Meet the parents

Happy new year everyone! (I’m really stretching the time limits for saying that, but it’s my first post of 2023 so I figure it’s ok). Here’s hoping for some fresh starts, new beginnings, etc. The last couple of years haven’t been especially good for trash, or anything else for that matter, but I’ve got a feeling that 2023 will be better. If nothing else, after two down years for trash I think I’m due for some positive reversion to the mean.

My notable 2023 finds thus far have mostly been limited to that one house that keeps putting loads of cool old books in their recycling bin on a near weekly basis. January isn’t the best month for picking, especially with the snow and other blah weather, but that one spot has kept things interesting. Maybe I’ll post more about that soon. Another good spot produced a huge load of low-quality weed and vape paraphernalia, a lot of it brand-new in its packaging. I guess someone gave up on some Alibaba product they were trying to hustle. If I’m in a good mood, maybe I can document that with a video or something, but don’t count on it. Most of it is the kind of crap that should never have been produced to begin with, but it’ll definitely make me a bit of money.

Today, I figured I’d share some pics from the past that I never got around to posting.

This spot was notable because I remember stopping here a few times in the summer, and finding some interesting stuff. Then, one day, a grumpy middle aged lady saw me and got angry and shooed me away.

That was a shame, because I found some neat stuff there. Perhaps the best find was a plain manila that contained two old almanacs from the 1700s. They’re not super valuable based on my research (around 100$ for the one with the cover?), but it’s always cool to find something that old. I think I sold the one missing the cover on Instagram, and the other I still have. For now, it’s part of my collection of interesting found junk.

So several months pass. I skip out on a few piles after that person confronted me, but there was a long stretch where there was nothing for me to regret not looking through. Then, I spotted another pile there in the winter, and decide to give it another try because so much time had passed. Just so happens that another person came out to greet me… but this time it was a woman maybe in her 60s-70s who was quite nice, who I’m guessing was the grumpy one’s mom. She ended up helping me look through her own trash to find the good stuff she had tossed, and also offered me some things from inside the house. She was moving, and seemed thankful that someone was helping her with these objects that she apparently had no clue how to, or no energy to deal with.

A lot of the best finds were in those trash bags, like that little solid silver creamer, the ceramic bowl which was labelled as being from the 1800s on the bottom, that cute miniature cottage figurine which also looks to be quite old, etc.

There was plenty of other quality junk, including lots of other old copper stuff, but I never got around to taking pictures of it. Nothing mind blowing anyways, just nice things that didn’t deserve to be trashed.


1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells (selling account, operated by someone else) on Instagram
4. Email: – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.

24 thoughts on “Meet the parents”

  1. Shooed me away, hilarious. Books from the 1700s, holy smokes. Happy New Year. All the best to you.

  2. Happy New Year, Martin! Always a delight to see a post from you. I don’t recall ever seeing a book from the 1700s. Here’s to a better 2023. 🙂

  3. I greet people with Happy New Year all January. Good to see you are still picking…it’s a way of life.

  4. Happy New Year! It’s funny that we were discussing that at a gathering with some friends last night. How long can you keep saying Happy New Year? My dad used to be still saying it in March or April if he saw someone he hadn’t seen in a while. I used to think that was a big much but at least it gives me a funny story to tell now.

    That’s lovely that the lady helped you find the good things in her garbage. She obviously feels guilty about throwing things away. I’m sure knowing you’ll do something useful with her garbage will make her feel good.

  5. I am always astounded to read in your wonderful blog posts about what people throw away. Thank you for all that you do, Martin! I hope 2023 is full of magnificent finds and lovely interpersonal interactions.

  6. Interesting finds, to be sure! It’s great to see you entering 2023 on a positive note, Martin. Made my January to get notification of your post. I’m guessing “shooed me away” was an understatement? You just gotta keep on keeping on.

  7. Great to read your first post of the year.
    Happy New Year. Here’s wishing a lot of treasures for you to find.

  8. Happy New Year to you. 2023 will be a great year. I had a neighbor who was moving…all kinds of stuff in boxes on the curb…I took 2 boxes…he went and filed a police report which of course went nowhere..he then came over to my house and called me stupid and told me he was going to make my life difficult 😂..I slammed door in his face and thankfully he moved. Now we have wonderful neighbors!!

    1. Donna, that is ridiculous! He called the police?! So glad your new neighbors are normal.

      1. Happy New Year! That almanac from the 1700s is just wonderful. I always wonder if people who discard this kind of awesome historical stuff just don’t realize the value, or maybe just don’t care. Humans are mysterious! So glad you ended up with both almanacs. Love your posts, Martin, so keep them coming! Here’s to more exciting finds in 2023!

    2. Thank you Martin for sharing your finds. And Happy New Year to you! I always look forward to your blog and seeing the things you discover. May 2023 be a better year for you.

    3. Some people’s children eh? I guess he didn’t want it anymore, but he didn’t want anyone else to have it either. Maybe he knew he was throwing stuff out that he shouldn’t have, but did it anyways because he was lazy. What an idiot, hope you enjoy the new neighbours and free stuff!

  9. Happy new year Martin! The top three villager type figurines look very much like some unpainted ones that I have. As I understand it, they are used surrounding nativity sets in France. Can’t remember the specific name for them.

  10. Hi Martin, Happy New Year to you, with lots of wishes for spectacular finds this year. It is always such a pleasure to read your posts and look at your amazing photos. Please keep them coming, even if brief! Hey, the days are getting longer now, and spring cleaning season isn’t too far away 🙂

  11. Le messager boiteux almanac is from Switzerland, it’s actually still published, my grandma buys it to know when to plant in the garden. So fun that you found these copies in a manila from the swiss office 🙂

  12. Whoever posted about Swann Galleries, thank-you so much for sharing as I have 50+ posters from the 1930s or so that are gigantic and spectacular. I’m waiting on a response from Swann but suspect they won’t be too interested since the posters are folded and not framed. But believe me when I say SPECTACULAR…

  13. I really don’t understand why certain people attempt to put you off from looking at their garbage. I suspect they are strangely annoyed by the fact that you are smart enough to see the value in what has been thrown away. As far as I’m concerned, once it’s on the sidewalk, it’s open to all and any. They should be grateful to you for rescuing it. I’ve never seen anyone act in a hostile manner towards pickers here in Toronto, though I cannot say that it never happens.

    1. Most people are so generous and accommodating they’ll allow you to take anything that’s exposed with joy in their hearts. Stuff in bags is a more sensitive issue. I can’t blame anyone who vehemently refuses that you rummage through their bags. There might be really personal stuff inside. They could care less about giving things a second or third life. And they’re not wrong. You’re not allowed to rummage. Are we allowed to take bags if they’re sitting on someone’s property? I don’t know. Maybe someone knows?

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