The case of the missing garbage


The neighbourhood of Rosemont / La Petite Patrie, or at least the section between Parc and Papineau, has been my regular Monday and Thursday morning route all year. Recently, however, I’ve gone and found many of the streets mostly barren, save for a few uninteresting bags here and there. It’s almost like it’s not trash day at all, or perhaps as if the truck had already passed, though I very much doubt the truck would come before 7 in the morning.

I just checked the schedule online and it still looks as if Monday and Thursday mornings are the time to go. They say to put out the trash between 5 and 8 AM. The only thing I can think of is that the trucks come a little later, maybe in the afternoon.

Anticipating disappointment I devised a “Plan B” which took me to the borough of Saint-Michel. I don’t know the area too well so my route was relatively chaotic. Some of Saint-Michel is fairly low income and I’m optimistic about finding anything good there. Other parts, however, are sufficiently middle-class to be reasonably promising.

St Michel differs from Rosemont, the Plateau, Villeray and other Montreal boroughs in the fact that many of the homes are built for single families, while in these other neighbourhoods it is more common to see three-storey buildings that might contain up to five different apartments linked together for a whole block. That means the population density is much lower, which is bad for me because I have to bike that much more to see the same amount of individual people’s garbage. It’s the same in Outremont, NDG, TMR and VSL – these places are not without promise to be sure, but the finds are a bit few and far between for my liking.

I’m thinking I’ll give my old route a second chance. Maybe I’ll try a later morning run, perhaps starting at 9 or 10 and see if that gives me a bit more to look at. I do have a history of finding things a bit late in Rosemont, with the most notable example being in February when I found several hundred dollars worth of gold jewelry at 2:30 PM, long past the time I expected to see trash on the curb. We’ll see in time, I suppose. It’d be nice if that worked out as I’d get to sleep in a couple more hours.

Regardless, I came across these boxes in the middle-class part of St Michel. There was some old pottery inside.


The stuff with the nice earth-tone glaze is made by Beauce, a now defunct pottery company out of Beauce, Quebec. This link explains the history of the company quite well. These pieces are likely from the late 1950s. They have some collectors value but don’t sell particularly well on Ebay. I’m going to put them in my yard sale along with the three hand-crafted mugs in the front.


I found these boots in among a bunch of mostly renovation-related refuse. I took them home because I thought they looked interesting, well-made and vintage. They’re made by the Art Company in Spain. I couldn’t find any other examples of this boot, but as the company didn’t exist before 1995 these boots aren’t especially vintage and probably aren’t particularly valuable. Ah well, I think a friend of mine might like them and if not I can probably still sell them at the yard sale.

The west Plateau trash day is later today. It’s near the end of the month so hopefully I find something good!

5 thoughts on “The case of the missing garbage”

  1. re the trash my neighbourhood, it will go on at one time, maybe late afternoon, then suddenly without warning it is seven a.m.. or ten a.m.. It will change suddenly without notice. I do wonder if the driver does this on own initiative, or there is some change…The result is, folks often either miss the pickup, or sometimes they have it out early, doesn’t go, so they think they have missed it, and put it back in (we have trolleys we roll out)..

    maybe you could phone the city and give them a house number/street name (they likely wont tell you other wise), and enquire about dates/times/changes.

    (oh…does the pickup day maybe change If there is a holiday/staff training etc?)

  2. I love that pottery – if I weren’t in the purging phase of my life I would buy it from you. Thank goodness you saved it from the trash.

  3. Lynn is right, the time is consistent, until some point where the time changes and then says at the new time for a while. For a long time, recycling came very early, now it comes late in the afternoon. The actual day remains the same, but the time changes.

    Another factor, which wouldn’t account for all the garbage missing, is the Construction Holiday. Since affiliated businesses, and some unrelated, take those two weeks off in late July, there is a noticeable change in population and activity. So garbage output would be down, though I don’t think drastically.

    Some of it may be that the moving is over, or at least that large mass of moving on July 1st. Enough people move that day that it does cause a surge in garage sales and pre-move garbage in anticipation of the move. And then it tapers off. The garage sales are mostly non-existent for the past few weeks. Again, that won’t mean no garbage at all, but less of the neat stuff.

    Of course, there will be a minor surge in a few weeks, McGill students who stayed the summer (for school or just adventure) moving out, while new students move in. Not as significant as in the spring but some interesting things can turn up.


  4. Glad to see your great pottery finds in Ville St.Michel.Ville St.Michel is in the same borough as Villeray.Just continue biking east of Ville St.Michel.Once you reach the intersection of Jean Talon and PIe Ix,you are in Ville St.Leonard.Just east of St.Leonard is the borough of Anjou.Please visit the boroughs of St.Leonard and Anjou on garbage pickup and recycling pickup day.You may make great finds.Vary your week routine a bit more in the summer.It is not too hot nor too cold right now.

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