Sunday’s run was pretty exceptional. I went to St Henri and found nothing before moving on to Ville St Laurent and its heavy garbage day. There I found boxes and boxes of great stuff, so much so that I was bogged down for the rest of the week. It’s not often that I find neatly packaged boxes in the trash, and to find so much on one night is quite odd indeed.

It took especially long to document because my camera, the one I found in the garbage (which replaced my apparently long lost, 300$ Nikon) began only working part-time. It would vibrate, for whatever reason, and while it did work sometimes it wasn’t reliable enough to do a whole post with. This was apparently a problem in that series of Sony cameras. I ordered a new-ish one off eBay (a Canon) that, after a lot of research, I thought was suitable for the job. It arrived on Friday and I’m happy with the results thus far.

Anyways, let’s get to the trash!


At one spot there were three huge boxes of unused, seemingly new boxes for jewellery. I took them all at first, but when I found a bunch more stuff later I had to pare down and let some go – I didn’t need them all regardless. These will be very useful for shipping jewellery and other small items.


I stopped at this spot later on.


Taped to one of the bags was a somewhat cryptic note written on an old postcard. I took this as an invitation to take the contents.


True to the note the bags contained several large boxes…


… which often held many smaller boxes. Inside was a bunch of 1950s-1970s electronic bric-a-brac that looked to be old stock from a store or repair shop. I don’t know much about electronics and have no idea what most of it does. Thankfully, often all you need to research the value of something on eBay is a brand-name or serial number. I was able to identify some items that I thought were worth trying to sell, either in a yard-sale or online.

The most valuable stuff might end up being the new-in-box Superior Electric Co 5-way binding posts, socket receptacles, and pin receptacles. People seem to pay up to 20, 15, and 20$ (plus shipping) each respectively, and I have 259, 13 and 37. It remains to be seem if there is a market for buying whatever this is in bulk (as I don’t want to spend the next few years selling them individually), but I should make some money there regardless.

My favourite items might be the old school adding machine (3rd pic in the 1st row) and the old school magnifier (1st and 2nd pic in the 4th row) by Beck of London. The most useful item is probably the UV lamp (pictures one and two of row 1, but the one I’m keeping is the 2nd), as UV light is a great way to test for uranium in vintage glass.


Then I came across this pile. I remember stopping here a month ago (the previous heavy garbage day) when I saw several black bags on the curb. I looked around a bit before a guy came out of his house and asked me to leave. He said something about him getting a fine for me looking through his garbage, none of which really made any sense. I returned to the car and soon enough the garbage truck came and destroyed whatever was left. Before my forced exit I had saved some costume jewellery, which due to no fault of its own never made it to the blog. I had already taken away two bags before snapping this photo.


Most of the bags (again!) contained boxes. This time the boxes were full of beautiful old china and crystal, most of which was wrapped perfectly. A couple of the boxes look to have been torn a bit, perhaps by someone taking a quick look inside.


This collection of bone china teacups is really amazing. They’re in really good condition – only one has a broken handle and I have the piece to fix it. These are all made by Paragon and Aynsley, two well respected British manufacturers. I have more research to do but I think I can get 50$ each (or more) for some of these teacups. My personal favourites are the black floral and the mottled green (3rd in first row, 1st in second), though I like most of them a lot.


These well-packaged bags, which were floating around by themselves in a black bag, contained a nearly complete set of Myott dinnerware. I expect to make some money here – this set, which seems much less complete, went for 300$.

There were other notable pieces, including: a set of Karlsbader German china; a Maruyama “Made in Occupied Japan” figurine; an awesome JL Menau footed trinket box; a working silver-plate carafe; and a metal serving tray. There were also a few pieces of old Fire King bakeware, which seemed a bit out of place.


After all that I still have several boxes of crystal and glassware to sort through. I don’t want to get into it before first dealing with the other stuff (my room is already full of teacups!) but I did take pictures of the first pieces I found inside each of the boxes. It seems like these are also part of larger sets.

Pretty great haul eh? I look forward to getting these teacups on eBay for the Christmas rush!

