For Poland


I started my week Sunday night in NDG but didn’t find anything. I spotted this dumpster later on in Cote-des-Neiges. It sat in front of a house that I’d found a few things at in the past, though nothing that ever made it to the blog.


I looked in the dumpster and saw a whole bunch of books. They were generally musty and had probably been in a basement for years. I saved a bunch though, in particular some old books and magazines that I figured would be less common.


Many of the books and magazines were written in Polish. Here’s some Morze magazines that were published in the 1930s. These actually escaped the mildew quite well.


The art inside is pretty interesting, even if I can’t read what’s written. I’d guess this article is about Nazi propaganda.


There were tonnes of other magazines and newspapers too.


I’d be curious to know more about these. Does anyone read Polish?





These two look to be about car repair. Google translate converts “niedomagania samochodowych” to “car ailments.”


This book is one of my favourites. It seems to be about astrology and other such things, and was published in 1912.


Inside is some stuff written about palm reading (or chiromancy) and phrenology, a long disproven science that basically said that a persons character could be determined by the shape of ones head. This theory (as usual) justified a lot of racist and classist thought.


I also appreciated this poem titled “For Poland.” It was written in type (much like the Expo 67 theme song lyrics from last week), presumably sometime during WWII. I couldn’t find any reference to it on the internet, which could mean that it’s completely unique. I like finding things that there might be only be one copy of. It was written by a Jessica E. Money of Winnipeg.

It goes:

My heart is wrung for Poland,
and tears of shame and rage,
drop one by one,
(and still more come)
to smear across the page –

To think that she’s the victim
Of a brutal Bully’s hand,
while we, secure,
in this – Her Hour,
Can’t save her shell-torn lands –

Her land – and dying people,
Peasants – Nobles – Jews,
Who, one and all
Have heard The Call;
For us made “headline” news”.

My heart is wrung for Poland,
And that Polish scout I met
A symbol stands
For YOUTH – in lands
Where HONOUR’S honoured yet.


I went to the post office on Monday afternoon and came across a little pile along the way. The first thing I spotted was an external hard drive, but it doesn’t seem to work.


I saved a curious assortment of things, including: a broken 10k gold necklace stored inside a medicine bottle (likely worth around 25-30$);


… an ink and pen set;


… a couple padlocks with their keys;


… a Boss DB-12 digital metronome, which seems to sell for around 50$;


… a little but fairly heavy scupture (measures around 4″ tall);


… a knockoff Louis Vuitton wallet;


… and three more old photo albums. I’ve been finding a lot of photos recently! This album seems to be from the 1940s.


I always find one picture that sticks out. In this case, it’s this kid sitting in a dog-drawn carriage.


I was in Mount Royal on Tuesday night. This stuff sat in from of a recently sold house.


The briefcase contained four henselite balls that I think are for lawn bowling. They sell for a decent price on eBay..


I took a look in the recycling bin and found …


… a nice marble chess board. It’s crazy what people put in their recycling bin sometimes! These sell for for around 70$ (after factoring in shipping costs) so it’s a nice get. I’ll likely keep it for myself – I play chess and have been hoping to find a nice board for a while now.


Later on, I checked a recycling bin in front a different house and found …


… a massive quantity of postage stamps! The timing was a little funny – I happened to be listening to a Stuart McLean story about postage stamps not long before I stopped here.


There must have been thousands. I stuffed a plastic bag with the stamps most easily grabbed. Some stamped relatively modern, but others look to date back to the 30s and 40s. Most are still stuck to their envelope which I think helped to protect them from bending. I sold the last stamp collection I found for 50$ but I figure I have at least twice as many stamps this time around.


I drove through Westmount on my way to Cote St-Luc on Wednesday and stopped at this intriguing pile.


I saw a cool vintage toolbox under some junk. I sold it for 10$ at my yard sale this weekend.


Inside one of the black bags was a little jewelry box which I sold for 5$. It held a bit of kids jewelry, some of which are now pretty hip (including a few 1980s-era plastic rings given out by a dentist after a good checkup).


I also found a collection of records.


