Gravel, and how to get rid of it properly!

joyce_2010January 20, 2010

Hi. I know someone posted this question back in 2007, but I was hoping I could get some more specific responses to my situation. We just purchased a total "fixer" and although most of the inside of the house is now liveable, the very small backyard is a mess. It's all gravel, but the problem is, the backyard gravel is mixed with years upon years of dog feces that were never scooped up by the previous owners. It is hard to see what is actually gravel now, or discolored/hardened dog waste, and the smell is awful--absolutely disgusting. We'd like to get rid of all the gravel at this point as it's fairly impossible to separate the two. That said,I can't offer it to Freecycle because it's not "clean" and feel very uncomfortable going through public sites to list our address for strangers to come to our home. Is the only other alternative to get a "dumpster" (provided by our trash service) and have it hauled away? Do we need to put it in sealed contracter bags or can it just be shoveled in? (We experimented with and the bags broke half full!)I consider it a health hazard at this point as I'm expecting a newborn baby in a few months and I'm on a very tight budget on how to a. get rid of it and b. where to. Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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its basically fertilizer, just let the summer sun bake it to a crisp, then smoosh it all into powder and water everything with a hose so it soaks underneath the gravel. ^_^

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 3:36PM
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Thanks but this isn't a viable alternative. It has already been watered on for years (especially since last night's rains!) but there is so much of it due to lazy previous owners not picking up after their dogs and creating a health hazard.

That said, we would like to create a native garden for ourselves and our children to enjoy, so we need to dispose of gravel--along with years of dog waste.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 6:37PM
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Cover it with a thick layer of shredded trees as a mulch, then plant through it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 11:22PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

It sounds like you want it OUT OF THERE. I'm thinking bulk trash might be your solution. I've read through the newsletter I get from the City of Phx, their phone # is 602.262.7251. If you live in a different city or town, you will need to check appropriately.

Some nuggets from the newsletter:

Bulk trash is material that must not be placed in the garbage or recycling containter such as funiture, large appliances and vegetation. [you might losely apply your issue as vegetation, that's a stretch though.]

Bulk trash crews do not pick up: Loose grass, leaves, weeds, twigs and hedge clippings. It must be bagged or boxed and securely tied to be collected.

I guess I would go with that last paragraph if it were me. Buy some very heavy-duty trash bags and only put in as much as the bag can handle. Or box it somehow. You can place these bags directly into your garbage collection container. We have removed lots of gravel from our yards and simply dumped it in the alley to absorb the mud/dust. But we did not have the feces problem you speak of.

Hope this helps and good luck with it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:34AM
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It might help to first determine the amount of material you need to have removed. Measure your yard and calculate the square footage. Figure you have about 1 ton of material per 100 square feet of yard (roughly). This will give you an idea of whether bulk trash pickup will work for you. Im guessing they will only take so much at one time.

I have also put gravel and such in my waste container for pickup but you can only get a couple hundred pounds in there at once and depending on the amount of material you have, that method could take weeks or months to get rid of it all.

Another option, as you noted, is to get a roll-off box and fill it yourself. A company like Waste Management can provide this service. I would think you can just put the material in the box and not bag it up but you may want to inquire further on that issue. A one time roll-off delivery and dump will cost you about 500 bucks.

The next option is to hire a clean-up company to come in and get it all out of there for you. This is the most expensive option because now you are paying for labor as well as the dump fees. The up-side is you dont have to deal with the material yourself and they will get it clean down to the soil grade for you. If you get to the point where you want to explore this option further I can recommend a few companys that provide this service.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Thanks for the follow ups. I think the logical next step is to measure/calculate the square footage. I wasn't aware of the cost. As the yard is so small, it looks like a fairly easy job, but is quite difficult as my husband soon found out when he tried to shovel it himself into bags!

I wasn't even sure we could put some of the bags he shoveled up in the trash container, as I was under the impression we are not allowed to put gravel in the trash.

If you could list some companies, we can do some research as to cost etc. down the line. Thanks again for everyone's helpful tips!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 9:41PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

also, the bulk dumpsters in our area don't want gravel or cement in the standard big dumpster. It's to heavy. They have a special one that has sides that are not quite as tall and it can handle the weight. If you go with the dumpster, tell them what you plan to put in it, they will advise you from there.
that is also very surprising about bagging it. That doesn't make sense to me, so ask the service about that too. I would think you could get a low dumpster with a door side and a ramp, and use a wheel barrow to load into it. that is common on construction sites.
Arthur the date palm guy

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 2:00AM
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East Valley Management (480-895-5006) is a company I have used for granite removal. They will send someone out to survey the site and give you a bid on the removal.

Try Waste Management for the roll-off option.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 4:36PM
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