We demo'ed a cinder block neighbor fence and now there are small pieces of debris/rubble from the job in our yards. What tools and techniques should I used to remove the debris?

Some are the size of a mug and some are the size of an M&M candy. I think that I will probably give up on the small pieces but I need to clear the bigger pieces. I've already hand picked the bigger pieces.

  • 1
    For next time, put down a tarp before knocking the wall / fence over and / or consider doing the demo in a more controlled manner.
    – mmathis
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:26
  • i would use a rental tiller to chew it up. the chunks will dissolve in a year or two if they are kept wet.
    – dandavis
    Feb 15, 2018 at 20:01
  • 2
    It's difficult to confine the debris to a tarp working at night without lights while rushing to complete the job before the neighbor wakes up. Feb 15, 2018 at 21:25
  • I have a leaf blower that converts to a vacuum, it will pick up pea gravel sized rocks, but if there is loose dirt it will also pick that up. So far I have never picked up a rock large enough to cause it damage.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 15, 2018 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


For what you ask, my go to tool is the garden rake. It will dethatch the lawn while you are at it. so it will take the occasional cleaning to keep it effective. Get a good one, the weight of the broken pieces add up fast and a weak rake will break on you.

  • Once I gather the rocks do I just shovel the rocks in the trash? How do I sift it so that I don't throw away a lot of dirt?
    – milesmeow
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:22
  • It will leave most of the dirt behind. As you rake the debris into a shovel or some other dust pan type of thing (grain shovel comes to mind) take just the top layer, raking the larger off of the smaller as you pick it up. Then with the remaining smaller stuff, rake it along the ground and it will leave more and more dirt behind. You could toss it in the trash a little every week, I have done that with tile demo in my own house. If you have good ground for digging and it is a wheel barrow or so, you could bury it. It is non contaminating. Cover it with about a foot of dirt so the lime in the
    – Jack
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:30
  • cement doesn't burn the grass.
    – Jack
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:30
  • I also have smaller rocks. The garden rake has very wide tine spacings. :) How do I get those?
    – milesmeow
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:33
  • You would be surprised how small of a rock it will rake up... You get enough pea gravel in a spot it will move that, the spaces are about 1" wide. You just need to move it enough to get it in a pile to pick up.
    – Jack
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:35

use your hands on bigger stuff

rake up the midsize stuff

and use a shop vac for tiny stuff

you can also make a sieve from a 2x4 frame and some hardware cloth

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