Back to the grind


Sorry for the lack of updates! I haven’t had the time to go trash picking much of late. I felt a bit under the weather the first couple of days this week, but mostly it’s because I’ve begun the second (and final) part of a two-week temp job. It involves storing the stuff of university students who leave town for the summer and redelivering it upon their return. Under normal circumstances I would be able to do a bit of garbage hunting regardless, but on top of the temp job I’m also moving at the end of the month (to a place in the Mile End) and with the packing and cleaning there isn’t time for much else.

As part of my temp job I spend some time in a storage facility. There’s sometimes some cool trash to be found in the dumpsters here. I check them every day I’m at the facility and I suggest that if you happen to be at a storage for whatever reason you do the same! People often dump some perfectly good stuff and it’s generally pretty easy to take.

If there’s one unique theme of storage trash I would say that there are a lot of old textbooks and school materials thrown out by people who’ve graduated 10+ years ago. Most of the old textbooks are best left in the recycle bins, but there will still be some books that have some value.


Today I found six packs of unopened (and one barely opened) packs of printer paper in one of the recycle bins. Nothing too exciting, but I’m sure that if you were to buy this in stores it would probably cost you at least 25$ or 30$.


Yesterday I found this toy microscope that looks to have never been used. I’m sure a kid with an interest with science would love it. I’ll put it in my next yard sale for a couple bucks.

I also found some old textbooks. I saved one called “Social Psychology in the 1970s” and a bunch about FM transmitters or something from the same time frame. I don’t know if anyone wants this stuff still, but I figured worst comes to worst I can recycle it again later.

I’ll let you know if I find some good storage trash! I hope to have this move mostly over with in the next couple of days – if that’s the case I’ll have a bit more time (and energy) to go out for some normal trash runs.

6 thoughts on “Back to the grind”

  1. Two of the easiest streets to check out the garbage on garbage/curbside recycling pickup day are St.Philomene and Tourville Streets in St.Henri.Both these streets have one house and one apartment building respectively(only two buildings on each street).Both these streets are parallel to each other and a 1-minute walk from the other.In this part of St.Henri,the garbage and recycling pickup are done on Monday mornings.I recently salvaged 15 great books from a small recycling bin on Tourville street.So check out Tourville and St.Philomene streets on each garbage day.It takes very little time.

  2. Do you get withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have time to hunt? LOL
    I know I do as I have been too busy lately.
    Got a chance to get out Saturday afternoon to do garage sale leftover curb hunts. Had that in mind to do since seeing people posting alerts after their sales were done. I did luck out but didn’t come back with anything too exciting… a lot of books mainly.

    That’s a good tip about storage facility dumpsters. It’s private and you won’t have to worry about gross things in the garbage like with street stuff. I don’t have access to them unfortunately, and I assume there’s security there?

    1. A little bit of withdrawal, yes haha. Garage sales are definitely a good thing to keep in mind, a lot of the remains are left out on the next trash day.

      Yup, you can’t really get in unless you have a unit at the facility. Depending on the facility though they may put their dumpster out front on trash day for pickup. It’s worthwhile checking out, like you said you mostly avoid the gross trash and you may find the occasional treasure.

      1. I think it’s less “withdrawal” and more a nagging. What do you miss if you don’t go looking, or if you go this way rather than that way? You think of the really good things you’ve found, and imagine missing things like that, even though you can go looking and find nothing or nothing much.

        I went to a used book sale in Dorval on Saturday, and I worried about what I might have missed by not going to garage sales (even though the garage sales are pretty dead right now). And when I found one magazine that I was really glad to have found, it nagged at me “were there other issues that someone earlier got?”
        On the other hand, I had planned to go to this book sale last year, but that was the day I found a fairly good tube type shortwave receiver at a garage sale, for $20. I even warned them “this could go for three or four hundred dollars”. If I’d gone another way, chances are good that receiver would have been tossed into the garbage, and nobody who valued it would have come along.

        And realistically, it doesn’t stop. Check that public garbage can as you pass, see if anything good is on top. The neighbors are moving, and put some stuff out, I better check, should I take that attache case or not? The chances of finding something is as good when you are just walking somewhere minding your own business as when you go specifically looking. I was once on a walking tour, and picked up two halogen desk lamps (the bulbs were still working), barely even paused to pick them up, just grabbed them and kept walking. Look in stray boxes lying on the sidewalk, by habit, and find that old electronic voltmeter. Or I was going to a Fringe Festival show and a DVD player on top of the pile caught my eye, I did take it though I didn’t spend time to see if the remote was with it. Odd, that DVD player worked when I tried it first, then when I put it in place it didn’t. I have to unpile it and take a second look at it, though since I found a blu-ray player that at least plays DVDs (I don’t yet have a blu-ray disk to check that), taht will go ni the stack instead.

        If more people just kept an eye out as they did other things, the notion of neat things in the garbage wouldn’t seem so exotic.


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