I found a large unlabeled bucket of (leftover?) material in my in-laws'
basement. Nobody seems to remember what it is. It might even be there
when they moved into the place.
The stuff is light grey, granular, gravel-like, with a grain size of
about 0.5 mm to 3 mm. When I soaked a sample in hot water for several
minutes, the grains disintegrated and the sample turned into a dark
grey, muddy mixture.
At first, I thought it was some kind of fine gravel, but gravel doesn't
disintegrate in water. (Does it?)
If we can't figure out what it is, and what it can be reused for, it'll
probably end up in a landfill somewhere. Hate to see that happen.
Does anyone have a guess what the material might be based on the
Sounds about right- are there any fenceposts, bird feeders, mailboxes,
clotheslines, etc., set in cement, on the property? Not uncommon for frugal
people to use half a sack of sackcrete or similar, and try to store the
rest. It seldom works, since it sucks moisture from the air. I'd just dig a
hole in the backyard and bury it. Not likely to hurt anything.
If you have a white bucket with a good top (gasket intact) concrete
will keep quite a while if it is in a dry place. You are right that
moisture is the killer. I still wouldn't use old concrete for anything
where strength is very important but it is OK for fence posts and
such. Usually that is about all you could do with part of a bag
Oilsorb - akin to kitty litter.
Funny story -
We bought an investment property with a large cardboard drum marked as
some nasty cyanide compound. I was stressing out about how to dispose
of it properly, when someone else working there recognized that it was
Oilsorb. The former owner of the property worked at a chemical supply
house, and had brought home drums for storing things in the garage.
Chuckle. DoD used to sell empty 'triple rinsed' 55 gallon drums, with
'property of DoD' markings, serial numbers, contract numbers, etc.,
stenciled on them. They started turning up full of HazMat at Superfund
sites, and guess who EPA came after to pay for the cleanup? DoD does NOT
sell empty drums any more. They crush, them, and sell for scrap metal.
Crushing costs more than the metal value.They consider it cheap insurance.
Your tax dollars at play, etc. I blame Congress, for allowing EPA to
disregard legal transfer of ownership, and go after the deep pockets. Yeah,
the taxpayers end up paying for the cleanup either way, but all those
lawyers and all that paperwork suck up a lot of cash that could be better
spent on the guys in the moon suits.
Sounds like stone dust (also called decomposed granite)... it's a type
of sand used for underlaying brick sidewalks, patios, and the like.
Were any put in there in recent memory?
When you dump wanter on stone dust, it semi-dissolves, semi-
Thanks to everyone who tried to help. It seems that the best theories
are: cement, mortar, and stone dust. (Judging from how dense the
material is, cat litter and fertilizer don't seem to be it). Is there a
simple way to tell apart, say, cement and stone dust?
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