Last week was pretty quiet. I came across this pile of suitcases on Thursday, and took a few including the faux alligator Samsonite on the left. I like storing my yard sale junk in vintage cases, and someone might want to buy the Samsonite one.


That spot also produced a cool vintage Kodak ski bag. It seems to have been made for the 1988 Calgary Olympics. I expect I can get some decent cash, maybe up to 100$ for this, but I think I’ll wait until next fall to list it. I doubt many people are on the hunt for ski bags right now.



I came across this nasty old chair while biking in the Mile End later that day. I haven’t thought to do this in a while, but I decided to check the sides of the cushions to see if any coins had fallen into the crevices. As it turns out the chair was a gold mine, or at least a coin mine. I found over 8$ in all, including a toonie and five loonies. I won’t lie, it was kind of gross but as a trash picker I’m used to getting my hands dirty! I did give the coins a good wash when I got home. I’ve been a bit hard up for cash recently so it was nice to find some pocket change.


The week was salvaged by my Friday morning bike run through the Plateau. I noticed a chair off in the distance, and I figured I’d go check it out.


The bags around the chair looked to contain moving-related stuff, or so I assume because it was near the end of the month.


I found a MacBook Pro in the first bag I opened. Are you sick of me finding these yet?


Yup, another MacBook Pro. This one was a 15″ made in early 2011, which is not too bad from a resale perspective. The screen was good, if maybe slightly burnt from overuse. It had no hard drive or CD drive, and seemed to suffer from power issues (it would turn off randomly sometimes, and the fan would run loudly). Still, it did turn on and the battery held a charge. The case was in decent shape as well, not all bent up like some of the others I’ve seen recently. Oh, and it came with 8gb of RAM.

Not too long ago I bought a hard drive from eBay with Mac OS pre-installed in hopes that I could use it to repair another computer. It didn’t work out however, and the hard drive (which cost me around 90$) had sat around ever since. Fortunately, the hard drive worked when I put it in this computer. That increased the value of the laptop, and also allowed me to get my 90$ back.

I listed it “for parts / repair” on eBay on Friday, and by Monday it had sold to a local buyer for 335$. Not bad! 245$ of that is actual profit, which is still pretty solid. That’s why I love finding MacBook Pros in any condition – they generally sell pretty quickly and make me some decent cash.

While the week was pretty light on finds overall, this sale at least made it respectable. So far I’ve found one MacBook Pro in each month of 2017, and we’ll see if that keeps up in March.


Otherwise, I was looking through the bags of clothes I saved a couple weeks back and found a big fur coat! It’s falling apart and it’s not good to sell as-is, but I know someone who recycles fur for various projects. It’ll go to a good home.


I also went dumpster diving for the first time in several months. I saved a big box of peppers, some broccoli, and a bunch of oranges. I may have gotten a bit too excited and took too many peppers, but I’ve given a lot to friends and I plan on roasting and freezing some soon. I may start dumpster diving more again, as I mentioned I’m pretty broke and it’d be pretty easy to save a bit of money this way.

The friend who lends me her car has recently expressed interest in selling it. For a variety of reasons I have little money right now, so I was thinking of going the crowdfunding route to see if I could raise the money to buy it. According to WordPress I have 5366 followers, and in theory if every one of them donates 1$ I’d have more than enough. I’m going to take some time to consider the various options, and I’ll let you know what I decide.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

28 thoughts on “MBP”

  1. I’d be happy to donate, if it’s possible from the UK. I adore the blog and watching all these discarded items find a home

    1. Glad you like the blog! I may go the IndieGogo / Kickstarter route, but it’s true that I would pay less fees through Paypal. We’ll see. I’ll think more about it and let everyone know.

  2. Will gladly donate too!
    p.s I think you meant this article to have March 1 as a date, not Feb. 1 😉

    1. Great! Weird about the date though… I didn’t intentionally change it so it must be a WordPress glitch, maybe because of the short month. Now it says if I change the date the previous links will die. I guess I’ll change it and just re-post the links to Facebook… annoying.

  3. That Olympics ski bag sure won’t take much room to store. 🙂
    Search old chairs for money … you’ve learned well, Grasshopper.
    I like how you find homes for different things (e.g. the fur coat), even when there isn’t any money in it for you. You’re a thoughtful, generous soul.
    Love reading your commentary, i.e., about how you got to use that MacBook hard drive.
    As for crowdfunding for a car … do it!

