yet?

Waitress from Mensa said...

Chile, now I'm camping in the house, although it's still unfinished. Painting and floors are the next step. Glad to see you are in your kitchen. Wish I'd salvaged the dishwasher racks as you did.