Day of plenty pt.2

Here’s the first pile from that especially productive day. As you can see it was quite the mound and it took a while to sort through! I met the lady putting it out and she seemed nice enough, asking me not to make a mess “because she had enough of one inside” (or something along those lines). These folks were clearly well off, and I came away with a huge pile of quality junk. Some was eBay worthy, but a lot of it will end up in the yard sale pile.

I did large groupings for the photos due the sheer quantity of things to document. As a result, you’ll have to zoom in to get a good look! That iPhone was a now vintage 3, I sold it for 15$ at a recent sale. It’s always fun to find things that are useful for the business, such as those bubble envelopes and markers. Those Dolceroma frames are the first of several nice pairs I found, most of which will appear in the next several photos. These ones are handmade in Italy, though the company doesn’t seem to be that well known in North America.

Here we have some pennies, an Apple trackpad, a Palm Tungsten PDA, a bag of yarn, lots of photo paper, and plenty more quality junk.

I found lots of useful wires, including one for a MacBook Pro (unfortunately, I never found the actual computer). The Western Digital thing is some kind of streaming device.

Nothing too exciting here, just a lot of useful stuff! Those Hugo Boss colognes should sell for a bit though.

There’s a couple of pretty nice eyeglass frames here. At the bottom right are some handcrafted wooden frames made by a German company named Rolf. They’re fairly expensive, and mine just sold for 100$. The frames above are by Paul Smith, I expect them to sell for around 50$. The watch is a vintage Enicar, nice but not super fancy. It’s probably worth about 50$ as well. The red box on top is a never opened Yi home camera, which seems to go for around 35$. At top left is an 2gb Apple Time Machine.

Lots of electronic stuff in this pic! I should be able to make decent money from that iPod Touch near the bottom right, as well as the Nintendo 64 games at the top right. Most of the rest will go into the yard sale pile.

But the most notable finds from this spot were the gift cards. It seems that the lady had a son who regularly received them as gifts. He didn’t much care for them by the look of things – above is a long expired (when that was still legal) 50$ gift card from Renaud-Bray, a local bookstore.

That was just a sign of things to come. I also found a Starbucks gift card, and when I checked online I discovered that it still contained 100$!  There’s a Starbucks a few minutes from my house, so over the past few weeks I’ve appreciated the gift more than the kid ever did. I’m actually there right now, using up the last of the money writing this post.

That’s not the end of the gift cards, however. I also saved a Banana Republic card containing 100$ and a Renaud-Bray containing 25$. There was a HMV card as well but they’ve since gone out of business… oh well! I guess I’ll be buying some pants and books. This is the first time I’ve found unused gift cards in the trash. I’ve saved a few previously, including one with 63$ on it, but at least those were lightly used.

The garbage has been flowing lately, though none of the finds are going to single handedly make me rich. Ville St Laurent’s heavy garbage day was productive on Sunday night, providing three big bags of vintage clothes, a cute melamine kitchen table, and some old unidentified tools. Last night’s run provided vintage Rusty Staub (RIP Le Grand Orange) era Montreal Expos publications and some quality audio equipment. My best run last week was in TMR, but I’ll share what I found there in a future post.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Move-out day 2018

On Monday and Tuesday I was busy working the local university move-out day. My picking schedule was pretty laid back compared to last year, when I tried really hard for like a week but only really found noteworthy stuff on the 30th and 1st. This time around I left the early stuff to the local scavengers (of which there are plenty) and focused on the big days.

Even then, I tried not to take it too seriously. I think move-out picking is largely based on luck of the draw, and the great finds either come or they don’t. Move-out day in 2016 was awesome – I saved about 1000$ worth of stuff – and in 2017 I found about 600$. This year I didn’t get nearly as lucky, and I’ll probably make only around 100$ for my efforts.

Still, it was a fun time. Well, Monday wasn’t much fun because the weather was rainy and generally miserable. It was a lot nicer out on Tuesday though, when I walked around with a friend on a beautiful sunny day and dug through various piles of trash. We ended up filling the car mostly with clothes, which we’ll probably sell at my next yard sale, and having conversations with other pickers.

