Garbage meat gamble

This spot in upper Outremont was good to me for about six weeks. I met one of the tossers the first day. She seemed okay with my presence, and even gave me some rollerskates. But on the last day she asked me to leave her trash alone, and threatened to bring it back inside her property if I didn’t. Fortunately the best had already made it to the curb, but the change of heart was discouraging nonetheless.

One day I found a suitcase filled with video games mostly for the Wii. Easy money!

Another day I found a freezer bag full of meat. I don’t usually take frozen food, but this time I took the chance. The meat was still ice cold and rock solid when I found it, and it was pretty clear that these were high quality (often organic) cuts. There was some fish in there as well which was apparently sport-caught in Haida Gwaii BC.

I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to meat, especially garbage meat, but I figured that my friends might be able to view it more rationally. It did spend a few months in the freezer (again), but eventually we tried it and no one got sick – in fact it was pretty delicious. So, that ended up being a nice treat, and it’s good that the animals didn’t die for nothing. But I’m curious as to what you would have done in the same situation, see the poll below!


On another occasion I filled a Halloween bucket full of miscellaneous crap.

There’s lots of items on the junk / quality junk spectrum here. Some of it sold at my yard sales, while some ended up in free boxes on the curb.

The Gucci watch box was nice, but my best find here was the Le Chateau gift card which held about 37.46$. I’m not sure what I’d buy there, however.

Again, my best finds here are probably the two Renaud Bray gift cards. One was worth 25$, the other about 58$. Not bad! Renaud Bray is a largely French book store, but they do sell some useful stuff like candy and printer paper. That beaded Birks clutch is vintage and cool, and those unopened cassettes ended up in an auction lot with other unopened cassettes. The soap is now part of my collection of soaps – my hope is that I never have to buy any again, even after gifting some to my mom.

Here’s the jewels and perfumes. Also, more fancy soap for my collection. To be honest I was hoping for more gold, but I guess I shouldn’t be greedy. That straight razor pendant is 10k gold, and a few other pieces are silver. More valuable is that CB “I hate perfume,” which smells like Russian tea and sells for 110 USD. Given that the bottle is pretty full, it should sell for a good price (if I don’t keep it myself, that is).

These folks also threw out a lot of eyeglasses, most of which were made by designers. A few are by Alain Mikli, and others were made by Prada, Paul Smith, and Ray-Ban. Frames generally take a while to sell, but they can go for pretty good prices.

Last but not least is a soapstone carving that survived the tossing in reasonably good condition. If I remember correctly it sold for 44$ at auction. It seems like I’ve found more soapstone than usual this year.

Otherwise, I finally bit the bullet and hired an old friend to help me with my emails. I was about a year behind, and it was time to accept that I just suck at that aspect of my job. She’s only helped me for a couple hours so far, but I definitely think it will help me stay on top of things going forward. (I still hope to respond to those past emails as well).

I also got her to make me a mailing list for yard sales and such. At some point I might add a script to the bottom of this page (it doesn’t seem to be working at the moment), but for now you can sign up by clicking this link. Unfortunately yard sale season is nearly over, but at least it’ll be set up for next year. Either way, my next and probably second last sale is probably going to be this Saturday, when the weather is supposed to be (relatively) warm and sunny. Again, it will be at 4096 Coloniale starting round 11:30.


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16 thoughts on “Garbage meat gamble”

  1. In my area USA-Missouri people are always looking for old freezer meat to make dog food or at least that’s what they say on CL .

  2. The soap, the Bulgari will sell on ebay. I bought Bulgari white there because it is hard to find. If you have other designer soaps, you can do a grouping of soaps. Also, have you thought about selling the gift cards below their value (if you don’t use thdm). On second thought, maybe you already do that. As usual, LOVE your finds and blog (not the meat, sorry, nope). 🙂

  3. Hi Marty – Great finds. I have found that eBay buyers love a mixed lot of perfume samples. Lots of 10-20 sell easily. Perhaps you could use the first gift card to buy your mom or friend a holiday gift? I would like to hear how the auction house business is progressing and if you have figured out any interesting patterns about sales on ebay versus auction house.

