Solve It 7: Back Yard Shards

DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Every piece of glass Elizabeth Otto-Fagan finds in her yard is a sharp reminder of her painful and ongoing ordeal.

“It’s quite the metaphor,” says the Dedham woman, holding up a jar full of the glass shards she found in her yard . “To have a jar of sharp objects, because that’s kind of what it feels like.”

Liz and her wife moved to Dedham five years ago to raise their family.

“We got super lucky,” she says, “because our neighbors are all amazing. Everybody looks out for each other.”

Including Liz. She looks out for several little ones, running a tiny day care out of her home. This summer, she and her wife hired a contractor to put down new dirt and hydro-seed to give them a brand new lawn so Liz could expand her day care’s play area. It cost nearly $4,000. But once the dirt was down, the problems began. Liz started finding tiny places of glass in her yard.

“I didn’t think much of it [at first] and I would toss them in the garbage can,” she says. Until she kept finding more and more of the sharp shards.

“Then we just started becoming horrified,” she says. “Because we would find these sharp little pieces.”

Liz called her contractor. She says he promised to look into the problem, but after several weeks of waiting, she still had a yard full of glass and no solution.

“This is my business!” Liz said. “I wanted to grow it and have kids be able to play in my yard and there’s no way. I would have zero confidence.”

Concerned for the kids, Liz needed help.

“I feel like I’m always going to be looking over my shoulder waiting for a kid to come up and be like, ‘What’s this shiny thing?’” she said, holding up another piece of glass. “I don’t know how to solve that.”

So she contacted Solve It 7.

We reached out to the contractor, who told us he thinks the glass got mixed into the dirt from the landscaping place where he purchased it. But as the contractor in charge of the project, he agreed to take responsibility and replace Liz’s dangerous dirt with new glass-free dirt.

“He came in with a bulldozer and scooped it out and took it away,” she says, noting the contractor showed up over multiple days and put in long hours to make it right.

She’s thankful to Solve It 7 for helping clean up her dirt dilemma.

“We benefitted from it,” she says of Solve It 7. “Hopefully other people can to.”

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