I'm a professional scavenger making a living selling curbside garbage. This blog details my finds and sales. It also acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.
Yesterday I decided to take a look at the tent I found in my last post (with pictures of garbage anyways). I’ve had it stashed away in a trash bin outside my apartment – I don’t like bringing fabric stuff into my place until I give it a wash. Fortunately I’m 10 seconds away from a laundromat so washing it was pretty easy.
I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to put it together in my kitchen. Traditionally I’m not particularly good at putting up tents, but I stuck with it and got it done. I like to think I gained a bunch of tent setup experience points in the process.
Long story short: the tent looks great. I don’t think it was used often, and when it was I think it was taken care of. It looks like it would fit two people comfortably. I saw a framed couple photo in one of the bags, so I figure this tent was thrown out after a breakup.
I’ll probably hold onto this, it might come in handy next year.
I also put together that old aluminum Christmas tree I found in Hochelaga. It’s also in great shape – no missing parts or anything. Someone’s coming to look at it tomorrow, hopefully they buy it! I have it on Craiglist for 120 bucks, which seems to be the going rate for a 94 branch Evergleam on Ebay.
UPDATE: Sold it for 100$
In other news, I gave away a few things on Craigslist today:
– the old wood cigar humidor
– the microfilm of the old newspaper from 1831
– the bit of random jewelry
– those old 1931 encyclopedias
It’s the Christmas season and I think it’s time to add another focus to this blog.
I’ve been making an increased effort since I restarted this blog in September to find good homes for some of the things I’ve found in the trash. I’ve been doing this for a while but I only usually mention it in passing. I feel it’s time to make these “garbage giveaways” a greater focus of my blog.
Some of the things I give away need repairs, and if put in the right hands could be of use. I guess a good example is the speakers I found last week. A friend of the owner told me they just needed a wiring fix. I have decent speakers and am far from an expert on wiring so I put them up on the Craigslist free section. Within an hour I had two responses and the speakers were gone by that evening.
Another example is this washer motor. I had no idea what condition it was in but I figured I’d try to give it away (despite the doubts of my roommates). It ended up being picked up by an engineering student who wanted to use it as a sort of study aid.
Or maybe it’s something that’s useful for day-to-day life, like this cast iron pan.
Or maybe it’s something sort of mundane that can be turned into cool art and crafts by an individual with a vision for it. A great example are these salt shakers.
In the end I enjoy giving things to people. I like to think it makes a difference, even if just a small one, to their overall well-being and happiness, especially in the Christmas season. I also like reducing waste and reducing consumption by saving these things that were otherwise destined to be trash.
However, my biggest goal with this is to connect the things thrown out to the people who can (and would like to) make use of them. I feel that a lot of useful things are thrown out because people don’t know that someone might love to have it.
So, from now on I’ll making a bigger note of the things I give away. I think I’ll add the things given away as a footnote to my usual posts and also create a page up top with pictures of the things.
I got up nice and early again to check up on the trash in Villeray, an area north of Jean Talon and before the 40 highway which includes Jarry Park. Apparently it used to be a farming community (with Jarry park being a big field) before urbanization went crazy. I didn’t find too much but there were a few things of interest. First I’ll start with a few things from last night:
A nice old corner desk with a chair. They’re covered in plaster dust, so they were probably sitting around during some renovation. They were in great shape but alas I was too far from home to do anything about it.
An interesting mirror with some cool fake flower things stuck to the front, giving it a third dimension. Again, too far from home to really go out of my way. I did a classic stash job, leaving it somewhere where it was likely to be seen but not likely to be picked up by the garbage trucks. Hopefully it found a good home.
Some random stuff, including a tent (left side). There were some old books too (behind the kitty litter), most of which were about the future of media and the internet and how it relates to commerce. I took the tent, one book, and a book on tapes on the same topic as the above. I haven’t really looked at the tent yet, but if it’s in good shape I’ll give it a wash.
I think there might have been a divorce involved here. In one of the bags was a framed photo of a middle-aged couple.
And now for some stuff from Villeray. This is a typical residential street, featuring some nice old trees and the old row houses that define much of Montreal.
An old computer monitor. It was made by IBM and was marked “Personal Computer Screen” (or something along those lines). It was dated 1980. I carried it along for a while, but when I found more things it became a bit annoying to move around so I left it behind, again in a place where I hope someone will find it.
Anytime I see a closed box in the trash I usually take a look. It seems like there is disproportionately more good stuff in them (and also renovation material scrap, but once you get to know your trash you can spot that stuff a mile away).
In this box were two more boxes and a little CD player thing. I left that somewhere in the hopes that someone else would get it too, even if only for parts. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just littering but I’ll bet my batting average is pretty good on that front.
I ended up meeting a friend of the guy who was throwing this stuff out. He spoke French and a bit of English but we communicated pretty well. He was a pretty nice guy, and he told me the speakers were good but needed some wiring work. I just put it on the Craigslist free section to see if anyone wants them.
The laptop he referred to as a “relic,” which is true. It must be one of the earliest laptops actually – it only has 33 mhz. It has an external floppy disk drive, which is kind of awesome. I plugged it in see if it works but it needs a boot disk (and probably a new operating system). Remember those? Not sure what I’ll do with it yet but it’s kind of fun.
If I’m lucky I’ll find some old operating system floppies in the trash. I’ve found Windows 95 floppies before, but I don’t know if this laptop can handle the power of the 95. I’m thinking Windows 3.1. Or DOS.