Saturday, March 15, 2008
How-to #1: Installing a can crusher.
Ok, my first real post. Here's a little background on this project. Last year I lived in what you could call a "party house." Think of the stereotypical college frat, but without the frattiness. We would have parties every weekend with often dozens of people showing up. This created quite the garbage problem for us.
What we would usually do is just bag it all up and throw it away. But this got to be pretty expensive from all the extra garbage cans (garbage pickup billed per can). The garbage from parties in addition to the normal trash that six guys make on a weekly basis really started to add up. We first tried limiting ourselves to cans and no bottles. This cut down on garbage a little bit, but it wasn't the solution we needed.
We eventually started saving our cans to take them to a recycling place that actually paid us for them. Yes, they paid us! Aluminum can actually be worth it to save up and sell to recyclers. I don't remember the exact figures, but I think we had well over a hundred pounds after six months or so, and they definitely gave us about $80 bucks for it. What really made it a lot easier was having a can crusher on the wall. We eventually trained people to take their own cans over to it, crush them, and drop them in a special garbage can for cans only. Here's how to make one:
What you'll need:
1. A store bought can crusher (duh).
2. Tools: A hammer, and a screwdriver (preferably a drill instead).
3. Supplies: One small finish nail (to find a stud), and possibly some 2" sheetrock screws.
Step one: Find your spot for the crusher.
We found it's best to put the crusher at about chest height. Find a spot on a wall where you can put a trash can to collect the cans in. This is where you'll put the crusher. You can try knocking on the wall with your finger to try to find the stud. Use the small nail to check if there is actually a stud there (the small nail will either hit or miss a stud. If it misses, it's just a small hole that no one will notice).
Step two: Install the crusher.
The crusher will likely have more than two holes. Just make sure that two of the screws hit the stud. Also, the screws that come with the crusher might not be long enough. One inch would be the minimum that you want if you're putting it on a sheetrock wall. Just screw it in and you're done.
One more thing, don't crush full cans! The best that could possibly come from this is making a huge mess. Ok, better tip, don't let other people crush full cans!