This year the powers that be tried harder to reduce waste on the big day. I talked to a volunteer of the “Trash 2 Treasure” program and apparently they stuffed (at least) two semi trailers full of reusable goods for charity. They either set up appointments with the kids beforehand, or had volunteers pick up the items (mostly furniture and clothes) as they made their way to the curb. It was good to see some progress being made in that regard!

There was still plenty of garbage however. I found a few minor change hauls – no loonies or toonies, but I probably saved around 12-15$ overall. I also found three Euros, an American dollar bill, and…

 

… a ripped 20! Fortunately I had the useful part, and I was able to deposit it at the bank without any issues. I’ve never found a damaged bill like this before, so that was fun and educational experience. Apparently they’re good as long as you still have the serial numbers on the bottom.

I only found one laptop this year, an Asus slightly better than mine but with a busted screen. It’s not worth too much, but there’s definitely still some useful parts in there (I’m guessing around 40-60$ worth).

I also found a MacBook Air, but the kid ended up reclaiming it when he came back downstairs (he told me his roommate threw it out without him knowing). It was water damaged, but it was probably still worth money for parts. Oh well!

Otherwise, I found a perfectly functional Casio watch (worth about 10$) …

… a Herschel laptop sleeve, which cleaned up nicely and is worth about 20$;

… a small collection of electronic junk (not including a couple calculators and headphones I forgot to include in the pic);

… and a whole bunch of clothes, which my friend and I lovingly piled by the winter tires in my storage. We’re going to wash them using found detergent and sell them at a future sale. There’s nothing super fancy here, but it’s definitely not garbage!

So, I didn’t have the best luck this year. Fortunately, there’s lots of other garbage to pick! I’ve made some quality finds elsewhere, and I’ll show them to you here soon enough.

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. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Mercury

I found some nice stuff on Thursday, and also saved something toxic from making it to the landfill.

In one of those bags was a little jar of mercury! Judging by its label I’d guess it was made in the 40s. The listed weight is one pound, but it’s around half full (weighs about 240 grams according to its scale, and presumably about 30 grams of that is the jar). Regardless, for its size the jar is quite heavy, and it’s interesting to feel how it sloshes around in there.

From what I can tell mercury is safe enough in this form, ie: in a glass bottle at room temperature. It’s even relatively safe to play with it in your hands – my friend’s mom apparently used to break thermometers and play with the mercury, and I also read some accounts of students touching it as part of a high school science class. However, it is still quite toxic, especially if inhaled. It’s especially bad for the environment, particularly in the food chain. Seafood is particularly vulnerable to mercury, and through biomagnification it can affect larger animals (like us) as well.

So, it’s good that I saved this from going to the dump! It’s also probably good that it didn’t get crushed by the garbage truck, as the mercury in theory could vaporize and end up in the face of the garbage collectors. I’m guessing whoever tossed it wasn’t paying attention to what they were throwing out, or didn’t know just how toxic mercury can be.

This is the first time I find a significant amount of mercury. I’ve seen a few old mercury thermometers before, but those apparently contain only up to around 2.5 grams. Finding this makes me wonder if there are any other toxic elements collecting dust in people’s basements. Maybe someone has a jar of cadmium, arsenic, or radium kicking around.

Fortunately, I also found some stuff here that I can use or sell.

I found a couple little plastic containers, once of which held a small collection of Wade figurines.

They’re not worth much, probably around 3$ a piece, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

I saved plenty of neat old junk, including two card games from Canada’s centennial (1967), a couple pairs of cool no-name frames, and two rolls of veneer.

Sorry these photos aren’t as good as they are usually, I’m still figuring out how to take photos at my new garage space. The lighting definitely isn’t as ideal as it is in my light box, but it’s better for taking larger group shots (which saves me a lot of time, and generally makes it easier to share extra finds).

Here’s a couple of cute strung together cardboard animal figures. I’d guess they’re from the 60s or 70s.

The jigsaw was a nice find. It’s old and a bit dirty, but still seems to work great. My friend will likely make use of it in some future woodworking project.

Otherwise, I saved some leather scraps, powder paints, and some vintage watercolour paints. I’m not sure if any of the paints are still good, but I figured I’d give them a chance.

I’ll definitely be returning to this house this week. Hopefully I find more old junk, and less mercury.

I’ve been having a lot of luck lately in my garbage runs. In fact, I have a backlog of photos on my computer waiting to be shared. I’m sure I’ll have another post up by the end of the week!

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.