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Old 09-23-2015, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Why do people bury stuff on their property?

My father, child of farmers, grandchild of farmers, etc., loved to build burn piles made of sticks and wood he never lit. I never understood that quirk of my daddy with a PhD in physics but accepted that our 3 acres would have stacks of stuff in many places. But at least his gatherings eventually went away after having served as nesting places for rabbits and other small animals including snakes. Eek.

But today, as on other days, I encountered more of the entombed/time capsule stuff on my 1/3 acre. Metal, trash, wood and cement leavings along with bottle caps (mucho Corona), gaskets, plastic whatevers and even rugs buried so deep I can't get them out--yet. Some metal has value for recycling and some can be sold or used (if I can figure out what to do with two 12' or longer sections of fence) because it's in great shape.

And then there are the cinder blocks.

Where did they come from? My house is block; there are no other structures on my lot built from such. I was told by a neighbor that there are enough for another house in the back jungle I have not completely investigated but, unless the blocks are buried very deep, he's wrong. Or perhaps he's right but they've been scattered because whenever I do a little digging or mowing, I find another one. Where they are make no sense. Sure, if you need to prop up a wooden fence or a shed edge or even make something not level temporarily, they work. But why in the middle of the yard? Or 1' from a fence? Or under a tree? Or by the mailbox? Why where they are? I have a theory about the last owner who wouldn't pay his mortgage (this was a foreclosure) but could sure find the money for cameras--he found the stash in the back and buried some arbitrarily with the tips exposed to trip up the marauders from invading his castle grounds. Think land mines in case his 3 wolf hounds weren't enough deterrent. Why else?

BTW, today I pulled out one that was taller than normal--12" or so. Gosh, that was heavy. When did anyone use those blocks? I'm thinking I may have my own Stonehenge going here. Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone that I'm probably sitting on an ancient archaeological site...haven't found any bodies yet...won't dig that deep so I'm good. Right?
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

So 175 clicks and no comments? Yeah I know it's more like 113 now but now that I replied to myself I'll get more readers. Sheesh. Where are the LA guys? Ab and Snookie? They know why people bury "stuff" but apparently they're not talking....
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

OK, how about we switch the question to what to do with all the old blocks? If you google things like "bench height", "bar height", etc. you can get some general specs. Like a decent bench can be made with a stacks of 2 blocks and 1 cap block. Then a top of a 2x10 and a 2x8. Next thing you know there are a few brats on a BBQ, jokes flying, and beers tipping.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

Holy cow! I'm not tossing the blocks and tops I've discovered. But until I know how many I have, I'm not making plans. These along with the pressure treated wood sticks and other goodies will be stacked and stored for a neat project.

But I still can't figure out why the previous owners buried this stuff...
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

Be careful when digging up rugs. Maybe have the Sheriff come over when you do it, especially if they are rolled up.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

Speaking from my work desk...

In 1992 the EPA put forth the Subtitle D regulations. The biggest and most direct result of this is that all landfills had to meet certain requirements for design and maintenance. The effect of those requirements is that most city dumps closed and the large consolidated landfills were designed and built. The cells of the landfill had to have liners and a lot of eggheads doing engineering calculations; any leechate collected from the landfill had to be recirculated or sent to a waste water treatment plant, etc.

The individual land owner also had some changes to take into account. Prior to Subtitle D taking effect in 1993, anybody could dump pretty much anything they wanted on their property. We have a running joke in the department that anybody who buys any piece of farmland that has or had a house on it is also buying an old landfill. Filling gullies, filling holes, digging bigger holes and filling them. Farmers/Landowners would even accept waste from friends and family that lived in town and didn't want to pay the tipping fee at the town dump. There also weren't as many (if any enforced) regulations on hazardous waste dumping. So as you dig keep an eye out, we often discover caches of DDT or other agrichemicals on old farms, etc.

Since you seem to be finding a lot of material with no obvious source on your property, it is entirely possible that your Dad or previous owners accepted outside waste to use as fill or to do as a favor to a friend who needed to get rid of it.

Anyway, that's my $0.02

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Old 09-25-2015, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

I know high dump fees tend to discourage proper disposal of garbage but there are none here. (Okay, there are a few--for instance I'm charged if I bring in more than 2 (or is it 4?) tires in a year.) This is absolutely the best trash service I've ever encountered. Recycling is encouraged and made easy but, unlike when I lived in the shadow the EPA in MD, not policed. As a result our county has excellent participation. When I had a lot of saplings and such cut down, I called for the "claw"; I'm allowed 2 visits every year. They would take the wood, blocks also if I called. I don't use the biweekly garbage service because I compost a lot; once a month I take my 1/3 full can to the curb so they don't forget I'm here. Once a week they pick up yard waste (even if it's not in a garbage can which amazes me having come from where you had to purchase special brown paper bags and cut any wood into 4' sections (no logs--only 2" in diameter allowed) along with the recycling bin; again I set mine out monthly. Absolutely no reason to bury stuff on your property where I live; the fees are collected with RE taxes so cannot be avoided.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

Most of the burials I'm talking about took place 25+ years ago, before the new regs were in place.

Not sure how old yours stuff is, but that was my guess.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

I have a feeling my collection was made by the former owner who lived here for 8 years; in order to receive cash for keys, he was forced to remove a non working hot tub and above ground trash. He didn't maintain the property but just squatted here. He sabotaged the kitchen faucet, removed stove parts and removed the hose to the toilet when he left. Didn't pay the mortgage for many years but had to "get even" with the bank.

Maybe I can't get the rugs out because of what they contain?
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

find old bottles and railroad spikes digging around Key West
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

How about dead bodies?
There was new about a month or so ago
where someone buried their significant other/missing person
in their backyard. After 10 years, authorities started digging the backyard.
Of course someone else lives there now.
Im sure there is an article in LA Times about this.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

I suspect most unwanted bodies in FL end up in the canals where some creature has a gourmet meal or 2.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do people bury stuff on their property?

Kat,
They do call that region the Treasure Coast don't they?


(I know it is a little more south be could not resist)
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