They were all children’s records. A buyer at my yard sale wanted them all, so I gave her a good deal at 50c each (I think 14$ total). I probably should have sold a few for more (like that Johnny Cash Christmas album, which I regret letting go of) but I’m still happy that they moved fast. I have a decent amount of storage now, but my motto (and justification for cheap yard sale prices) is “there’s always more garbage!”


Their neighbors had some interesting stuff too.


A couple of the boxes contained a small collection of books, of which I took a selection of the ones I thought were most marketable. I think I sold the creepy stories book for 2$.


I also found two official House of Commons debate reports from December of 1978.


My favourite though was this Marcel Marceau (a French-born actor and mime) show program.


The first page looks to be signed by Marceau! It was signed for a friend, whose game I blurred out for privacy purposes. I’d imagine it’s worth a bit of money, maybe 50$?


However, it was this place in Westmount that provided my most valuable finds of the week.


I opened one bag and saw a large collection of jewelry.


Another bag held even more! I put both bags in my car, without really looking at them much.


A lot was costume jewelry and loose beads. I imagine whoever owned this was a teenager with an interest in jewelry making. Pictured is what I decided to keep for my yard sales, most of which I put in containers I saved from the same spot. The rest – about twice as much as seen here – I’ll bring to Le Milieu, a local co-op that does skill-share workshops and sells second-hand art supplies on a pay-what-you-can basis.


It wasn’t all costume jewelry. There was also some silver …


… and a bit of gold. The gold is worth around 300$ in scrap value alone!


Specific pieces of note include these earrings marked as being by Tiffany …


… these modernist-style Mexican silver earrings;


… and a modernist-style necklace. This piece isn’t marked but it tests as sterling silver. The modernist pieces were the misfits of this collection.


Otherwise, I saved some coins (mostly American and Greek) and a 1$ American bill;


… a vintage-looking silver-plate baby photo holder by Birks;


… a little box with baby teeth inside;


… a fancy looking blue crystal dish that looks too new to be depression glass (it measures 6″ long);


… an odd but cool heavy red glass cup (about 6″ tall);


… a Jesus from a nativity set and a small doll made from a vintage plastic (marked “Made in France” with a few numbers on the back, though more might be written behind the dress);


… some bottles of perfume (the Christian Dior J’adore and Hypnotic Poison at each end might be worth a decent chunk of change);


… a couple of change purses;


… a decent looking Audio Technica microphone in its original box;


… a flower press;


… and some sunglasses. The Christan Dior frames are missing a few screws but look fixable. The Armani sunglasses look legit, while I’ll have to do a bit of research on the Chanel to make sure they’re not knockoffs. It was a pretty good week overall!

In other news

I’ll be selling things alongside many other crafty vendors at this bazaar in the Mile End on Saturday. There will be lattes made by the espresso machine I found a few weeks back. Food (that I didn’t find in the trash!) will also be served. Entry is free and there should be an ample amount of parking spaces available on Van Horne. It goes from noon to six and the location is 185 Van Horne (upstairs).

Last week’s garbage sales (April 27 – May 3)

1. Yard sale: 265$. This was one of my most successful yard sales yet. The sale was at my new storage area so I was able to put out more items than usual. It also made closing down much easier! A few readers dropped by too, which was nice.


2. Huronia travel guide and map: On eBay for 5$. I don’t normally list things that only make me 5$, but I don’t mind if the item fits in a regular envelope (making it cheap and easy to ship). Found last July in Mount Royal.


3. 1940s Black Cat fortune telling game: On eBay for 130$. I made good money here, and already received positive feedback. Found early February in Verdun.


4. Seven sex psychology books from the early 1900s, 6 by Havelock Ellis: On eBay for 250$. Another great sale! Books can take a while to sell, but I figured there would be a good market for these. Found mid March in Mount Royal.


5. Le Creuset dutch oven: To a friend for 25$. The shipping costs would have eaten up most of my profit if I sold it on eBay, so I gave my friend a good deal instead. Found in January in the Golden Square Mile.

Total: 675$, 16154.75$ since May 18 2014 and 6472.75$ since the new year began. A pretty solid week after a couple slower ones.

