Saturday, September 4, 2010


Back in the days when Dave’s father and grandfather had a well and septic tank business, they had an opportunity to acquire a vast quantity of old cable previously used and discarded by the phone company. They felt it would work well for reinforcing in their concrete products, so they brought it to the Pashley Rd. property via small dump trucks. Unfortunately, very little of this was used and has been sitting in the woods for at least 40 years. Now it is up to us, the next generation, to attempt to clean up the land. For many years we have been trying to find someone to come and remove it, to no avail. We figured that it must be worth some kind of money as scrap metal, but no one would touch it. The reason is that the recycle/scrap metal plant down at the Port of Albany would not accept it because the rolls of cable get caught and wound up in their grinding machines. At least that was the case until recently. Then fate took over.

Dave and I happened to stop at a truck show on our way to Ticonderoga one weekend, and passed by a huge roll-off truck on display with the name “Eastside Recycle” painted on the side. On a whim, Dave stopped and asked the driver if by any chance they recycled cable and wire. We were shocked to finally hear the word we had waited so long to hear...YES! It was explained that being the large company that they are, they have their own machines to cut up the cable into small pieces before bringing it down for scrap metal.

It took a few weeks to pull it all together, but they did make it with all their huge equipment and trucks that barely made it down our dirt access roads. They even volunteered to pay us for it, but Dave said that as long as they cleaned up after they were done, they could have it all for free. Between the labor involved in loading and then cutting up, reloading, and the transporting to their plant about 50 miles away, and then back down to the Port of Albany, plus the cost of all their equipment, it’s hard to believe they make much money on this at all.

What a process it was trying to collect all the piles in the woods, and then putting it in the gigantic dump trucks.

They also found and disposed of other scrap metal that was unearthed after decades of sitting around and being partially buried with dirt and plant growth. They had to have wire cutters on hand at all times because the wire would get caught around the tracks of the loader as they went along. Just to get to some of these piles, new trails had to be made and trees had to be cut down.

When all was said and done, 70 tons of cable, wire, and scrap metal was removed from our property. We are thrilled with the end result, although there is still a bit strewn about that Hercules and the New Holland will easily take care of. Plus we have an open invitation to go to Eastside’s plant in Kingsbury to see how the metal is cut up and processed to be readied for recycling.

As a side perk to this project, while digging for more metal, the backhoe unearthed a mother lode of glass insulators from old telephone poles. I have been doing some internet research about them, but that will be another subject for a future blog post.

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