  4. I just donated to you via PayPal. How about a picture of what you look like. Just curious, but also love reading your blog!

    1. Thank you! I will post another picture someday, perhaps soon. I hate most photos of myself though, ha ha. If you dig deep enough in the blog there are one or two, and in at least one of the newspaper articles there is one. However, I’d recommend you wait until I post a new one. I’ve learned a lot in recent years, beard maintenance for one that will make the next photo more likely to be nice. I prefer to put by best foot forward in that regard.

  5. I would donate a couple of dollars.have you ever thought about vlogging.you could open the box or bag of stuff that you got and talk about each item and why its good stuff or junk and how much you could get for it.

    1. Good to hear. I have thought about vlogging, not regularly because I prefer writing but I do like the idea of saving an interesting looking trash bag and looking through it on camera. I’ll think about it more when spring comes, it’s nicer to do that kind of thing outside when it’s warm and sunny out.

  6. I will donate!! and when you get it set up, I will tell all the Nonconsumer advocate followers about it. There are about 20,000 followers there to draw from. They love that you save stuff from the trash and make a living while doing it. Very non consumery.


    On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:07 PM, Things I find in the garbage wrote:

    > martng posted: ” Last week was pretty quiet. I came across this pile of > suitcases on Thursday, and took a few including the faux alligator > Samsonite on the left. I like storing my yard sale junk in vintage cases, > and someone might want to buy the Samsonite one. ” >

    1. I don’t know, I did have an issue with this post where the posted date was February 1 instead of March 1 for some reason, so it didn’t appear at the top of the page. I was able to change the date but that meant the link on my Facebook page no longer worked.

  8. I’ll donate too. Hey, have a bit of sunshine. It’s not much to give but we all need it these days. Things will get better.

  9. Definitely would give you a buck for all the enjoyment I get reading your posts!. Here’s a quick moneymaking idea for your large assorted vintage eyeglasses. This is copied from a website…. I both sell and buy vintage eyewear, so if you are cleaning out Aunt Ethel’s wardrobe and find a stash of 1940s Cat’s eye frames, we might be able to take them off your hands. If you have vintage stock that you think might of interest to us, send us an email at seebeseen@urbanoptiques.com or just bring it into the store for a look.

    1. Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind, but I’m pretty good at getting good prices for eyeglasses in my eBay store.

  10. Those pile of suitcases thrown out deserved to be saved and all of them could have been given a new life(I do not understand why so many good suitcases get junked every month).Thank you for sharing your dumpster diving finds.You should share your dumpster diving finds more often and you must dumpster-dive more often.Period.

    1. I see suitcases all the time but don’t bother with them because there’s usually something wrong with them (ie: broken zipper, wheel). These days they are pretty cheaply made. I also think that the risk of getting bedbugs from luggage is a bit higher than your average piece of garbage, because people bring them traveling. While I’m good at inspecting for bedbugs suitcases are often hard to inspect, especially if they’re black, and if they’re cheap it’s not at all worth my time.

      I liked these ones because they were vintage and had clearly just sat in a basement or garage for many years.

  11. Keep scavenging.All McDonalds restos are offering a free small coffee until March 5.Please take advantage of that Martin.Good luck

  12. You don’t have to roast the peppers before freezing them. Just chop them into bite-sized pieces and freeze in plastic bags. (Lay the bag flat so they don’t freeze in a clump.) They’re great for adding to pasta sauce and stews that way. While you’re sauteeing the onions, mushrooms, etc., just throw in a big handful of the frozen pepper bits, and they’ll cook up fine.

    1. Yes, I’ve done that from time to time.

      But it’s worth adding that some things don’t freeze as is. Cauliflower needs blanching before freezing, so there must be other things that need preparation.


  13. I am a vegetarian and I like your blog because you help reduce waste.I am against eating fish and meat as well as hunting.We humans are causing extinction of too many other species.Read this article

    Before Vaquitas Vanish, a Desperate Bid to Save Them

    No more than 30 vaquitas are left in Mexico’s Gulf of California. Experts propose keeping some in captivity as a last resort.


    February 27, 2017

    SAN FELIPE, Mexico — In the shallow sea waters of the Gulf of California swims a porpoise that few have seen, its numbers dwindling so fast that its very existence is now in peril.