  4. Too bad that woman did a 180 away from friendly. Some good finds there. Oh well, you managed to keep a portion of her discards out of the landfill anyway.
    You say Renaud Bray sells “useful stuff like candy” … hahaha … your definition of “useful” and mine are a tad different. I remember though that you’ve always been a fan of hard candy. 🙂
    A mention, re: soap! 🙂 *hugs*
    Good to hear “you’re” getting caught up with your long overdue emails.

  5. I wouldn’t eat the meat but that’s mostly because I have a bit of a phobia around food safety and I would wonder why they were discarding it, like maybe the power was out and the stuff thawed and then re-froze. See? Phobia 🙂 But I commend you for doing so and agree that it was good to keep those animals lives from being wasted.

    Bummer that the woman decided to get snippy – I wonder what on earth made her turn from friendly to cranky? If people don’t want their stuff, why why WHY do they not want anyone else to make use of it? Pah!

  6. Nice finds! Glad there were no ill effects on anyone but I wouldn’t have eaten the meat. It has been largely ignored in the Canadian media but there have been massive industry-wide recalls in the past couple of weeks of beef and other meat due to e-coli contamination. The processing dates go back to the spring and could therefore include meat that had been frozen for some time. In any case, one might assume there is probably a reason people throw away seemingly good meat. A lot of the recalled meat could be good but you never know what you’re getting.

    1. You should be able to find any relevant recall notice online. That being said, I took the chance in large part because these people were multimillionaires, and wasteful ones at that. If they weren’t rich I probably would have erred on the side of caution.

      1. Yes, it’s online and you can also subscribe, which I do. In the past couple of weeks there has been a bombardment of emails with long lists of raw and processed meat products recalled. The reason I thought the meat you found could be a result of the recall is in the emails they advise people to throw the meat away. It’s unfortunate that they have to recall everything when it’s probably only a percentage that is tainted.

  7. I admire your courage in eating the meat.But I am opposed to eating meat.I am a high-level swimmer who is exclusively vegetarian and I am also a good basketball player.I walked in the climate march and I met many people at the march who are exclusively vegan or vegetarian. .Eating Meat is bad for the environment and continues animal cruelty.Growing meat also takes up too much water and land.
    Your mission to save treasures from the trash is admirable.But you could have gotten sick and hospitalised from eating the old meat.Maybe you should have given the meat to the dogmeat manufacturer.

    1. With meat you have to trust your eyes & nose. If it looks good and smells good, it’s probably good. That said I’m still paranoid about such things because you get pretty sick if you’re wrong.

      I don’t want to get into the vegetarian debate too much. I used to cook mostly vegetarian, but I find that I feel better when I eat meat. l find legumes and such are hard to digest, so unfortunately I don’t see vegetarianism as much of an option even if it’s ethically solid.

      It’s also worth mentioning that certain crops, like soy are pretty bad for the environment. For example, a lot of the soy coming from Brazil is possible only because of deforestation.

  8. Yesterday was a super rainy day and lousy for scavenging.I was hoping you would put up a new post on Thurrsday.Anyways I am still hoping you will put up a new post before election day.
    I am also hoping that Conservatives will lose all of their seats in the Québec city area.Their policies on the environment are the worst.

    1. Speaking of elections, and garbage, thise signs will be surplus after Monday. They can be reused by using tge blank side, and I suspect one can make things out of tgem. They are like cardboard, but waterproof.

      So ger out early and collect some. The candidates have to remove them, but some are slower than others.


