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.

Les Chats Sauvages


Yesterday’s yard sale was a big success. I was expecting a pretty good sale, thinking that I might be able to crack the 200$ mark. In the end, though, I cracked the 300$ mark by a safe margin!

This pile, which I came across on my Friday evening Plateau run (Marquette near Rachel) was a major contributor to my high profits.


The pile was in front of a house which was undergoing renovations and many of the bags were full of leaves and other debris. In the other bags, however, were what must have been someone’s entire record collection. There was so much I had to make two trips to bring it all back.

I figure there must have been over 100 records in all. They all seem to be in great condition – whoever owned this took good care of their collection. Many of the artists were Quebecois or Central American. There was a fair bit of classical music but also a selection of old rock music.


These are ones I decided to set aside to help me possibly re-start my record collection. There’s a bunch of Bob Dylan, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Cat Stevens, and John and Alice Coltrane. I also saved a few from the French artists that my room-mate (more French than I) told me were pretty good, including Jacques Brel, Zachary Richard, and les Chats Sauvages. I have some music exploration ahead of me, that’s for sure. While I like a lot of these musicians I can’t say I’m particularly familiar with any of them.


This record was the best “find” of the bunch, however. It’s a Japanese issue of Abbey Road which looks to be in pretty much mint condition. Japanese issues are often worth more than American or British issues – the same record has sold on Ebay for around 40$. I don’t personally need the Japanese issue, so I’ll probably sell it and pocket the cash.


I also found this plant, which was somehow still alive despite being about as dry as I’ve ever seen a plant. I brought it home to give it some water, we’ll see if it comes back!

I have no real plans for today so I might have another little impromptu sale. It’s a great day out and I always meet some cool people when sitting by the sidewalk.

Too easy


I decided to take the morning off so I could relax and prepare a bit for the yard sale. I’ll be out later this afternoon, though, hoping to find more stuff behind that place on Rachel that provided me with some great garbage on Tuesday.

I made it out yesterday for my evening Rosemont run. I had some good finds but it was almost too easy. This bunch of stuff was clearly set out for people to rummage through. My guess is that these people are moving at the end of the month and wanted to downsize a bit.


I took some dishes and five old books, most of which were published in the 1930s. The tea cup and saucer is a nice bone china piece by Royal Stafford.


There was also a nice belt buckle by Indiana Metal Crafts. This company is fairly collectible if Ebay sales are to be believed, I might just put mine up there with the others.


Perhaps the best find was this old Fujica camera with an extra lens. They were sitting on top of the chest right out in plain view. The combination is probably worth around 40$, though I wanted to experiment with film photography at some point this would be quite useful!


Near the end of my run I saw a box full of dishes and pottery on top of the bench on the right hand side of the picture. I wondered briefly if it was indeed trash but I remembered seeing an older man walking away from the area holding a couple of mugs and decided it was also set out for people to take. Too easy right?


I took a couple of vintage dishes and a set of four plain silver-plate goblets. A couple of goblets have an inscription commemorating the 20th anniversary of the “Centre du Rasoir,” a local store that specializes in grooming and kitchenwares. They were founded in 1959 which means that these cups aren’t particularly old. I cleaned them up a bit using baking soda and I’ll try to sell them at the yard sale.


Here’s a few more things from that Tuesday evening trash. This is a set of “day of issue” train-themed stamps from 1986. They’re in perfect shape and came with their original envelope. I’m sure some collector will have some interest in these.



Here’s an old first aid kit from Johnson and Johnson. It’s full of little vials of Metaphen, an antiseptic which contains mercury.


A little toy car by Marx Toys with an attached remote control. These days this stuff is all wireless! I have to find a couple of D batteries to test this thing with, I’d sell it at the yard sale but only if I could prove it works.


Last is this mostly full bottle of “Old Spice” cologne. Some people pay money for old fragrances, believe it or not. This very similar bottle (I can’t find the Canadian 250ml equivalent) sold recently for 40$. I also personally sold a small bottle of “Evening in Paris” cologne for 40$ a while back. This bottle is mostly full so I’ll put it up for around 35 and see if anyone bites.

I’m finally having a yard sale tomorrow, if anyone wants to come email me at and I can give you directions. A lot of my recent finds will be there as well as some of the stuff that doesn’t make it to the blog. I also have a (relatively well-organized) suitcase overflowing with costume jewelry if that’s your thing. Come on by and help me unload some stuff before I move!