I'm a professional scavenger making a living selling curbside garbage. This blog details my finds and sales. It also acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.
Most notable though were the vanity items, particularly the jewellery.
Silver is great, but gold is better (at least going by dollars per gram). This person tossed out two solid 14k/18k gold necklaces. The one on the right was made by Quadri, but I spotted some wear and tear and decided to take the easy way out and sell it to my jeweler for its weight in gold.
I still have the one on the left. It’s Italian 14k, and I’ll have to go on a mission to determine who made it based on the hallmarks. I doubt it’s a super well-known designer, but either way it’s very pretty, featuring graduated pieces of yellow, rose, and white gold.
Here’s a couple other gold bits. That ring is 14k (but the stone is just a bead that happened to fit well in that space), and the chain is white 14k gold with a roughly 1/4 carat diamond at the end. If I remember right, that smaller ring didn’t turn out to be solid gold after all.
Since having that pretty good week around the time of my last post the great finds have more or less dried up again. I’m still finding enough to make money and get by, but there simply have not been many blockbuster finds to speak of. Fortunately 2020 was a fabulous year (for garbage) that it largely offsets the far below average 2021. My theory is that a lot of people did their purging last year, and now we’re in a lull. But it could also be a complete coincidence, as sometimes a great find is just one street away, and bad luck can be the difference between a multiple thousand dollar haul and jack squat.
Anyways, I was lucky enough on this night. However, I unfortunately I had the pleasure of meeting the tossers, and they were quite “curmudgeonly” to use one of my step-dad’s favourite words. I had been picking there for maybe 10 minutes before I heard the classic knocking-on-the-window, and then a septuagenarian in nightwear came out the front door to yell and threaten to call the cops, etc etc. So I left, not wanting to cause a scene.
However, I had found some cool stuff and didn’t really want to feel the “fomo” that comes from leaving an intriguing pile unexplored. So I went home, set my alarm for 5am, and did some digging after these lovely folks went to bed. As it turns out, I had explored the best bags first (completely coincidentally), but I did find one thing that made the extra trip worthwhile.
These guys seemed to love sports anyways. Here’s a collection of collectible cups featuring the Montreal Expos of the early 80s. I doubt they’re worth a lot, but they’re fun.
I found a ticket stub to a 2003 Expos game, which quite coincidentally was from the only Expos game I ever attended. It was an afternoon game, the last of a four game series against the Phillies, and my parents drove up to Montreal (a few hours away) for the occasion. And it was a great game: Javier Vazquez pitched a gem, and Vladimir Guerrero hit a home run in my general direction. The Expos were still in the playoff race at this time, so there was a raucous crowd of about 20,000 people making the noise of a much larger group. Unfortunately, the subsequent road trip didn’t treat the Expos well, and this particular game was probably the high-water mark of the season and the last time Expos fans had much reason to feel hope. I do hope they come back, though I personally think this half a team thing they’re proposing might be one of the dumber ideas I’ve heard in my life. Anyways, just a funny thing to find, and funny to think that these people were somewhere in the stands that day.
Also featured in this photo are some Birks opera glasses, a “spyglass” containing a R-rated cartoon, and a brass hotel key & tag. The latter was from the Mayflower hotel in Washington, DC, and I was able to sell it quickly on eBay for 55$. People like their old hotel keys.
I also picked up this Youppi growth chart, which probably dates to the mid to late 90s. It’s a pretty fun piece (everyone here loves Youppi), and maybe I’ll put it up in my garage.
(FYI, I started this post a month or so ago, will leave what I wrote and add a bit of newer info at the end).
The garbage has continued to be just okay overall, though it’s good to remember that today’s okay is yesterday’s (as in, when I started this blog) “omg.” I’m still picking up enough to keep the ball rolling, and thankfully I now have a few different people I trust selling stuff for me. I don’t feel motivated to flip my own trash these days, maybe because it’s never been easier to have someone else do it for me. And why not? It saves me a lot of effort, and sometimes they do a better job that I ever could, especially in niches I’m not very good at (ie: clothing). So the money has been consistent, even if I haven’t found much gold, literally or metaphorically.
The brain is still pretty foggy and it’s hard to jump-start it. I’m trying a new medication called Trintellix but it’ll be a couple more weeks at least before I know if it’s actually working.
The spot above was a two hit wonder. Maybe if I had gone down that street a little sooner I would have found more… Anyways, that first day I picked up a bunch of worldly items in good condition, including a couple nice pieces of Tonala (Mexican) pottery, some quality brass tchotchkes, and several miniature houses that I’d guess were bought in Spain or Morocco. A lot of this was sold on my new Instagram account, @garbagefindssells, and others went to the yard sale pile.
More recent news & notes:
Trintillix sucks so far. I’m losing interest in trying pharmaceutical anti-depressants, they have done little to help so far (and I’ve tried about seven now?). But I’ll talk to my doctor any see what happens…
The flow of garbage has also been mediocre, at least until last week. It was probably my first “very good” stretch for a while. Hopefully it keeps up, this job is more fun when I find things. Hopefully I can get my brain into actually posting some of that stuff here.
WordPress has changed up their format and so far I hate it. If anyone knows a way to use the old platform, let me know. In the meantime, forgive me if certain things don’t work like they usually do (ie: you can’t seem to click on the pictures to zoom in, so if you want a closer look you’ll have to zoom in using your browser – usually CTRL & the + sign).