    What happens when decluttering becomes an obsession?Share this article via facebookShare this article via twitter251Shares By Ellen Scott, Lifestyle editorThursday 11 Apr 2019 12:00 pm

    You’ve KonMari-ed your drawers, cleared your cupboards of clothes you haven’t worn in the last month, and made your living room match the minimalist one you found on Pinterest. There’s nothing more to do, but you don’t feel satisfied. You want to keep clearing, decluttering, paring back until you have nothing left. You look around and objects feel like they’re looming large, suffocating you simply by existing. This is compulsive decluttering – ‘the opposite of hoarding’ – also known as obsessive-compulsive Spartanism; being unable to handle mess. You want to live a life that’s as minimalist as humanly possible and experience intense stress when confronted with unnecessary physical items. The behaviour isn’t officially recognised as a medical disorder, or even as a symptom of OCD, but online many of those dealing with anxiety disorders share their experiences of feeling trapped by the presence of objects.
    } In a time when decluttering is a trend and the whole world is tidying up, admitting that you’ve cleared out every possession from your home is more likely to attract applause than cause for concern. But how can you know when your decluttering has crossed the line from normal tidying to something compulsive? Amelia, 26, was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder last year, and feels compulsive decluttering offers an explanation for her previous behaviour. ‘I walk into my parents’ house and see piles of books, tens of coats loaded on to hooks, and cupboards filled with more mugs than two people could ever use,’ she tells ‘It automatically makes me feel overwhelmed and like I’m about to have a panic attack. ‘My inability to live with that much clutter was a big part of why I moved out, and why I was so irritable with my parents. ‘I think people would be surprised that I feel so uncomfortable with clutter, because I’m naturally quite a messy person. I prefer doing big tidies rather than day-to-day stuff, so you’ll spot piles of clothes on my floor most days, then a spotless place once a week. ‘My compulsion is more apparent when it comes to those big tidies. I suddenly want to throw absolutely everything away, even if it has a purpose or it should have some sentimental meaning. I don’t feel connected to my stuff and its presence feels claustrophobic. I’ve thrown away photo albums, diaries, and gifts from friends and family because I just have a sudden need to get it out of my space.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for says that when she started to read books on minimalism a few years ago, she noticed herself being too cutthroat with what she discarded.
    } ‘I’d ask myself if I really needed a laptop, pots and pans, and all these bits of art I’d picked up when travelling,’ she tells us. ‘I brought it up in therapy and realised a big part of what was going on with my self-esteem. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have anything, that if I depended on things I was making myself vulnerable.’ Natalie, 30, has a similar relationship with stuff, finding comfort in clearing out her possessions. She’s been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. She tells us: ‘At uni my friends would say to me – ‘where is all your stuff?’ – but I was like – what else do I need? ‘All the stuff I have has a purpose, I use it. If I find something I haven’t worn or used or looked at in more than a few months I will happily throw it away. ‘I have moved house a lot in the last ten years – every time I move I see it as an opportunity to get rid of more things. ‘I think this comes from the traumatic times when I have attempted to move house using bin bags and public transport. Horrific.’ For Natalie, decluttering doesn’t feel like a problem. Clutter does. When she’s in an area surrounded by mess, she feels restless and stressed out. More: Health Six alternative ways to help improve your mental well-being Woman who survived kidney and liver transplants becomes athletics star Sanitary product brand Always to remove feminine logo to be more inclusive to trans people 73-year-old woman starts weightlifting, loses four stone and improves her health
    { “}) } ‘I can’t relax until the area I’m in is tidy,’ she says, ‘which means sometimes I come home from work and will just immediately start tidying – without taking off my coat or shoes, because I know I can’t sit down and read or put the TV on if I can see messy stuff in my peripheral vision.’ When she declutters, she feels a sense of calm. ‘Decluttering sprees are one of the most relaxing activities I can do,’ Natalie explains. ‘It makes me feel so productive and when I lug those giant bin bags of useless shit out of my house I feel instantly lighter. ‘I can go into my bedroom with a plan to declutter one drawer and emerge four hours later having thrown away 80% of my possessions.’ Aimee, who also has anxiety, says that decluttering helps her feel as though she’s in control: ‘Before a recent flight (I’m a nervous flier), I cleaned my flat from top to bottom.’ That’s not the case for Amelia, who describes her decluttering missions as an ‘out of control spree’. ‘It’s not enjoyable at all,’ she says. ‘It’s a compulsion and once I’m in it I can’t stop, even when I know I’ve gone too far. I’ve tidied for hours then sat down and still felt tense and restless, which then turns into other compulsions like checking switches or compulsive skin picking.’ Psychologist Lorna Mograby, of Counselling Directory, explains that compulsive decluttering can come from the pressure of perfectionism and feelings of guilt. } ‘Clutter can cause extreme anxiety to the point that they need to get rid of it right away,’ she tells ‘The perfectionist mentality would mean that the person has such high expectations as to the standard of tidiness of their environment that that they take decluttering to an extreme level – often getting rid of useful items they may require later or even throwing away gifts. ‘As we live in a society that advocates minimalism and criticises consumerism, an individual might feel guilt at the amount of possessions they have. (Picture: Ella Byworth/‘Also getting rid of items might give them a feeling of being in control of their lives. Maybe they feel they have not been able to exercise much control in their lives previously. ‘Belief that certain items have been contaminated and need to be thrown away might also trigger this condition and provide the sufferer with some relief – albeit temporary!’ That’s the trouble with any compulsive disorder – while the behaviour might make you feel safe and soothed for a moment, that feeling quickly disappears. Then you have to either continue with the compulsion or find another one to chase some relief. Then there are the practical effects of compulsive decluttering. There’s the obvious issue of throwing away things that you may later need, such as important documents of items that can’t be replaced. Aimee tells us that a previous ‘purge’ of her wardrobe left her ‘scarred’: ‘I got rid of loads of clothes a few years back. I still think about some of those items.’ Natalie has had the same issue, telling us she regrets chucking ‘boxes, instructions, receipts’. ‘My instinct is to throw any things like this away instantly – only to find that I need to return an item and I don’t have any of the paperwork,’ she explains. ‘Also clothes. I love creating space in my wardrobe but I am definitely too brutal. I will go to find that sparkly vest I haven’t worn in a while and then realise I chucked it – but now I have a new skirt that goes perfectly with it.’ The behaviour can also cause issues with friends and family who don’t have the same drive to clear their personal space. Amelia still struggles to visit her parents’ house, while Aimee has found herself offering to tidy her desk neighbour’s stuff before because it was ‘getting’ to her. If a compulsive declutterer is in a relationship with someone with similar views on minimalism, living together can be plain sailing, but problems arise when the urge to clear leads to the discarding of things someone else deems meaningful. Differing levels of tidiness can be tricky in any relationship, but when someone clutter puts you unbearably on edge, what can you do? And from the other person’s perspective, is it fair to let them lead on the tidying, despite knowing it may be an unhealthy compulsive behaviour? More: Mental health How to stop ‘cancel anxiety’ – the guilt that comes with blowing off your plans Six alternative ways to help improve your mental well-being Night Of Hate Comments cancelled after host Sulli’s suspected suicide Female cadet found hanged at Sandhurst ‘thought she was going to be discharged’The key, as with any mental health issue, is to find the line between standard behaviour and patterns of action and thought that are damaging physically and mentally. Lorna explains that the border between ‘just being tidy’ and compulsive decluttering can be tricky to see, but it comes down to how the person is feeling. One person’s treasure is another person’s trash, so it’s not as simple as declaring that an object is something that shouldn’t be chucked away, and defining someone’s behaviour based on what exactly they’re discarding. Lorna says a sign tidying has gone to far is ‘when the need to be tidy reaches an extreme level and an individual is even throwing away useful items, possessions they like or gifts, because they believe that their environment if becoming cluttered.’ ‘Warning signs include when the individual experiences excessive anxiety and the quality of their life is affected, when they are consumed by feelings of guilt at the amount of their possessions, or they believe that something negative is attached to that item,’ says Lorna. ‘If a person becomes totally consumed by thoughts of clutter and they think about little else, or, if the person already has a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or experience other forms of OCD, [these are causes for concern].’ Psychologist Catherine Huckle echoes this, adding that a sign that decluttering could be a symptom of OCD lies in a person’s thought patterns, and what they’re trying to achieve by clearing out their personal space. ‘When someone feels that they have to declutter and remove items from their home it is a compulsive behaviour, and often follows an obsessive thought pattern,’ says Catherine. ‘The thoughts could vary enormously but could range from a sense that if they have too much stuff they’ll be burgled, there’ll be a fire and they won’t be able to escape, through to the idea that if they have too much stuff others will view them as slovenly, messy or dirty. ‘Decluttering in this context might mean limiting items that come into the home, clearing things immediately after they have been used (for example putting packets straight to the bin outside), throwing out half used items like shampoo or soap bottles, having rigid rules about where and how items are stored and tidying [or] removing items that others leave lying around or that they bring into the home.’ Having a resistance to clutter is common. As Catherine explains, a lot of us feel a need to declutter because of the ‘extra cognitive burden’ excess possessions can have. When you have an anxiety disorder, this can cause overload. Obsessive compulsive spartanism happens when the threshold for mess and clutter drops below the norm and troubling thought patterns linked to possessions emerge. ‘It becomes more than “just being tidy” when there is a high level of distress associated with mess, when it preoccupies thoughts and when it impacts on your ability to function,’ says Catherine. ‘In practise this might mean becoming very anxious if someone makes a mess in your home orbeing unable to stop thinking about the bottle that’s been put back in the “wrong” place.’ Continuing to declutter isn’t the solution to that sense of unease – it’s a temporary answer that fades quickly and can leave you sitting in an empty room without a mattress to sleep on. So what are you supposed to do when your need to tidy goes too far? It’s not as easy as watching a Netflix special or learning a new folding technique, unfortunately. As with any mental issue, professional help can be a lifeline. CBT has good evidence of being helpful for obsessive compulsive behaviours, while exposure and response prevention therapy could help with feelings of fear when confronted with clutter. Catherine recommends that while pursuing therapy, a declutterer can take small steps to challenge their urge. ‘This might be practising leaving things in a different place, and noticing how anxiety rises, reaches a peak, and eventually falls,’ she explains. ‘This is called habituation and over time it means that we experience less and less anxiety in response to the same changes. Having a success with a small change can help to motivate and give confidence to try bigger changes.’ Get a throw cushion that fulfills no purpose, but you love regardless. Keep hold of something that brings fond memories when you look at it. You don’t have to submerge yourself in clutter or turn your back on tidying entirely, but it’s vital to learn that you are allowed to have things you care for.

