Spring Cleaning: turn your trash into cash!

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Capt. Greg Buckner’s boat has been up on blocks in Solomon’s Island for much of this winter. Like so many other charter captains and recreational boater’s, Capt. Greg will be using the warm weather transition that the month of March generally affords us to prep his boat for the first day of Spring Rockfish Season on April 16.Many of the local repair and fix-it shops are reporting to me that work is flowing in despite the rising fuel and food prices. People are making do and upgrading the vehicles, boats, or off road equipment they have rather than investing in new equipment that they may not be able to pay for in this long term depressive recession. I was extremely impressed at the interior and exterior overhaul of convertible tops and upholstery that Steve Waterman is doing in his shop in Mechanicsville on Rt.5. Classic cars, boats, and even an antique fire truck look like new when he performs his restoration magic.

The exception to the slowdown on new goods is that people are going to invest in quality fuel efficient transportation as both sides of the political spectrum in our Federal Government have failed miserably since the first Middle East fiasco to take us away from the foreign oil spigot. Fortunately, our local motorcycle dealers, All American Harley Davidson in Hughesville and Serges Performance Cycles in Lexington Park are offering affordable two and three wheel cruising machines that easily get over fifty miles per gallon. Dan Kenny at Motovations Cycles and Accessories in New Market has just secured the franchise for an electric motorcycle that costs less than a penny per mile to operate. These local businesses will help you keep your dollars in your own pockets and have a cool ride for the long haul.

As you are fixing and cleaning up your boat, garage, home, and property, you can also make some cash on the trash that each of us collects over a year or two or, maybe, (as in my case) a lifetime of throwing nothing away.

The smaller, less valuable stuff can be saved for a yard sale while more expensive items will be best sold through Craigslist or eBay. Often, specialty stores offer yard sale/trading fairs for their customers. I have a big Fender Bassman speaker cabinet that is more suited to a younger player’s back and a five string Peavey bass guitar that has one string too many for my fingers. These items will make their way to the annual Hot Licks Music Shop musical yard sale this year.

Believe it or not, there may be big money in the old junk cars and trucks rusting in your backyard. Are you really going to fix up those old clunkers that died years ago? The stack of washing machines, dryers, and old refrigerators that are falling off the front porch into your front yard can return a good piece of change as well if you cash in your trash.

If you have a car or utility trailer, tow bar, pick up truck, or any other means to get your bulk steel to a recycling center, the price of scrap is once again at record levels. The most easily accessible scrap recycling center in Southern Maryland is in Mechanicsville where you can ease right off of southbound Rt. 5 onto the weigh scale at St. Mary’s Auto Recycling. I have an old VW van that will now bring about three hundred bucks when filled with steel scrap from my spring cleaning. That’s almost as much as I paid for the junker. Thanks to Dave MacDonald and the red, white, and blue wrecking crew at St. Mary’s Auto Recycling, it will be good to have enough cash back to pay for my new Minn Kota electric trolling motor. This is how a bad economy and a good scrap market can help us transition from infernal combustion to electric propulsion despite the idiotic leadership that resides in Washington D.C.

Should you have lots of scrap metal but no means to haul your stuff to the recycling center, there are people who will load and haul your recyclable metal for a percentage or flat fee. Most of these folks are fly by night operations who advertise on a piece of cardboard illegally placed on a telephone pole. There is only one independent scrap hauler in all of Southern Maryland who advertises his service in a consistent, legal and public manner. Kent Baker’s ad and phone number is prominently displayed every month on the back page of the CHESAPEAKE with other Southern Maryland businesses who want to deliver to local customers the most affordable quality services.

Each of us has an accumulation of stuff that we are not going to use. Why not put some bucks in your pocket by turning your trash to cash? This is a wonderful way to pay for the real comprehensive Spring cleaning you been putting off for a lifetime.

Contact Larry Jarboe — bass21292@yahoo.com

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