So, I’m sitting on the shop floor, thinking “I want to build a wood deck in the garden, but where am I going to get that much recycled wood?” And not 5 minutes later a guy comes around looking for Yuji. He introduces himself as Kaga from one of the demolition companies that Yuji works with, and asks if Yuji is around.
“No, he just popped out. Sorry. But…hey, can I ask you a random question? What do demolition companies do with all the garbage after you demolish something? Do you throw it away? And if someone wanted some of that garbage, could they just come take it?”
He tells me that most of it gets incinerated, except for some big steel and stuff that gets separated for recycling. Then he asks me if I’m looking for anything in particular.
“Wood.” I tell him. “For a wooden deck, for example.”
And he pulls out his little schedule book and says, “You know, we just happen to be demolishing a house on Wednesday, and there is a big patio structure there. There might be somthing you can use there. If you have a minute right now, I could take you there to check it out.” Jackpot.
Kaga turns out to be the nicest guy ever. He told his crew that we would be there on Wednesday and to let us have whatever we want. I had grossly underestimated the amount of wood holding up the patio, and Colin and I turned up on Wednesday armed with a chain saw, a couple crowbars and a REALLY small truck. The beams that were holding up the patio were huge and cemented into the ground. There was no way we were going to get them out. The crew read the looks on our faces and told us not to worry, they would be taking the deck apart later that day, and they will be careful not to damage any of the big beams. They told us to show up the next day and we could take all the wood we want. Oh, and maybe we should bring a bigger truck:)
The next day, we showed up with Higashi’s crane on the back of a truck and collected 7 beautiful pine beams so big that two people can barely lift them, and all kinds of other wood, 2×4’s, stones from the garden, and a couple of screen doors and tatami mats. And just like that, I have almost everything I need to build a deck. Completely recycled.