Dune, Interrupted.
July 30, 2012 1:59 AM   Subscribe

Any idea's on how to remove a large amount of sand?

I'm wanting to remove a large amount of sand from my property that the previous owners used as a base for an above ground pool. It's around six inches deep and in an area that's roughly twelve feet by twelve. I've tried spreading some around my property which is only 0.15 acres, including the house itself, but am finding that even attempting to spread it thinly is an arduous and aesthetically unpleasing task. The sand itself is separated from the ground itself via a tarp that was placed below it that's in good condition. Anyone have any ideas as to what I could do with all this sand?
posted by ZaneJ. to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Craigslist has a free section. Advertise it there.
posted by Brent Parker at 2:05 AM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Contractors who sell sand also fetch sand. You'll not earn money on that, though.
posted by Namlit at 2:21 AM on July 30, 2012

Do you have a local pre-school? They might be happy to recruit a parent with a truck to come and collect it to create/refill a sandpit. It won't cost you anything and it won't cost them anything. Win/win!
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:20 AM on July 30, 2012

If you truly are just trying to remove it without getting compensation for it, and there is some tarp beyond the edge of the sand, you could borrow a friend's pickup or rent one for the day, grab all your friends and have a sand removal party by picking up the sides of the tarp and folding it in on itself.

If you weren't worried about a bit of sand being left over, you could throw a big adult sandbox party with beers, popsicles, zen garden stuff for the "sandbox", and maybe a kiddie pool. At the end, just have all the friends (I'd guess 10 to lift this much) grab the tarp and lift it into the truck, folding the tarp in on the sand.

(Sorry if this is way too unweildy. I have trouble envisioning the size/weight of that much sand.)

Otherwise, yeah, Craigslist free section.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:51 AM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

(Sorry if this is way too unweildy. I have trouble envisioning the size/weight of that much sand.)

Sand is about 100 pounds per cubic foot, so the asker has about 7200 pounds of sand (or call it 3.5 tons) to deal with, if those dimensions are accurate. With a heavy duty full-size pickup truck, you would need at least two loads to move it all.

Worst case is you can pay to have it hauled off; I'd advertise it as "free for removal" first, and hopefully you will get someone who wants to put up a swimming pool or something. Sand is cheap, though, and when you buy it in bulk they dump it straight in your truck or deliver it to your house, no shoveling needed, so "free" sand that needs to be shoveled (and worse, might need to be shoveled first into a wheelbarrow and then into a truck) might not be all that attractive except to an ultra cheap-ass. That quantity of sand would cost less than $100 delivered in a dumptruck where I live, so you can see why free plus shoveling might not get any takers.
posted by Forktine at 5:04 AM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I would make a zen garden out of that.
posted by HuronBob at 5:21 AM on July 30, 2012

Try calling a local pool construction company - they will, in all likelihood, have dealt with this exact question. Also they will likely have the tools and transport to collect the sand for you.

By the way: if you have access to a reasonably large shop vac then that is a good way of collecting the last bits of sand quickly.
posted by rongorongo at 5:39 AM on July 30, 2012

When I was in college, I lived in a fraternity house where we threw a "beach party" a couple of times a year. That involved filling (and emptying) the entire basement - maybe 30 x 40 ft - with sand 5-6 inches deep.

Getting it in was easy. We just dumped/shoveled it through the basement windows. Getting it out was strictly shovels, buckets and lotsa hands. I sympathize with your predicament.

If you don't have any real use for the sand, I'd just invite everyone you know (offer food and drinks maybe?) and shovel the sand into buckets. Fill a bucket with an easily carried amount, and then sling the bucket to broadcast sand over your yard. Once you've gotten it spread out, you can use a hose or sprinkler to water it down into the yard.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2012

I had to move an equivalent amount of dirt from my back yard. I put it out on Freecycle, a guy needing fill emailed me. I did two or three truckloads by myself (I've got a half-ton (ie: small) pickup), then he said "I feel guilty, let me help", and we knocked out the remaining four or so truckloads in a few hours.

The sucky part was wheelbarrow full at a time from the back yard.

But, yeah, if you're willing to drag it out of the back yard and fill the truck, there are plenty of people who'd love to have clean fill.
posted by straw at 9:27 AM on July 30, 2012

ShortyJBot, having moved a lot of sand in my time, I grinned all through your post!

Nthing Craigslist or an advert in the paper. I would gladly come and take it if you were closer. I'm looking at paying lossa bucks plus haulage for that much 'reject sand' (Unwashed sand with a small amount of clay and very small stones.) Giving you 50 bucks and hauling myself would be a deal.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:57 PM on July 30, 2012

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