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Tough Billboard Tarps
Jim Ruen, La Crescent, Minn.: “Used billboard tarps are tough beyond belief. When I did an article on recycled billboard tarps 14 years ago (Vol. 30, No. 6), Sky Group, Inc. (still in business at www.billboardtarps.com) sent me a 14 by 44-ft. sample. I put it to immediate use covering a trailer load of wood chips being used for landscaping.
    “When the chip pile was gone, I cut out a piece of tarp and used it as a base for a straw bale house for my dog, with another piece to cover a wood pile. Other pieces were put to various uses over the years until we moved in 2016. Among the things we took along to our new home were pieces of billboard tarp, lots of them.
    “Once again they were put to work, this time as weed barriers in garden paths. So-called weed blocking landscape fabric doesn’t always block weeds, but nothing comes through this heavy-duty plastic.
    “This fall we pulled up all the pieces. They were still nearly as solid and durable as the day the original tarp arrived.
    “Once again they were trimmed to be laid as a 3-ft. wide mat, this time beneath our 6-ft. deer fence. I had previously cut pine logs to lie along the outside and inside of the fence. I want to be able to use a string trimmer to control weeds growing up by the fence. Trimming around a netting fence is always a pain, but trimming alongside a log is easy. However, if weeds grow up between the logs, that will be a bigger pain.
    “I pulled the larger outside logs parallel to the fence and then rolled them over the outside edge of the tarp. Smaller diameter logs were set on the inside of the fence over the tarp pieces laid underneath the fenceline.
    “I know the logs will gradually rot away. I halfway expect that when they do, the billboard tarp plastic will still be there, doing its job as it has for the past 14 years.”

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1