Last weeks garbage sales (September 29 – October 5)
-10k gold WWI service medal: sold on eBay for 290$. This didn’t take too long to sell! It also illustrates the value of the “Buy it Now” listing – a similar medal (albeit, slightly less complete) sold in an eBay auction for just 200$. Found mid-September in St Henri.
-Ferrania camera film – expired 1967: on eBay for 37$. There’s definitely a market for expired film on eBay, but this specific roll in particular was worth a bit more due to its brand name. Found mid-June in TMR.
-Aramis Eau de Cologne: on eBay for 28$. Found in a box full of perfumes in Cote-des-Neiges.
-Vintage flag of Switzerland: on eBay for 61$. Last week I sold the old Canadian flags from the same pile for a tidy profit. Now only the Australian flag remains. Found late July in TMR.
-Sterling silver ring: on Etsy for 28$. I’ve had this so long I’m not even sure where I found it.

Total: 444$, 4670.75$ since May 18. Another great total. I suddenly feel rich, though that’s far from the truth. I’m making an average of around 1000$ a month since I’ve started keeping track. While this isn’t a lot it’s more than I counted on and more than enough for me to comfortably survive.

New listings:

Vintage Delta Airlines playing cards
Supercon pin receptacles
Supercon socket receptacles
Superior Electric Co 5-way binding posts
Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsies Tarot Deck

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at I also enjoy comments!

24 thoughts on “Boxes³”

  1. my gosh…quite the amazing finds.

    I think some of stuff in boxes likely worth a fair bit.

    well done.

  2. OMG! I’m heartbroken to think that treasures like this end up in landfill. So grateful you saved it!

    Suggestion for the teacups : tea rooms are quite the thing these days. You might consider emailing some in Montreal (there’s a new one just south of you on St Laurent) and elsewhere to see if they’d be interested. A small corner of my self dreams of opening a tea room and serving tea in the exact same cups you now own. One day maybe 😉

  3. gosh.. those tea cups sure stuck in my mind.. beautiful, and sad to think someone’s treasure tossed in garbage. sad.

    I am not at all a collector, but if I lived close, they might make me one, grin.

    I can’t help feeling that many of them may be quite valuable…Maybe you can photo them individually, and advertise on line, also, maybe locally to where you’re at?

    seems like they may be worth money to a collector.

    1. It’s quite the amazing collection and whoever packaged it put a lot of care into it. I’ll likely put the most of them on eBay but I could put up one big ad on Kijiji or Craigslist as well. I think many are worth at least 25$ each, some 50$, and a few 75-100$

  4. Martin, what kind of trailer are you using these days?! Your hauls have grown exponentially in size. Love to see you’re still saving so much from the landfill, one street at a time.

    1. These days I’ve been using my friend’s car, which explains the bigger hauls. If I were on my bike I would have had to have been a little bit picky, likely leaving behind most of the electronic stuff. I also wouldn’t have made it to this specific neighbourhood as it would have been around an hour both ways. That being said, for most runs a bike trailer would suffice.

  5. Why do people throw such beautiful and useful things in their garbage? Why don’t they donate it to charity shops instead? It is so good you save a lot of things from rubbish but it is upsetting to think of all that history just being tossed out without a care.

  6. My goodness, what a haul! Everything from soup to nuts! Well, maybe not soup OR nuts, but you get my drift. 🙂

    I remember adding machines. You actually sounded busy using those things.

    What a sweet batch of cups and saucers! You’d probably get more selling them singly, or in matched sets. The tearoom idea Michelle mentioned in her comment is a great one, if you’d rather liberate some space and get rid of them all at once.

    All this stuff should net you a fair dollar.

  7. My friend just inherited some beautiful China from her grandparents and she just loves it.She told me she will never sell it and will keep it with her for the rest of her life.She loves it very much.If I found such beautiful bone China in the garbage,I would rescue it and keep it for myself for the rest of my life too because I have a very well-paying accounting job and I don’t need money.It is ridiculous,ridiculous,ridiciculous that someone would throw this out in the trash in the first place.Your blog is great—but sometimes I wonder if many people are so stupid that they throw out valuable unwanted objects instead of selling it.I want to follow you when you find such treasures.My female friend asked me:Is Martin actually fabricating some discoveries in order to make his blog more interesting?.I personally believe you,but realize that some people who read this post may actually question your credibility.

