One Man’s trash

Filed in Blog by on February 27, 2012 12 Comments
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How to fit a hotel into your fireplace

How to fit a hotel into your fireplace

One man’s trash

You wouldn’t think I’d get particularly excited about a pile of gash wood would you?

However, this is a perfect example of how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

At the beginning of last year, Mr Green and I were told about this wood. It spanned about 8 piles of a similar size to the one in this photo:

All this, 8 times over...

All this, 8 times over...

And was just 1/2 a mile away at a local farm.

Apparently it’s a dismantled hotel would you believe. The farmer was paid to take it (cheaper than taking it to the household recycling centre no doubt) and was going to chip it into wood bark.

Fortunately a friend spoke up on our behalf and said we’d take it.

Yeah, I know, as if I don’t have enough to do…

It means my driveway, instead of being ‘idyllic rural England’ becomes this:

Piles of wood at zero waste towers

Piles of wood at zero waste towers

while Mr Green turned long planks of wood into these:

A few slices of the chainsaw later...

A few slices of the chainsaw later...

But it’s a small price to pay to get this, don’t you think?

The Green's woodburner - heating and water 'for free'

The Green's woodburner - heating and water 'for free'

And if you look carefully underneath the fire, you’ll discover the rabbit who thinks she is a cat:

Sunrise enjoying the warmth of the fire

Sunrise enjoying the warmth of the fire


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (12)

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  1. sooz says:

    Oh gosh, your rabbit is soo cute! and yey for rescued firewood! But mostly, your rabbit is soo cute!

  2. Such a cute rabbit!! (Have always wanted a bunny; theyre my weakness!)

    I have a similar problem having just moved out of studio; my once relaxing room is now a hectic workspace; crammed floor to ceiling with scrap I cant bear to get rid of! Sometimes I doubt the price we pay for peace of mind and not having all that waste on our conscience!

  3. Leigh says:

    I now wish we’d installed a multi-fuel burner, instead of the posh gas-flame fire, which is unused most of the time ‘cos we don’t want to burn gas!

  4. Julie Day says:

    I agree. Sunrise is cute, esp under the fireplace. Well done for rescuing unwanted wood.

  5. Carrie says:

    That lot will keep you going for years!! What a find :o)

    It is amazing what folk chuck out isn’t it. We recently retrieved a load of mature bushes from a neighbour’s skip (we asked first) and they look brilliant in our garden, saving us hundreds at the Garden Centre. And I noticed today that another neighbour (who has just moved in and is putting in a new kitchen) has tossed a washing machine and dishwasher into another skip. I do feel like putting them on freecycle for them…

    (BTW, I absolutely LOVE your bunny!!!)

  6. Antonio Pachowko says:

    Yum yum Roast rabbit what a treat (only Joking)

    By the way Councils are only allowed to take household waste and commercial/building waste have to be pay for disposal. The farmer has to be a licensed waste disposer otherwise a felony has been committed and heavy fines can be issued. The short cut business takes are eye watering.

  7. i see that we may have to add another ‘R’ to our credo…reduce-re-use-recycle—and now retrieve…
    i can be seen dragging tons of wood scraps home–not to burn, but to use as repair material or shelves in our centenarian home..the wood is cured by decades of previous use–it is better wood as it was harvested prior to current deplorable forestry practices–and it wood load up the town’s dumpsters and budget..

    retrieve-retrieve..i applaud your patience and envy your plentiful pile of heating material..or future shelves? or another outdoor building or garden relaxing center ??

  8. Jane says:

    I think that retrieving should definitely be a fourth R. There must be so much being disposed of as rubbish each day that could be reused by someone else. Also, I find myself taking items out of our landfill bin on a regular basis for recycling (either put there by visitors or the occasional tradesman carrying out work in the house, or absent-mindedly by my husband), and when I think about it, this is also a form of retrieving.

  9. So cute with the rabbit! Excellent save! 🙂

  10. Jane says:

    @Jane: those tradesmen know they should dispose of it themselves but that would be commercial waste and they’d have to pay at the HWRC, the answer is for them to find someone wh’d like it – like the farmer found mr and mrs green.

  11. Jeremy Hunter says:

    Argh, all those 2x4s! I could use them! Just being chucked on the fire seems like a bit of a waste, I bet you there’d be a lot of woodworkers who’d pay you for all that reclaimed wood… did you chop them all up?

    I’ve gotta find me a farmer who has been endowed with the joists from a dismantled hotel… there must be plenty around.

    Still, I bet they make a nice smelling fire, all that pine!

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @sooz: I won’t argue with you; she is the cutest bunny in the world 😉

    @Michelle Morgan @ Eco-Centricity: It can get a bit much; I’m a minimalist; Mr G is a hoarder; it’s not always easy LOL!

    @Leigh: 🙁 I have to admit; despite all the work, the cold mornings and the layers of soot everywhere; I wouldn’t swap it for the world…

    @Julie Day: Thanks Julie! Hope all is well with you

    @Carrie: fantastic hall on the garden plants – well done you!

    @Antonio Pachowko: thanks for the heads up Antonio

    @nadine sellers: haha! you know me too well Nadine; it has indeed be repurposed in many ways 🙂

    @Jane: Retrieving is a great one; like you I find myself doing these things on behalf of other people too!

    @Jeremy Hunter: Don’t worry Jeremy; the best bits have been saved. In fact some of them have already been used to make a chicken coop and run (see here and there are more on standby for a triple composting system I have lined up 😉 I just have to get Mr G fired up for the latter 😉

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