Tag Archives: canada

Night of the sterling garbage pt. 2

Part one

A neighbourhood security officer pulled up just as I was finished at this spot, telling me he had received a call about someone trash picking. He seemed like a nice enough guy and let me off with a verbal warning. I hadn’t seen him before, and I think he understands that the residents of this area tend to be, shall we say, “persnickety.” Regardless, I hope we don’t meet again anytime soon.

The first things I noticed were old boxes for jewelry and fineries. The hope of course is that some of them will have jewelry still inside, but the boxes I found (above is just a small sample) are also useful for packaging online sales. As well, a few of the watch boxes (like the Benrus above) are likely worth selling on their own.

Most were empty, but thankfully two of the last boxes I found had jewelry, mostly cufflinks, still inside.

Some were made of precious metals. The ones on top are Mexican silver with abalone, while the cufflinks on the right (I think I originally found both, but I seem to have misplaced one) are marked Birks 14k. The medical bracelet is marked 10k and should net me around 130$ for scrap. The Winnipeg Golden Boy cufflinks are just regular old metal, but I thought they were worth showcasing.

Near the bottom of one bag was a little Birks sleeve with a comb inside, the end of which is sterling silver. I have to glue the comb back inside the silver, but otherwise it’s in great shape.

I also saved a classic oval Birks sterling picture frame. I’ve found a few of these now, but this might be the first one with the original glass.

However, the best silver piece I found that night awaits you in part three…

I saved some other neat vintage stuff at this spot, like a collection of old pennants from Western Canada…

… some old walkie talkies, a scale, and a retro ashtray;

… two vintage razors, which look to have been barely used;

… a vintage plastic piggy bank;

… as well as two compacts and a pill box. I returned to the spot this week, but the bags didn’t seem all that interesting and I preferred to not see the security guy again just one week after getting warned. I’ll be there next week though if the trash looks good enough.

Elsewhere, I spotted this bin with two giraffes sticking out. One was broken, but the other was in good condition. The giraffe is about 6′ tall.

I opened the bin and found more large animal figures. This tiger is about two feet long, and looks to be covered in leather.

Same with this hippo.

This camel is pretty big too, standing about 2.5′ tall. I’ve never seen statuettes like these, have you?


Otherwise, I happened upon this little pile in NDG.

I saved this little end table. It’s missing the top (which I’m guessing was marble, since there were some broken marble pieces nearby) and a bit of veneer, but it’s still a nice project piece.

On top of the table was an old Telefunken radio. It needs a little TLC, but seems to mostly work and is in great cosmetic condition.

Behind all that was an old ammo box.

Apparently it was made in 1941, so it would have been used during WWII. I can’t figure out what “O.W.O” (or “O.H.O”?) stands for though, so if you have any ideas let me know!

My current plan for the painting from my last post is to try to get a quote from a reputable art restoration company. I expect the repairs would cost at least a grand and probably more, but the extra expense would probably be worth it. I emailed one place already, but if anyone has experience with specific companies please let me know!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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.

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Servire Populo pt. 1

On my phone I keep a record of the houses or locations that seem to be producing quality garbage. This helps me remember to check them out when I’m in the area.

This place in St Michel was first productive back in August when my mom was in town for a visit. I took her on one of my runs and checked the few spots I had logged in the borough. However, this one was a bit further away than the others, and after I had little luck at the other spots I almost decided to skip it. At the time, I couldn’t even remember why I added it to my notes.

However, I ended up giving it a chance, and I’m glad I did because the house ended up producing loads of quality junk. It’s also where I found that great collection of vintage clothes from a while back. Plus, it was nice to show my mom that little treasures can be found in ordinary looking trash (I remember our best finds coming from that bag closest to the bottom right).

Months later I’m still keeping an eye on this spot. In fact, I plan on checking it out again tonight. Finds have been a bit more sporadic of late, with the tosser skipping the occasional week (or two), but I’m loyal to my favourite spots and I’ll keep going back until I think there’s nothing left to find.

We took that solid vintage dresser, by the way, and it eventually sold for 50$. I found the matching vanity later on, and finally got it listed yesterday (pretty good price too if you ask me – I mostly want to get it out of the garage).

This was some of the stuff my mom and I saved that first night. As you can see, a lot of it is neat vintage junk. There’s a few vintage perfumes, a couple cool brooches, and some religious medallions, among other things. I’m surprised I never saw a bill authentication card like the one below the skate before. I wish this pic was better, but it’ll have to do.

The sterling silver pin I found that first night is why I titled this series Servire Populo. Apparently, this is the motto of Canada Post, and it translates as “to serve the people.” I also found lots of nursing stuff, so it seems that the people who lived here worked in public service.

I found a few nice watches, but none of them were exceptional or eBay worthy. Those eyeglass frames though are made by Yves St Laurent, and should make me a bit of money.

I found a couple of pipe bags but unfortunately no pipes. I did find a few stamps in that organizer though.

That figurine at the top left was actually a cookie. It ended up in a free box, but I doubt anyone took it. The Parker Pen box is nice, though it didn’t come with the actual pen.

I saved lots of vintage Christmas thingies, which I’m guessing are cake toppers. I think they’re still kicking around somewhere if anyone’s interested!

That Fragonard perfume went to a local buyer, and I remember selling that little notepad for 50c at my last yard sale.

