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Jim Baird

inert materials burial on site

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These photos are of an L shape ditch a spec builder is making at the rear of a cpl of lots he is building two houses on.  Half acre lots generally, some 3/4 ac, all septic tanks.

Neighbors don't like it.  Their call to state environmental officer got zero answer.  In nearby metro areas sinkholes from buried c&d  wastes caused numerous problems that only occurred up to 15 yrs after the deed, in a state where this kind of violation has an 8 yr stat limit.

Is this practice allowed where you guys live?

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If the material was inert, it wouldn't be an issue. It'll settle as it rots. The uncompacted fill will settle too, but unless the site plan specifies "clean fill" or for compaction rates, it's OK to bury wood  if it doesn't affect the structure(s)

 

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I'm told there is a real estate law that says if you bury anything on a site for sale you have to disclose.  In our county there was an official inert materials landfill that went broke about the time of the finance/housing collapse.  In the case of this builder, I have determined that he owns an adjacent odd shaped lot in this subdivision which is where he may be putting this stuff.

In our county many subdivisions were approved, platted, and recorded but never built on, so that cleared parcels became overgrown with pioneer and weed species like sumac and chinaberry.  These lots are some of those, that have to be scraped off to build on.

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Incidentally, in our state it is legal to bury a person on your property, so I guess if you put Uncle Ralph out there in the yard you would have to disclose his location.  Parcels I have visited where little graveyards lie have usually had them fenced off with guaranteed ingress/egress easements recorded on plats for memorial visits.

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No one does that here.  It's burned or trucked out instead.  Architects and engineers here on commercial construction that I've done draw inspections on will require testing for organic content before construction begins.  Above a specified amount, excavation or 'grubbing' is required to whatever depth it takes to get organic matter content down to a specified maximum.

Edited by Marc

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In my area you cannot bury organic construction materials. Trees? I don't know. It also generates methane gas as it decays. 

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Why would they refer to such substances as inert when the reason they're objectionable is the fact that they are not inert?

 

 

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not supposed to bury anything here in Michigan.  I buried a hatchet once and woke up the next day feeling sprightly and full of vim and vigor.

 

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Concrete or stone is inert,  wood is not. Pile burning is almost never allowed anymore here, air quality issues. Wood goes to a chipper, where it is transformed into landscaping material or composted with food waste.

We have weekly curbside compost collection here. Sounds wonderful but people downwind from the composting plants have to live with the stink of rotting food, including fish and meat. That rotting food would be better buried for a year or so.

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5 hours ago, John Kogel said:

Concrete or stone is inert,  wood is not. Pile burning is almost never allowed anymore here, air quality issues. Wood goes to a chipper, where it is transformed into landscaping material or composted with food waste.

We have weekly curbside compost collection here. Sounds wonderful but people downwind from the composting plants have to live with the stink of rotting food, including fish and meat. That rotting food would be better buried for a year or so.

Interesting.  Composting, done right, does not smell.

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21 hours ago, John Kogel said:

Concrete or stone is inert,  wood is not. Pile burning is almost never allowed anymore here, air quality issues. Wood goes to a chipper, where it is transformed into landscaping material or composted with food waste.

We have weekly curbside compost collection here. Sounds wonderful but people downwind from the composting plants have to live with the stink of rotting food, including fish and meat. That rotting food would be better buried for a year or so.

I don't have an advanced degree in composting, but have had a working pile for over 25 years.  Always have been told not to put protein in there.  Meat and fish scraps and waste go to the backyard chickens.

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23 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

I don't have an advanced degree in composting, but have had a working pile for over 25 years.  Always have been told not to put protein in there.  Meat and fish scraps and waste go to the backyard chickens.

we are so poor we have not waste other than plastic and stained paper.

 

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I think meat in the compost heap will attract coons and bears to your backyard, so sure, keep it plant waste only and you get those big clusters of worms, healthy compost. I've noticed our worms like a layer of sawdust, as long as it is moist. They congregate there, or maybe that's where they give birth?

These high production composting facilities take everything, in fact the slogan is 'beans to bones in the bins'. It is all about reducing volume going into the landfill.

One of the products they sell is fish compost, which consists of wood chips and fish farm morts, dead salmon. Plants grow like stink.  [:D]

I actually returned a batch when they loaded my trailer from the wrong pile. It was so fresh you could smell it all over the neighborhood, and it was a sour, rotten meat smell. That wasn't the well rotted fish compost I asked for, which has no strong smell.

 

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These are Elm tree stumps and parts that the builder buried on my property in 1960 when the house was built.  The cross street is named "Old Elm". They were discovered when I was having a curtain drain installed in 2011.

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10 hours ago, John Kogel said:

I think meat in the compost heap will attract coons and bears to your backyard, so sure, keep it plant waste only and you get those big clusters of worms, healthy compost. I've noticed our worms like a layer of sawdust, as long as it is moist. They congregate there, or maybe that's where they give birth?

These high production composting facilities take everything, in fact the slogan is 'beans to bones in the bins'. It is all about reducing volume going into the landfill.

We live so far out in the woods that it is we who live in the coons' yard.  They move through here in packs at night and dig in the yard for grubs.  I have a bowhunting friend I call my "gamekeeper" who reported on the coon packs.  He takes deer out of our woodlot most years, has even taken a trophy buck or two.

You Canadians have long been way ahead of the US in terms of environmental issues.

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The small burg we live in now has the 3 types of trash pickup, while our previous abode had two, either recycling or garbage. Previous to that, recycling was voluntary with no pickup. 

Yes we know all about coons digging in the yard. Also have you noticed that they prefer to leave their feces in a pile somewhere?

We had a big plastic composter that they would tip over to get at rotten fruit and such. I wrapped a chain around it with some rebar jammed in the ground to make it harder. Our new place is too sterile for them maybe and heavily populated with little dogs..

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