    1. Haha, I’m glad you brought that up. I actually do often wonder if people actually believe me when I say I find these things in the garbage. However, in the end it’s all true, and I’m just a particularly good and prolific hunter. All it takes is one person who doesn’t know how much something is worth, doesn’t care, or just doesn’t think anyone will appreciate it. A friend today talked about their uncle who threw away some of their grandparents stuff (old photos, postcards in particular) after they passed on by saying that “he just doesn’t get it.” I think ignorance – both malicious and well-intended – is the cause of most, if not all of what I find.

  8. Again I notice you have stopped mentioning which streets you rescue treasures from.You should not give the exact address,but maybe you should mention the street name or area in the burough where you find great stuff.Did you find these treasures in the Boisfranc region of Ville St.Laurent or near Cote Vertu street West /East or near Cartierville or on O’Brien street,S.Germain street,etc.Really want to know.

    1. I don’t like mentioning the street name unless it’s a really long street. Trade secrets – if I say too much I might get competition at the spot. I don’t want to say too much at the moment, but let’s just say that these spots were all south of Cote Vertu.

      1. There’s a newsgroup for dumpster diving, though it’s now dead, nobody posting. But when people did post, much of it was about actual dumpsters, and people tended to disguise the names. Some of it just seemed like they wanted to sound more subversive than they really were, but there was also the concern that companies might do searches, and then lock up the dumpsters. SO there is some concern in that way.

        The only pattern I’ve ever seen (and I don’t do this hardcore) is that some apartments may have a more transient population, and some locations seem to accumulate more garbage, so they are worth checking routinely. But I’ve never really seen the pattern where I find an ongoing dumping from one location.

        That said, I don’t think it’s improper to want to keep details secret. You’ve find places that keep giving, why should you share it with others? The only thing you’ll get in return is other people hoping to find things in that same pile. And those people may not be so careful, once someone else has done the groundwork and defined the pile. People need to do their own poking. If they want what you find, they should be finding their own stuff, and maybe a trade can take place. There is more than enough garbage for everyone, you aren’t sucking all of it up by yourself.


  9. Viller St.Laurent is so big,vibrant and multicultural.Going there is very rewarding for you.Why don’t you go to Ville St.Laurent more often instead of only sometimes?And what about Ahuntsic/Cartierville,Anjou and LaSalle/Lachine.Both Ahuntsic and Anjou have many streets with big,rich homes.You have never reported on Anjou.Time to do so.

    1. The main issue is that you’re only allow to put out the bin on trash day except for the once a month heavy garbage pickup. Those bins make trash picking much more difficult because it’s impossible to gain much information by looking at them. When I see bags I can often tell by looking or by giving a light kick whether or not it’s worth taking a look inside. With a bin you have to open it manually, which is an annoying and inefficient way of looking through trash. I go on heavy garbage, and stick to the neighbourhoods that are middle class or wealthy. I have been to Ahuntsic and Cartierville several times and have found very little, which isn’t to say that there’s nothing there but I haven’t found it. Lachine and Lasalle are quite far and not really worth the gas money when compared to other, closer neighbourhoods I could do to instead. Of that list I’m most likely to go Anjou, which isn’t super far away and offers some potential.

  10. Oh my, I just can’t believe it. Montreal garbage is truly something else. Well, all I can say is I’m happy for you. Your friends are always amazing and amusing. Happy Thanksgiving Martin!

  11. Those are beautiful tea cups!!! So happy you found and they didn’t get trashed. Just don’t understand people, but that’s where you come in!!! Thank goodness!!!! Keep up the great work and I love see all the wonderful things you find! Stay safe!!!! 🙂

  12. I love the old test equipment and batteries. the look is something that lacks in alot of todays products.

  13. I love this site, been following it for a while now. The big plastic bin in the first pic, are they standard in Canada? We have those in the UK, black for general rubbish/trash, green for garden waste, and blue for recycling (varies around the country of course). I’ve often thought that these bins, called Wheelie Bins here, would make trash picking pretty hard. Do you actually go through these bins, or just take a peek inside? Also, do they have them in the US, or is it just a Canadian thing? I don’t remember seeing them in the US when I was there years ago…

    Keep up the good work 😉

    1. Thanks! They are common in some areas and not others. Some administrative areas of Montreal require them but maybe do not. I can’t say for the rest of the country, but I do know that Vancouver requires these bins. They do make it hard to look for trash. That’s why in these areas with bins I only go on heavy-garbage day (once a month) when people are allowed to put out whatever they want. On those days I look around based on what I see next to the bin, as the bin rarely gives off any useful information.

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