I started keeping track of my sales on May 18th of last year. I plan on doing a special post around May 18th of this year that will feature relevant finance-related statistics.

Just as a general clarification, the eBay prices I state include the price of shipping, but not the eBay fees (which are around 10%). I’ll take this into account when I do my fiscal year in review.

Email and links

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 reading your comments! I frequently get behind on emails so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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34 thoughts on “For Poland”

  1. o good heavens,this makes me want to get out and walk for blocks tonight and early AM tomorrow- but while I’d have found stuff where I used to live, I’ve only ever found one good haul here where I now live; you saved so much wonderful stuff.

    1. Haha. Well, you never know when your next big haul will be! At the very least it would be a fun walk.

  2. Just an FYI. The pattern name of your blue dish is Daisy and Button.

  3. I went to an antique doll auction a few months ago and there were lots and lots of baby Jesus figures from Navtivities. I found out it was all the rage to steal Jesus from displays…

  4. I am just stunned at what people throw away. I love that you find so much great stuff and sell it. Good for you! People have no respect for the planet to throw away items that have value to others. I’m a new follower and already I love your blog!


  5. I am so jealous of your finds!!!! You did incredible!!! That stamp collection is amazing. If you don’t sell them, you can donate them to Oxfam in Ottawa.

  6. Did you know you are a hero? Thanks many for all the valuable information about ‘For Poland’ and the time you take for everything, Ill be seeing you again soon at your next bazar…Cheers! I’ll vote for you!

  7. I would love to have dove into that dumpster with you. It looks very inviting.

    Re: your Polish language periodicals
    These might be good for this kind of archive

    I like the poem, “For Poland” … maybe it was an entry in some kind of contest?

    That small wooden bird is very cute. Any identifying marks? You might want to look into that.

    Wow, I never saw so many stamps! 🙂

    It certainly looks like you had a banner week in terms of variety and value. I hope you have an equally good session at Saturday’s bazaar in the Mile End. Full steam ahead!

    I enjoy reading the comments to your posts, as well. They’re both helpful and complimentary of the work you’re doing.

  8. Oh wow, my husband would die if he saw all those stamps. He’s always asking me why I never find any stamps LOL
    Are you getting as overwhelmed as I am with all the finds lately? Summer is equalling more garbage and I almost can’t keep up. I’ll just be taking some highlight pictures for my blog, but I have to sort and pack things up for the thrift store and move it out quickly to make room for the next heap of stuff. It’s kind of getting nuts!

    1. Lol, I’m sure you will someday.

      There’s definitely been a lot more stuff, but I’m handling it well mostly thanks to my new storage space, which has made organizing way easier.

      One thing’s for sure: you save a lot more stuff than I do! I’ve always had to account for a lack of storage space (it’s not that much, even with my new space) so I actually leave behind a lot of nice stuff that could be saved. You have a house (if I remember correctly), which means you can store way more, which also drastically increases your workload. What you’re doing is great for the environment (I think you save more actually useful things than I do, ha ha) but make sure you have time to chill out and relax. From experience, I can tell you burnout ain’t fun. It’s hard though because trash picking can be addictive, and leaving something behind you know can be useful (and you know will be destroyed) is both difficult and sad.

      Maybe you can find some way to make everything more efficient. You might also just have to take less photos, and make the blog posts shorter. I wish I could share everything, but these days I find myself taking a lot more “shortcuts” and leaving things out that I likely would have mentioned in say, January.

  9. Hi ! I’m Polish (and soooooo jealous of your polish findings !!!) and I will be more than happy to translate your magazine and books for you 🙂 ! Let me know if I can help :-).

  10. I love your blog;a lot of middleclass people are taught never to scavenge;they would rather see a curbside treasure on garbage pickup day that they see go to the dump rather than save it for personal use,to sell it or to give.The Salvation Army and many other charities discourage people from scavenging saying that it is not a real job and that people should learn a real trade.They also look down on people picking up cans and bottles from parks ,black garbage gags,etc.THey do not mind waste ;they preach rightwing Christian ideology and consumerist throwaway culture pof capitalism.No Wonder waste is so rampant.
    I admire scavengers in rich areas;I live in a rich neighborhood.

