Requiem for a garbage day

From the borough website

Recently the Plateau (the neighbourhood I live in) decided to switch up their garbage days. Beginning on February 1st garbage was picked up in the morning instead of the evening across the entire borough. The recycling days were changed, and now mostly align with one of the garbage days. Also, the garbage in one sector is now only picked up once a week.

The roll-out of these changes was totally bungled. The city put up these signs in my sector, but none of them mentioned that the collection time was changing to the morning. At least 50% of people had no idea that anything was different, and only now over a month later do most know when to put out their trash.

Regardless, I was sad about the change at first. The Plateau trash day had been a regular route of mine since I moved to Montreal around 7 years ago. The garbage in most of the borough was picked up starting at 7pm, and I very much enjoyed (especially on a sunny summer day) casually going for a walk or bike ride in the late afternoon to see what I could find. At first it was just a fun hobby, but these garbage days are also what inspired me to think of scavenging less as a pastime and more like a potential business.

I also liked that there was little competition for these times slots on my schedule. Most trash in Montreal is collected in the mornings, and other than a few sectors of Rosemont and Hochelaga (which are a fair bit further) I can’t think of any other evening collections. The Plateau now has to compete for my time with other neighbourhoods, and that makes the route feel a little more like actual work – especially since I’ll have to go out either really early or really late to get it done.

However, over time I’ve come to appreciate the change. My days are now a lot easier to plan, and I have more time for rest because I won’t feel tempted to go garbaging. I’ll have more time to play pickup softball at a nearby park, which should benefit my fitness and social life. The transition from two garbage days a week to one means that I get a bit more bang for my buck every time I go out, and that’s always a good thing. I also think that I’ll have a little less competition for the same garbage – most “normal” people won’t be interested in looking at trash that late at night or that early in the morning.

So, I’m happy with the change overall. I think I’ll always have a bit of nostalgia thinking about those evening runs, but I feel that the switch just makes things easier for me from a time management perspective. I can always make the occasional trip to Rosemont or Hochelaga for their evening garbage day when I feel like doing a bit extra.

Anyways, I realize that there’s probably few people in the world who care about the garbage collection schedule as much as I do, so let’s get to some actual finds!

It was a pretty slow week overall, but my first run on Monday morning was a good one.

I’ve been finding interesting trash in front of a nearby apartment building for the past couple months. I’m guessing that someone’s slowly clearing out one of the apartments. Much of what’s been thrown out has been total junk, including bags of worn-out clothes and shoes, but once in a while some decent stuff (including the first group photos from this post) pops up.

This small collection of jewelry has definitely been my best haul from this spot so far. Most of the pieces aren’t too exciting, but two are worth a further look. Can you spot them?

The brooch on the left is made by Florenza, a now defunct brand that seems to have a decent following on eBay. I think it’ll sell for between 25-50$, though I listed it for a bit more just to be safe.

The bracelet, which I polished before taking this shot is marked Levin Sterling.

That means it was made by Ed Levin, a noted mid-century designer. His stuff goes for decent prices on eBay, and I think this bracelet will eventually sell for 100$. Not bad!

Later in the week I found two vintage film cameras at the same spot. I have no idea how to test them, but they’ll still go for an easy 5$ at a future yard sale. Hopefully that apartment produces more stuff like this, and less old clothes going forward!

My Monday morning run also produced a somewhat broken Nexus 5 cell phone, a sealed copy of Lightroom 4, and some small change. I was able to sell the phone pretty quickly for around 50$ – I grouped it with another Nexus 5 that I found in much worse condition. I always like finding cell phones, because at the very least by saving them I ensure that the valuable and often toxic metals inside don’t go to landfill. I expect this one will get fixed up and resold, given its good cosmetic condition, and that’s an even better outcome.

The weather, and my luck turned cold later in the week. These were the last things of note that I found. I had to dig through some kind of gross stuff to get them, but oh well. The best piece was that Mexican silver chain second from the right; I sold it for 10$ to one of my readers not long after finding it. Better than nothing!

Otherwise, I used up a bunch of last week’s peppers in a chili. The ones I couldn’t use I cut up and froze, as was suggested by a few readers. Thanks for the tip! I think I’m set for peppers for the next little while. Oh, and the Tupperware containers I found a few weeks back came in very handy.

Over the last week I’ve received around 150$ in early contributions to my car fund. I wasn’t expecting to receive anything so soon so thanks for the support! It makes me more optimistic that my campaign could be successful. I do think I’ll go with IndieGoGo, in large part due to their flexible funding option. It’s also more fun when you’re able to track the progress of the campaign on a day-to-day basis.

I’ll have to figure out how to make a good video, and what to say in it. I really don’t enjoy seeing myself in video form but I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment. I’m sure I can come up with something decent. Anyways, I’ll definitely let you know when it’s all ready!

This week hasn’t been too exciting thus far. I went out on Monday without much luck, and took Tuesday off because of some freezing rain. Here’s hoping I find some good stuff in the next few days.

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

9 thoughts on “Requiem for a garbage day

  1. Pam says:

    I always look forward to your posts, they make me smile. I also like to treasure hunt in my neighborhood, it’s a Monday evening adventure. Last year I made $2500 for about 6 months work. It’s disturbing to me how wasteful people are. Keep up the adventure.

    • martng says:

      Glad to hear it. It’s good that you do it part time, it’s a nice hobby and a fun way to make some extra cash. I hope to encourage other people to do the same thing, perhaps just looking around their own neighbourhood. It doesn’t have to be a full-time thing like I now do, that’s for sure.

  2. Jude says:

    I work in a jewelry store. We sell the Ed Levin line. He is still revelant and popular. Great designs and quality. Great find but the way!

    • martng says:

      Thanks, I did hear that the company is still going. I think that Ed Levin himself passed away a few years ago, but if I remember right his son operates it now.

  3. mrspickypincher says:

    Ahh, change is always tough, but I’m glad there are lots of silver linings for this change. Great finds. 🙂

  4. I think I’d be missing those more leisurely late afternoon excursions around the Plateau, as well, mais c’est la vie.

    Some nice finds there. Spring is int he air. Hope you’re able to get into the swing of yard sales again soon.

    Great job with the peppers, and I know your chili is always great.

  5. Derek Ch says:

    You had 5370 followers 3 or 4 days ago.After your last post yesterday,you lost three or four followers.You have 5367 followers at this moment.That is weird.What is happening?Your blog is great as usual.

  6. […] week wasn’t particularly productive but I have some things to show you nonetheless. That apartment building again supplied most of my […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: