1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

scrounging question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by sgcsalsero, Sep 4, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    So I have been doing the bike commute thing for a few months now. The other day, while cutting thru the back area of a school close to work I notice a huge trunk (at least 36" dia.) in a pile of brush. Upon further investigation, there is between 4-6 cords of incredibly dried out hardwood, mostly in pole length, mostly off the ground, and very accessible (gravel road). It is so gray it looks petrified and there are weeds growing up and around a lot of it; no rot on inspection, looks hard as granite. Today I found out the school has an urban forestry program and got two phone numbers.

    So how do I approach these guys? "Hey I work a few hundred yards away and wondered if I could come onto school property and help myself." I can just see them turning me down just based on the fact that if I hurt myself bucking their apt to think I'll sue the school. I guess the best I can come up with is "Hey, how 'bout a donation to your forestry program and I'll sign whatever waiver you put in front of me." Maybe I need to ask the principal or facilities manager instead, no idea.

    If I scored this stuff it would put me -at least- a year ahead of production, I wouldn't have to touch any of what I stacked this year.

    Thanks

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,455
    Loc:
    Virginia
    Just call, be pleasant, and ask if you can collect up the wood for firewood. Offer to do it after school hours or on the weekend. Don't bring up any liability stuff. If they do, tell them you have all the safety equipment.
  3. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Good points, esp. safety stuff, in fact I usually have it all in my trunk (I process wood on someone else's property), Thanks
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,472
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    If they have an Agricultural Dept maybe they can incorporate a (chainsaw safety) class involved in cutting and loading the wood for you. Just leave your trailer and they load.
  5. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    419
    Loc:
    Schuylkill County, Pa
    It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission!

    Oh, and take a before picture or two first.
  6. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Good thought, I was thinking of donating a saw to their program, I get a discount on Stihls and Huskies. Incredibly enough, a knuckle boom truck with a full load past me this morning at a bike trail intersection. I followed and flagged down the guy, had a good chat, turns out we know a couple mutual people. I am going to get hooked up, seems like there are plenty of people who want a free load of wood put I told him (a couple times) that I am willing to pay market value for log length hardwood (whatever that is) plus I have an awesome dumping site. He was dumping a load of locust at the end of a road for a guy who has maybe thrown him a couple bucks, sounded like it maybe covered the gas bill for the day ($30-$40 for a full load), but that's it. Hey, to the highest bidder go the spoils I say, these guys work hard enough to eek out a decent living.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    most the time they are glad to get rid of it
  8. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    Heres what I did, now it was on someones property and not a school. I told them I heat my house with wood and noticed
    a bunch of wood at the edge of his property and asked if I could take it. The guy said yeah I didn't even know it was there
    just watch out for bugs. Unless they're jerks or scared of getting sued they will probably say yes.
  9. Opportunist

    Opportunist New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    32
    I always try to ask permission before I take wood. I have only had one person say no. Only because they were going to use the wood. They appreciated that I asked because many people do not ask.

    You have to be careful to ask the right person at a school or business. Some teacher may not have noticed the wood but then over hears you talking about it. Next thing her husband is hauling the wood away.

    How about asking someone in maintenance about the wood? They probably know it's there. They would probably rather not clean it up if they do not burn wood. The head of maintenance could probably give you the yes or no answer.
    Are you sure the school owns the land?
  10. woodzilla

    woodzilla New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    168
    Loc:
    Mid-Michigan
    Be sure to ask if they allow chainsaw use. I had the ok on some park land, but saws were not allowed. I managed to scrounge 9 full cord this year. I use the line that I am a tree recycler for home heating(buzzword use). Good luck!
  11. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Central Coast, NSW, Australia
    I second that :)

    If your schools are anything like ours there are too many layers of beaurocracy, people who don't want to make a decision or know who should, and the chance when you ask that someone else overhears and decides to take it.

