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Two years in the garbage business!


Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the creation of this blog! Click here if you want to see the (very) humble beginnings. Since those early days I’ve become a better writer and photographer. I’ve also become a master trash-picker. I don’t have any plans to quit any-time soon and definitely look forward to doing this all through the summer, I think it’ll be a good one.

I was a vendor at a sustainability fair at Concordia yesterday as well, selling my wares and talking to people about salvaging. It’s nice to see my things sparking people’s curiosity. I particularly like it when an object finds a good home. I made over 250$ in total. Considering these profits and a temp job I’ll be working at the end of April I should be financial secure for a while.

I also ended up finding some really good trash by chance. I had planned on taking the morning off – the event started at 11 and it was best if I got in around 10 to set up. That didn’t leave a ton of time for trash hunting. I decided that it was best to rest more and go to the event at the top of my game.

However, life got in the way. I woke up at 3:30AM, five hours before my 8:30 alarm. I knew that I wasn’t going to get back to sleep because I was stressing about the sale. I had to find a way to kill some time, and hunting through trash seemed like as good as choice as any. I made my way towards the Tuesday morning pick-up in Hampstead and NDG.

Hampstead produced nothing. NDG was bare as well until I approached this collection of things near Monkland. Not long after I arrived I heard the garbage truck coming up the road. By then, knowing there were good things to be taken, I stashed most of it in and next to the car until the truck passed, leaving the carpet behind to be sacrificed. In this part of NDG they clear the trash one side of the street at a time, meaning that I was conveniently able to leave what I didn’t want on the other side of the street.

I took both suitcases. They need a good cleaning but I think they’ll be fine.

Inside the small suitcases were a few treasures:

The mirror and brush are both marked International Sterling. These are true antiques worth easily around 50$ a piece. Both need cleaning but that won’t take long at all.

This comb is also marked International Sterling. The teeth are made of faux tortoiseshell. It’s worth another 30-40$.

With the mark “Parisien Ivory Loonen France” printed on the handles, I originally assumed these two pieces were made of ivory. However, they are both made of celluloid, a vintage plastic from back in the day that mimicked it well. Even though it’s an unethical material (for mass cosmetic consumption anyway), I was a little disappointed mostly because I have yet to see a true ivory piece. Regardless, these are somewhat collectible. The set would probably sell for 40-50$.

There was more silverware inside this Reitman’s bag.

I can’t find marks on a couple of these pieces but they are surely old silverplate. They’re all heavily tarnished but in great condition.

This one’s marked Rideau Plate. There are a few things etched on the bottom but I can’t make them out. I couldn’t find any similar bowls on Ebay, but a similarly ornate tray created a bidding war and eventually sold for 180$.

This little covered tray is was made by WMA Rogers. I’m not sure what its specific function is.

I couldn’t find a mark on this one, though the design looks a bit similar to the Rideau Plate bowl. I also don’t know what this is for, my guess would be sugar as there’s a hole to put a spoon in on the side.

The salt shakers are marked BP for Benedict Proctor. They’re silver plated lead which to be honest I’m not sure I’d want to put food in, though it’s unlikely that the plate inside the shakers would ever be damaged. There’s a pair on Ebay going for 29$.

Some odds and ends from the bottom of the bag. I’m not sure where (or if) the handle fits into things but it also appears to be silver plate. I’m guessing the piece in the back is missing something, though for all I know maybe it’s supposed to be like that.

In addition to the silver I also found a few tools.

I really like the old Pradel pocket knife. I think I’ll keep it, these things are handy!

Last but not least is this old Norman Rockwell print. I had heard of him but I was never familiar with his work. I like this image a lot, it’s simultaneously realistic, idealistic and somehow relaxing. I don’t think it’s worth much, though being nicely framed I could get 20$ – if I want to sell it, that is. All these items were about one minute away from being destroyed, making the experience extra satisfying.

Today’s trip to TMR was surprisingly unproductive. I found a few neat things at one place, but I think I’ll save those for another post.

I haven’t decided what I’ll do tomorrow. I’m thinking of going to Westmount for the first time in about six years, though the end of the month at Rosemont can also be a good run. I’ll keep you posted regardless.

If you are interested in buying any of the items you see on my blog I would love to hear from you! Email me at and I’ll get back to you within a few days.

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