Friday, June 3, 2011

UHaul, Co-op Car or Panel Van: What do lesbians bring on a second date

What do lesbians bring on a second date? The classic joke takes a turn when those lesbians are waste-conscious and try to recycle our renovation waste.

CoolJ here, staring out into the rain at a renovation garbage pile in our back lane.

In typical LezRenovate fashion, I have thought about the DIY solution to this problem so long it has become much worse. In the fall, we had some garbage left from some repairs & gutting we did, assuming we would either build a jam space or update our bathroom. I thought I would save money by getting a trailer hitch on my car and getting a utility trailer, then haul the stuff away to be recycled or landfilled.  I had hoped that there is a place to recycle carpet, toilets, lumber in Vancouver. But it is not so easy... more on that later.

Anyway. Over the last 8 months we neither recycled, nor hauled it away, nor hired anyone to haul it away, nor indeed, updated our bathroom, nor built a jam space, despite all the fun it was to rip out the old storage room under the deck

Here's what we'll look like this sunny saturday
So now we've missed Vancouver's free dumping clean up month. And lez friend whose truck brought in most of our lumber and drywall last winter took that truck and a Uhaul to Halifax (on a very looong lesbian date),  I need a Plan b to transport the smelly & unweildy junk from our backyard  to its recycled or upcycled future. And I need to make this happen in time for the fun of this weekend's Open House at the Vancouver City Landfill, which promises to be fun for the whole family.

Maybe we'll join the Modo Car Co-op and use one of their trucks to do our hauling. I've been a member  of this  co-op  before, when I lived in a shared house of five lesbians and the car co-op was the Cooperative Auto Network,  the first carshare co-op in North America. I checked & they have trucks with and without canopies, parked nearby in East Van. Let's run the numbers:
North America's first car share coop
  •  $500 refundable deposit (ironically the refund of my membership share when I left the co-op in 2008 to get my own car went toward the real estate closing costs on Georgia Cottage)
I'm not sure if the Co-op would see Lezrenovate as a business...we are certainly not yet profiting (though I would like to) but let's work it out as if we were a business or non-profit member:
  •  $6/hr on weekdays (to a max) x 2 hours for a run to the Kent Ave transfer station or North Vancouver city dump = $18 to dump this junk
  • $8/hr on weekends (to a max) = $25 to dump the junk
By comparison:
Trailer hitch install = $200 (approx)
Craigslist utility trailer = $700

The punchline:
I could make 56 trips to the dump, recycling station, or Craigslist Dunbargains using the co-op truck before the trailer option makes sense, and the trailer option does not include fuel, insurance etc. whereas co-op membership covers all of this.

So Co-op truck is looking good so far.  How does it compare to the HomoDepot Load & Go Van available in Vancouver? A friend reno/cheapo gayfriend of ours uses these vans and trucks for any large load he has to carry that his convertible won't fit - including items not purchased at HomoDepot. Hmm. Crafty.

This van is $19 per 90 minutes. So it would be $24 for a 2 hr dump run + fuel. About the same as the Co-op, only no feel-good-community-support aspect to it.

What do you think? Shall we get a LezRenovate membership in Vancouver's community auto share co-op? Get a trailer hitch on the VW & buy/build/beg/borrow a trailer? Or scoot over to score a Craigslist Dunbargain (a bargain in Vancouver's Dunbar neighbourhood) with the HomoDepot van?


  1. What about a large uhaul van? A friend rented one for a day/overnight and I think it was like $50 bucks with KMs and rental. They have large cargo ones (not as big as HD's) and we used it specifically for carting an old deck away to the dump.

  2. Hmm, interesting. Didn't think of that idea! I was sure sorry loading a rented truck last Sunday morning at 8am. But, I think over all it cost us $50.

    And I put your blog in our link list! It's great! We have the same house!