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  10. I hope there are a lot of groups formed to oppose Marie Kondo and obessive compulsive spartanism.Compulsive hoarding receives too much attention.People who throw out almost everything they own are ruining the planet and contribute to this waste.Your readers should speak up and form groups to oppose extreme spartanism as encouraged by the Japanese monster Marie Kondo.This is a mental illness because throwing out everything will destroy a person’s documents,history,memories,etc and will sabotage their life.Why are we not speaking out?

    1. Because the main place I’ve heard about her is in replies here? I promise bably havve seen her name elsewhere, but not enough to notice. But people routinely think it’s so bad that they post long stories here, rather than use their own words.

      The concept is bad, but I have no idea how common it is. It may not be people dumping stuff to “cleanse” their lives, but people feeling they must live without things from the start.

      And why is it such a concern here? The more good garbage that gets tossed the more neat things to find.

      I may have said this before, but one time a letter writer complained about people tossing out good things, but then admitted she’d taken the chair she’d seen waiting for the garbage. One can see garbage as a waste, or as potential. People who think they need to simplify are a problem to themselves, but potential free things to others.


  11. Michael is partially right that the more good stuff is tossed,the more there is potentially for scavengers to find.But Martin and people like him scavenge only a few streets per week at best out of more than 6000 streets in the greater Montréal area.Local résidents surely retrieve a few treasures from the trash too in addition.But a lot of other treasures in the trash end up in the landfill because nobody cares to save them or because nobody notices them.It is a bad idea to throw out too much stuff;obsessive discarding is bad for the environment.Marie Kondo has many fans,but her philosophy is very bad for the environment in many aspects.It is a good idea to call her out on that.So many people are too obsessed with decluttering.A lot of people throw very good stuff in the trash even if they are only moving 20 minutes away.Then they rush out to buy stuff similar to the stuff they threw out.

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