Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Marketing waste

I went out this afternoon to try to get a trumpet I have fixed up. The valves don’t compress, basically (I found this in the trash a while back). He told me it probably just needed a cleaning, but that it would cost 65 bucks plus tax, and that’s not really in my budget right now.

Maybe I can clean it myself. This guy online says all it really needs is valve oil and some grease, so maybe I’ll try that.

Regardless, on the way back I saw a few things, some of which bothered me.

First off was this old laptop. Not old enough to not have XP, but old enough to have a floppy drive. I just tried it out and it still turns on, but it seems like the screen is busted. I may just give it to the computer place on St Laurent. As least they might know how to dispose or recycle the parts properly.

This rack for your bike seems to be in fine condition. I’ll probably put it on the craigslist free section.

This map is from the Ste-Therese area, which lies northwest of Laval. I’m not sure when it’s from or how exactly it works (or is meant to represent), but I do know some urban planning people so maybe they can help me out in that regard.

I found a bunch of marketing stuff on the curb on Cartier by the railroad tracks. This box was full mostly of these plastic things. I don’t really know what they are for – maybe to put shot glasses in, but that seems kind of pointless.

Another box was mostly full of these plastic posters you see at bars. They look unused. I think these might actually be useful for sealing/insulation, as the stuff is pretty strong and thick.

Also in a box were these drink trays, also unused. The cork ones are pretty nice. I took these with me, as I’m sure these can come in handy for someone.

A good load of metal shot glasses, with the company name on them. I took these as well.

Some cinnamon sugar, to be used as part of some drink. They were open but perfectly fine (and mostly full) so I took them.

Finally, some Molson M posters, probably never used.

Seeing this kind of stuff on the curb bothers me because of how it’s a total waste of resources. We extracted the base resources (in this case, the various stuff needed to make plastic, and trees for paper), created the product (and used a bunch of oil), and shipped it over a great distance, only to be used once or never used and then put out on the street to be stored underground in landfills. Not to mention the land that goes to waste when you need to build a bigger landfill. All of this in the name of possibly making a few extra bucks.

It wouldn’t be as bad if the companies involved made a concerted effort to ensure the final product wasn’t a complete waste. For example, if they just gave the trays / glasses to local bars or to second-hand stores, or maybe avoided creating mostly-useless and distinctly disposable plastic products in the first place, or made a concerted effort to recycle, repurpose, or create compostable products.

It’s all too symbolic of the times we live in, but there are things we can do. I recently read about a website called which has had some success getting different restaurants to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Perhaps some petitions are in order?

What other ways can we encourage less wasteful practices? Beyond me finding it before it gets trashed, of course 😉

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