The black cat was probably part of that collectible vintage Stafford tea set, but unfortunately I didn’t find any other pieces from it.

A couple of these pins are nursing related. The sunglasses are Polaroid Cool-Rays, but not the ones that can be sold for a lot of money.

That’s just the beginning, I’ll share more finds soon enough! And, if I’m lucky I’ll find some new stuff tonight.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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.

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Night of the sterling garbage pt. 1

I’ve had good luck finding silver lately. There was that plate from last post, and also a great collection of silver jewelry from about a month ago that I have yet to share.

The good luck continued last week, and on one of my runs I found notable quantities of silver in three different spots. I’ll share the finds in three different posts, with the quality of the silver increasing each time.

This spot has been interesting the past few weeks. I’ve had to sort through a lot of junk to find very little, but the trash is interesting enough to keep me coming back. There’s been lots of worthless tech junk, stuff that’s old enough to be obsolete but not old enough to be collectible. I saved some fashion watches that might sell for .50 or 1$ at a yard sale, and a few shirts that actually fit me pretty well.


Fortunately, this little footed dish should make me a bit of money.

I researched the stamps on the bottom, and found that the bowl was made in Cairo in 1980. The silver purity is 90%, so it’s not technically sterling (which is 92.5% silver) but it’s close enough right? It’s worth about 50$ in silver scrap, but might be nice enough to sell on its own. I’ll keep an eye on this spot going forward, but these people seem to be generally good at not throwing away anything of value.

Elsewhere, I came across a bag in NDG with a bunch of old vacuum tubes inside.


I cleaned them up and threw away the ones that were obviously busted. Now I have to figure out whether to sell them as an untested lot on eBay or go through the hassle of testing them all. Some vacuum tubes go for a lot of money, hundreds or even thousands depending on the type, but I don’t think these ones are particularly valuable (perhaps in the 5-15$ range, if working). Still, that’s not bad considering how many I have. If you have any tips on testing or selling old tubes, let me know in the comments!

I found this pin a couple weeks ago in Cote St-Luc. It stayed in the car for a week before I got around to bringing it inside and looking it up online. I discovered that it was made for the Montreal Beavers of the long defunct Continental Football League, a short-lived team that operated only for the 1966 and 1967 seasons. I’d never heard of the Beavers or the (other) CFL previously, so finding this pin was a bit of an education. I couldn’t find any other pins like it online, so it might be relatively uncommon as well. Continental Football League stuff is fairly collectible, and I’m guessing that this pin will net me between 30-50$.

I keep going back to that place where I found the old tabloids from the last post and the finds are as junky and dusty as ever. I usually find a few things, like this little depression glass dish, but overall it’s been a real slog. Who knows, maybe it’ll pay off at some point. I met the guy tossing the stuff and he seemed nice enough, he just asked me not to make a mess.


I like saving vintage garbage-related ephemera, so I took these old garbage bag bags that I’d guess were made in the 80s. Maybe one day I can give them to a museum of garbage. I found no reference to “Big John Plastics” on Google.

I found this neat Kodaslide viewer somewhere, I forget where exactly. It sells for around 25$, but it might be my new go-to slide viewer because of its cool design and built in light.

I found a good collection of old Commodore computer stuff in Cote St-Luc, which I expect will net me around 60$ …

… as well as a single bronzed shoe. I see these once in a while, and they’re always a fun find. Apparently the bronzed shoe business started in the 30s, and peaked in the 50s and 60s.

Here’s an optometry gizmo I found last week. I doubt it has much value, but it might make for a fun yard sale item.

Sometimes I find electronics that I never knew existed. For example, apparently Sandisk (who I know better as a USB key maker) produces a media player called the Sansa. It’s actually a pretty cool and compact device that also contains an FM receiver. Honestly, I almost overlooked this in the bag, but I guess my brain decided it was worth taking (sometimes, this process is only semi-conscious, especially when sorting through a lot of stuff). This model seems to go for around 50$, so it’s a nice get.

Otherwise, now that yard sale season is over I’m digging through my “to list on eBay” pile and finding some stuff I forgot about. I remember saving this collection of vintage pencils in NDG in the spring and thinking they were cool enough to merit further research. Most are labelled Canadian Pacific or A.W. Faber “Radium” copying ink. I doubt they’re worth a bunch, but I thought I’d auction them off regardless. If anyone has a Worthpoint account they could help me out by looking up what these Radium pencils sold for.

I found some vintage Barbies a little while back, and found them again while going through some stuff I have in the basement. There’s stuff I enjoy researching, like that Montreal Beavers pin, but the value of specific Barbies is not one of them. I don’t generally use auctions, but I probably will in this case as the Barbie market is fairly strong, and it would save me the time of figuring out a price. However, I don’t have them listed yet, so if you have any advice let me know.


I also brought another haul of e-waste to the recycling box. This batch, mostly old cell and portable phones, weighed just over 3kg, and overall I’ve recycled about 7.3kg of e-waste since I started keeping track earlier this year (not including the stuff I’ve sold for actual money). I like to think that I’m making a bit of a difference, and maybe by sharing this I can encourage more people to think about electronics recycling!

That’s all for now, but I do have a sales post ready to go, and lots of silver to talk about.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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.

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