    Known mostly by its Spanish name, the snub-nosed vaquita is the world’s smallest cetacean, a miniature porpoise with a cartoonlike features and dark smudges around its eyes. The species lives only in the fertile waters of the gulf’s northern corner.

    The size of its population has always been precarious, but now voracious demand in China for a fish that shares the vaquita’s only habitat has pushed the tiny porpoise to the brink of extinction.

    No more than 30 vaquitas are left, according to a November estimate based on monitoring of their echolocation clicks. Half of the vaquitas counted a year earlier have disappeared.

    This calamity has hardly gone unnoticed. The vaquita has been vanishing in plain sight, to the despair of conservationists who have been advising the Mexican government on how to save it. All of the resources brought to bear, including the protection of the Mexican Navy, have proved to be no match against the illegal wildlife trade.


    “If we continue on the path we’re on, we’ll have no vaquitas in two years,” said Barbara Taylor, a marine mammal expert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The vaquita are simply bycatch, trapped and drowned in curtains of illegal gillnets set for an endangered fish called the totoaba. The fish’s swim bladder is dried and smuggled to China, where wealthy diners pay thousands of dollars for the delicacy, believing it to have medicinal powers.

    Vaquitas in the Gulf of California. No more than 30 vaquitas are left, according to a November estimate based on monitoring of their echolocation clicks.

    Paula Olson / NOAA

    To feed that appetite, totoaba poachers have killed 90 percent of the vaquita population since 2011, according to the acoustic monitoring program led by Armando Jaramillo Legorreta at the Mexican government’s National Ecology and Climate Change Institute, known as INECC.

    With so few vaquitas left, experts advising the Mexican government have proposed capturing several specimens and holding them in a sea pen as a way of conserving the species until the threat to its habitat is removed. It’s a last-ditch measure that conservationists had hoped they would never have to resort to.

    “We had always been opposed to captivity,” said Lorenzo Rojas Bracho, a marine mammal expert at INECC and the chairman of an advisory group, the International Committee for Vaquita Recovery. But nobody expected that the population would decline so quickly.

    “There are risks,” Dr. Rojas Bracho said of the capture plan. “But they are fewer than leaving them with the fishing as it is.”

    The plan would entail training United States Navy dolphins to locate vaquitas, capturing them for transfer to a temporary pool and then to a sea pen to be built in their habitat along the Gulf of California coast. The majority of vaquitas would remain in the wild.

    But the unknowns loom large. “We don’t know whether they find them,” Dr. Taylor said of the dolphins. “We don’t know whether we can catch them. We don’t know how they will react.”

    “If you get a negative result in any one of these steps,” she added, “it’s basically game over” for the capture plan. Even in the best of scenarios, breeding in captivity is unlikely to restore the population. A female vaquita gives birth to one calf every two years on average.


    If the proposal goes forward, the vaquita would join other species at the brink of extinction — like the California condor and the golden lion tamarin, in Brazil — that are being closely managed in some form distinct from their natural setting. It would be the first such effort for a marine mammal.

    Poachers have killed 90 percent of the vaquita population since 2011, according to the acoustic monitoring program at the Mexican government’s National Ecology and Climate Change Institute.

    Flip Nicklin / Minden Pictures

    A very small population can be pulled back from the edge, but “it requires outside-the-box thinking,” said Samuel Turvey, a research fellow at the Zoological Society of London who studies conservation management for highly threatened species.

    A managed-conservation plan designed with the expectation that the animals can eventually be returned to the wild “is not a permanent solution,” he added. “It’s an emergency stopgap with an exit strategy.”

    Nor would it be a quick fix. “It requires intensive sustained efforts for decades to recover species from these catastrophic low levels,” said Richard Young, the head of conservation science at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust .

    Dr. Turvey speaks from experience. He witnessed the first human-caused extinction of a cetacean, the Yangtze River dolphin. Like the vaquita, the baiji, as it was more commonly known, occupied a limited habitat in small numbers and was decimated as bycatch in local fisheries.

    For a decade, researchers discussed removing individual baiji to a semi-natural reserve as a short-term conservation measure. But when Dr. Turvey and other researchers led an expedition down the Yangtze in 2006 to look for specimens, they found none.