    You could try this line "hey I'm going camping and we have to bring our own firewood into the park, can I scrounge around and grab some dead wood?"

    That way you have kind of asked permission . . . if busted hauling out massive dried trees you could say "well . . . it's a long camping trip :)"
  12. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    Same here in the park next to my house. You can haul all you want, just can't use any tools. Which is useless since they leave downed trees in 8'-24' sections or 36"+ diameter rounds. There's a large amount of nice oak back there rotting away...
  13. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Wow, the last couple posts couldn't have been more dead on. I listened to both vmails of the guys that run the forestry program and choose to get in touch with the 'friendlier tone' (old trick). So I met this guy today and things are rolling along, he said that the school budget continues to dwindle and said they'd take a cash donation b/c they do fundraising for the school program by actually selling the firewood (only at best two ricks processed that I could see around an outbuilding). I told him I'd "take the stuff in the weeds" and would pay log length fair market value, basically implored with him that I need some dry wood for the season. Even offered to circulate their fundraiser flyer to a few neighbors and friends.

    THEN. . .the guy who runs the show who looked (5'2" and 140lbs soaking wet) and acted like Higgins from Magnum P.I. came out and contradicted everything that my guy said. He says he doesn't want any help with flyer circulation because they are turning away a lot of phone calls for jobs (kids in program have great OJT probably). Then he says that's all the wood they have for selling, yet there are 3 foot weeds growing around a lot of the stuff, and wouldn't ya think they'd get a lot of free wood if their phone is ringing off the hook??? Total bureaucratic B**S**T, I could have put a couple benjis in their pocket (what's that about a bird in the hand?). So I look at the flyer the guy gave me (the one that I'm not allowed to circulate per Higgins) . . freaking $330 for a seasoned cord, plus $35 delivery. . eee gads, good luck with that I say ... so the majority of that awesome oak is likely going to just rot away in the woods
  14. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Yeah, I had a national park beotch basically threathen me with a misdemeanor if I got caught taking dead standing (or recently fallen) wood from their precious park .. I've since found out this park has pulled the eminent domain card on residents over the years . . I knew of other parks that allowed this (maybe $20 per truck load, no work done at all by park rangers, just collected the money)
  15. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    I think the best chance I have is playing 'let's make a deal' with the 'regular dude' I connected with in a year when he realizes they haven't done jack schmitt with
    that stuff. I like processing wood, and I'm guessing that teenagers in high school don't, they'd rather be playing Grand Auto Theft and chasing chicks
  16. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    502
    Loc:
    Woodstock, NY
    As soon as you start making offers and trying to make a deal it becomes business and a lot more complicated - especially with a bureaucracy like a school. And everybody's scared of being sued. Why couldn't the guy just say, "take the chit, it's been laying there forever".
  17. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    - Exactly - well there has been a lot of scrounging 'wins' on the forum, this one isn't, sometimes chickens, sometimes feathers
  18. davidsparks

    davidsparks New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Dallas, TX
    Don't give up yet, I would talk to someone in landscaping. Surely if it is a decent size school there is a guy or two, or it could be a service. Talk to them, buy some beer, they wont care and you have permission and a name to give if someone stops you. How close are the trees to the school ? If far enough away, noone would probably even notice on a sat. or sunday.
  19. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    Late in the thread but here are some pics, couldn't risk it on business hours

    Attached Files:

  20. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    couple more . . .

    Attached Files:

  21. dsil

    dsil New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Loc:
    western maine
    They're not going to sell that, It's gonna sit and rot!! I say Midnight Wood Sales. :coolsmirk:
  22. davidsparks

    davidsparks New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Dallas, TX
    What is the building in the background?
  23. davidsparks

    davidsparks New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Dallas, TX
    What is that building in the background and how close is it? That looks like they are going to let it rot.
  24. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Loc:
    ClevelandRocks
    That's an outbuilding for school, given the condition there's likely nothing of much value in it.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page