    1. Glad you like the blog! I didn’t know about how some charities discourage scavenging. Seems a bit strange if you ask me. One thing I hope to do with this blog is prove that scavenging can actually be a profitable endeavor. I’d like to see more people doing this all across the world, at least until one day we (maybe) learn not to throw so much out!

      I don’t see too many rich scavengers. I saw an older jogger (who clearly lived in the neighborhood) eying a desk I ended up taking a few weeks ago in Mount Royal however. I’ve never seen them go through black bags, though.

  11. You have not written about scavenging and finding treasures in Ville St.Laurent on heavy garbage pickup day in a few months.Before,you used to report on finding treasures in Ville St.Laurent on heavy trash day often.Why?

    1. I’ve gone a couple of times (I went last week in fact) but didn’t find much. During winter, the heavy trash days often always coincided with poor weather as well. I do like the area though and will certainly return, probably for the next heavy trash schedule.

  12. I saw Hungarian books with the trash outside the seniors’ residence Foyer Hongrois on St.Jacques street.Reading about your discovery of Polish books in the trash,I regret not having saved those Hungarian books.I do not speak Hungarian.Is there a market for Hungarian books in Montreal?

    1. No idea. I tend to take older books, no matter what the language. Sometimes they can be rare, but they’re more often just interesting. There could be a market on eBay, but most books are not worth too much even if they are old. However, they might still be valuable in other ways.

  13. I see and rescue a lot of CD racks from the trash these days.Do you see a lot of them and salvage them?Please do;do not let them go to the dump.

    1. I see those but mostly leave them. Unfortunately they are not very valuable and I don’t have the time and space to deal with them.

  14. Do many residents of the Town of Mount Royal recognize you or know about your blog?I am sure some residents of TMR must have read the article about you in The Gazette or must have seen you digging about in the trash.Also,neighbors may discuss such topics between themselves at times.Do you find that your blog has brought about a reduction in the amount of good stuff TMR residents throw out?Has your blog influenced many Montrealers in other boroughs and neighborhoods to throw out less reusable stuff?Want to know.

    1. I’m sure a few do (I’d be curious to know them!), but I think most are totally oblivious. I’ve been going at night recently so I’m not seen as often as I once was either. I like to think that I’ve influenced some change, but I definitely can’t say that I’ve noticed a reduction in any neighbourhood. My following is still only 4200 (officially), which is just a tiny fraction of people living in Montreal (and even less, when you consider many followers are from other parts of Canada, the US, the UK, and other countries). I mostly hope that I can encourage others to try trash picking so that they can save things too.

  15. I found Playboy magazines from 1960 to 1962 on the sidewalk in open boxes on curbside recycling pickup morning in my neighborhood last month and I carried the whole box home.Do you find and rescue them ?

  16. I love garbage-checking while biking occasionally on streets like Chateaubriand,Lajeunesse,L’Esplanade,Gouin,etc.You do not seem to go too often to the north these days.Also Verdun West,Emard/Cote St.Paul and LaSalle need more attention from you.

    1. I don’t go to the north much anymore. I’m sure there is good stuff to be found, but the problem is that there are too many trash days. For example, most of Ahuntsic has garbage pickup on Monday and Thursday, while recycling is on Wednesday. That means the garbage is spread out over three days, and makes finding treasures much harder because you need to be there at exactly the right now, and get very lucky. The Plateau / Mile End is the same way, but because I live there I sometimes take a look because it’s otherwise very convenient. Ahuntsic is a 15 minute drive away in good traffic conditions, making it much less convenient.

      In other neighbourhoods (like NDG and Cote-des-Neiges) there are two garbage pickups a week but the recycling pickup is the same day as one of the garbage collections, which is a modest improvement.

      The best neighbourhoods are those that have only one garbage day a week, and a recycling day that same day. This makes Verdun, Mount Royal, and yes Ville Emard / Cote St Paul attractive destinations for me. I would like to go there more often, but I have to help drive my friend Sarah to teach a class every Friday morning which makes that more difficult. I don’t have to do that next week, so maybe I’ll go there then.

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