    The baiji “only became a story when it was gone,” he said, adding that “it was really dark and upsetting.”

    It is an experience that Dr. Taylor, who was on the expedition, hopes not to repeat. “It’s idealistic to think that we’re going to effect the significant changes in fisheries and enforcement practices in the wild in time to save vaquitas,” she said.

    If anything, those efforts have reached a nadir.

    Two years ago, the Mexican government imposed a two-year ban on all gillnets across 5,000 square miles of the vaquita habitat and sent its Navy to enforce it. To support the communities of the upper Gulf, which depend on fishing and shrimping, the government allocated $74 million in compensation over the two years.

    From left, Gina Coll, Guiga Pira, Thomas Le Coz and Carrie Cervantes aboard the Sam Simon, run by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. They have been patrolling the vaquita habitat, pulling illegal nets out of the water and spotting poachers.

    Tara Pixley for The New York Times

    The hope was that the military could halt the totoaba trade and that two years would be long enough to complete development of vaquita-safe trawl nets to substitute for shrimp gillnets. (Even before the totoaba trade surged, legal gillnet fishing had depleted the vaquita population.)


    But local fishermen argue that the new nets’ catches are too meager to provide a living, and the authorities have been sympathetic. “While there is no alternative to fishing practices, nobody will give up their gillnets,” Dr. Rojas Bracho said.

    The promised enforcement also has fallen short. That was evident this month aboard the Sam Simon, a 57-meter antipoaching vessel operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an environmental organization.

    In an agreement with the Mexican Navy, Sea Shepherd has been patrolling the vaquita habitat, pulling illegal nets out of the water and spotting poachers. “We see illegal activity almost every day,” said Oona Layolle, the leader of the Sea Shepherd campaign, called Operation Milagro (Spanish for “miracle”).

    At about 4 p.m. one afternoon this month, a fishing boat pulled up just a few hundred meters from the Sam Simon carrying four men guided by a hand-held GPS device. One of the men dragged a hook in the water, looking for a gillnet they had hidden there.

    The Sam Simon sent a drone over the small boat and it sped off, only to return with six men aboard, who threw objects at the drone before leaving again. Despite a call to the Mexican Navy, nobody came.

    Even when arrests are made, conservationists say, the prosecution is too slapdash to win a conviction for a serious crime.

    Last year, Mexican Navy patrols succeeded in scaring off the totoaba poachers by day, forcing them to haul in their nets at night. But this year, the poachers work openly during the day, some wearing balaclavas, apparently undeterred by desultory government patrols. Some poachers even post photos of their weapons on Facebook.

    Mr. Pira piloting a drone to monitor a nearby fishing boat.

    Tara Pixley for The New York Times

    At the same time, four boats belonging to Mexico’s environmental prosecutor are parked on a side street running above the dock here, their motors broken or simply unused because fuel is in short supply.

    The nets tell a similar tale. Over 10 weeks last spring, Operation Milagro pulled 42 totoaba nets from these waters. In the fall, a broad government-sponsored survey succeeded in finding 36 totoaba nets, 28 of which were in use.


    In mid-December, Operation Milgro resumed and found 56 more totoaba nets in nine weeks. Almost all were new, and some were set in the same places that the government effort had cleared just weeks earlier.

    During night patrol aboard the Sam Simon last week, the crew pulled up yet another totoaba net of wide blue mesh, its unweathered red buoys evidence that the net was brand new.

    “The situation is so dramatic that we have to take huge measures,” Ms. Layolle said. “It is a desperate time.”

    Mexico’s environment minister, Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, promised this month to send 45 federal police officers to patrol the beaches and to dismantle poachers’ camps.

    But he did not respond to the main recommendation of conservationists: a permanent gillnet ban. The legal fishing season for corvina has begun, which means dozens of small boats will be out on the water, giving cover to poachers.

    Despite a promise last year by President Enrique Peña Nieto, the government has yet to act on the gillnet ban. Without that, warn conservationists, there is no way to begin to save the vaquita.

    “If you can’t remove the threats, the population keeps declining,” Dr. Turvey said. “You don’t have time for complacency.”

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  14. This ad is from the Craigslist wanted section of Montréal of Feb 22,2017.
    Books on Bread Baking cacher cette annonce

    Interested in buying books on bread baking.
    Please send titles of books, prices and valid phone number.
    Will contact you if interested.

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