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.


This spot in Ahunstic was a one-hit wonder that gave me lots of fun stuff to sort through. I think I spent around two and a half hours digging through all these bags.

There was a whole lot of jewelry, though these people did a pretty good job picking out the precious metals.

The nicest piece was probably the sterling silver rosary. I also saved a pair of silver earrings, and few tiny pieces of gold.

This spot was also notable for its fun vintage ephemera and old photos.

My favourites were a couple of framed shots, this one with a gang of people in front of a train …

… and this one of an old house with “1935” marked on the roof. I’ll probably add this one to my personal collection of found junk.

Here’s some more miscellaneous stuff, including two Expo 67 passports, a couple cute handkerchiefs and a pair of gloves, a miniature sewing machine (not sure if it’s supposed to be functional, or if it’s more of a toy), a bit of perfume, and some scrap metal.

I only started picking up metal for scrap a couple years back, and I wish I’d started sooner. It looks like a pile of junk, but there’s probably about 10-15$ here. All these little bits and pieces add up in the end.

The thermometers don’t really have any value, but I show them because they contain mercury, which isn’t supposed to go to landfill. Over the course of my trash picking career I’d guess that I’ve saved at least 10 pounds of mercury from going to the dump. Sometimes it’s these small household thermometers (most of which, I’m guessing were made before 1980), sometimes it’s a big ol’ sphygmomanometer (blood pressure reader) that used to belong to a doctor (there’s so much mercury in those things that you can hear it sloshing around insider), sometimes it’s antique jars full of the stuff. There’s also some amount in some old batteries, electronics and lightbulbs. So make sure to bring that old mercury to the Eco-Center or other hazardous waste disposal site if you have any.

It finally feels like spring outside, and that definitely helps motivate me to go out and get picking. My luck has been slightly better recently, though I’m still not finding anything mind-blowing. I could really use a nice gold haul right about now.


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 me on Instagram
4. Email: – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items


After a lousy 2021, it was heartening to start this year off with a couple decent scores. I haven’t been going out as much recently due to the cold, the curfew, and some indifference (it’s harder to get excited to go picking when you’re having bad luck), but sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

This was last Friday. I stopped here largely due to that Turkish leather bag on the left, which looked interesting enough from the car. There was some quality junk inside, so I took the whole thing, though I eventually left the bag for someone else as it needed some TLC.

Some of my best finds came from the trash can, and were revealed after I removed the top white kitchen waste bag (and dug around a bit).

Here’s most of my take, in one picture. You can have a closer look in the gallery below. I wish I had a better photo of that Indian wooden box at the back left, but the one I took didn’t turn out. I’m wondering if it’s vintage or a relatively recent tourist piece… but either way it’s pretty nice. A friend quickly claimed the Gato Negro (black cat) wall plaque, and the two WWF decorative plates.

This wooden box, made by an artist named Clarence Wills, stored some “junk drawer” type stuff. That’s my favourite type of junk to find, because it’s fun to look through, is small / doesn’t take up much space, and is often partly composed of overlooked treasures. That little wooden lidded trinket box at the bottom right held a few nice pieces of jewelry, which more or less made my day.

The two pieces on the right are gold. The ring is old, 18k white gold and inscribed with the date “1943,” and some other words or names that are hard to make out. It has four small diamonds, but the center stone is missing. Together they have a scrap value of around 300$. The rest of the pieces are silver. That cocktail ring is quite something! It’s about an inch and a half tall.

There were a few other nice pieces in there, like three beaded bracelets, a couple of silver chains (one broken), a Haida brooch, and a necklace featuring a donut-shaped stone & (I think) solid silver beads.

I expect this spot will be a one-hit wonder. I passed by again this week and saw nothing of interest. But I had luck again on Monday in the downtown area, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get a few weeks (or more?) of quality trash from there.