Tag Archives: environment

Reflection

I’ve fallen a bit behind on my picture taking recently. There’s been so much to keep track of, and it’s hard to keep everything organized. As a result, some neat stuff has fallen through the cracks and won’t make the blog (though they may end up on a “recent sales” post).

My storage space looks like a disaster zone again, and I’ve been recently thinking about finding an additional storage option, preferably a garage. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything suitable on the market, at least in my price range, and I think now that I might just need to better organize my current storage space. I bought a whole bunch of plastic storage containers (paid for in large part by that gift card I found last month!) which should help keep things a little more manageable.

In general, I think I need to pull everything out of my storage and put it back in differently. Of course, one of the best ways to do that is to have a yard sale! I hope to do one this Sunday, as long as the weather is good.

Today I’ll show you some miscellaneous finds from the past month or so. I found these Deep Trance Medium cassettes in the lower Plateau. I haven’t listened to any of them, but this lady seems to be into some next stuff. Titles include: “Lemuria and the Gods of Legend”, “Druids Pt. 25″, Prosperging [sp?] through love in the 90s”, “An E.T. on Christmas”, and “Future of P.Q. 1991”. I’m not sure if P.Q. is the original owners initials, or if she’s trying to predict the future of Quebec.

I’d never heard of Lemuria before, but according to Wikipedia it is a “a hypothetical ‘lost land’ variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.” Apparently this was a legitimate scientific hypothesis back in the 1800s but has since been debunked.

I also found these cassettes made by Interdimensional Communications International, a company run by the same people that made the Reflection tapes. They could have some value, being quite niche and hard to find, but it’s hard to tell.

I came across some rich people stuff in TMR, including: a Kindle, an iPhone 5 with a busted screen, an empty Tiffany box, a Gameboy Advance, a working iPod, and three digital cameras. Two of the digital cameras are in rough shape, but one of them is probably worth selling for parts.

At the bottom is a bracelet that I’m proud to have recognized as a Links of London design (it’s a good skill in this business to be able to recognize brands!). It’s a fake, but it looks nice and should sell at a yard sale.

I also found some doctors tools, including a Welch Allyn diagnostic set. I saved a similar one a while back that sold for 65$. My roommate likes tuning forks, so I gave him the ones on the right in exchange for future food.

I almost threw this digital picture frame in with my yard sale stuff, but I thought it would be funny instead to load it with pictures of my roommates cat. We got a good laugh out of it!

I took home a big old wagon wheel. I don’t really know how much they go for, but I’m sure someone out there will want it for their garden.

I’ve been finding a fair bit of Christmas stuff lately, like these vintage lanterns and a Santa light. The lanterns are a little busted up but someone might still want them – at the very least the boxes are pretty cool.

I also found a snowman blow mold. It’s not that old (probably 90s) but it should make me 10$ at a yard sale.

These were my best finds from a nice spot in Outremont. Yves St Laurent “Opium” is relatively hard to find because it only existed for a few years – the Champagne producers in France sued to force them to stop using the name. It had never been opened and sold very quickly for 100$. The Dior “Poison” soap is a nice get too, it has also never been opened and smells pretty good for its age (generally, I don’t think soap doesn’t age as well as perfume). I expect it to sell for around 50-70$.

I found a couple of neat jewelry pieces at that spot as well, including a dragonfly keychain signed by Lalique and a brooch designed by David Gerstein. These people threw out plenty of other good stuff, but unfortunately I never got around to documenting it.

I saved this owl figurine elsewhere in Outremont. It’s a little unusual in that it seems to be made of resin, or at least smells a lot like pine sap. It’s around 3″ tall. Has anyone seen anything like it before?

I spotted this old motor / grinder on the curb in Villeray. It worked fine, though the wiring was pretty sketchy. It sold at my yard sale for 20$.

I found these pens (in bags, of course) while biking around my neighbourhood last Thursday. The top is a Cross with a 14k gold nib, and the bottom is a Sheaffer Targa (c. 1980s) also with a 14k gold nib. I expect to get around 35$ for the Cross and 75$ for the Sheaffer. Not bad! I’m always pumped to see vintage pens – they’re often worth good money, and one of my readers is very good at helping me identify the exact model (this information is very useful when selling them).

I’d never seen one these these Old McGill yearbooks before I found three in the same week (two at the same spot just down the road) not long ago. Old yearbooks are always a nice find, and one (the 1965) has already sold for 60$ with free shipping.

I found a cute chalkware (basically plaster) wedding cake topper in Rosemont a couple weeks back. According to the writing on the back the couple was married on July 20, 1957. This topper would have been pretty inexpensive, but it likely made a great memento regardless.

Rosemont also produced this great collection of Expo 67 glasses. They were in bags – thankfully none of them broke. If I lived alone I’d think about keeping them, but I think they’d be better off with someone else at this point. Plus, they’re worth decent money, around 10$ each according to eBay’s sold prices. I do think I’ll keep one of the smaller ones, I’m leaning towards the Western Pavilion.

Otherwise, I have plenty of other things to show you. I’ve been finding some neat stuff in Villeray, and also happened upon more rich people garbage in Westmount and the Plateau. I owe you another recent sales post as well.

It’s been a while since I told you I was going to start an Indiegogo campaign for the car. I apologize for the wait, mostly I’ve been procrastinating on the video. I do want to get that done soon however, and I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com

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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Move-out day 2017

I spent a lot of time at the end of April cruising the streets of a nearby university neighbourhood, hoping to find great move-out related trash.

Move-out day is a phenomenon in every university town, but especially those with high international student populations. Basically, when kids finish the spring semester many of them move (often home / far away) around the same time. As you can imagine this results in a lot of great trash. The kids aren’t often all that organized, and a lot of them are quite privileged as well – us trash pickers are thus doubly blessed, triply when you consider just how many people are moving at once.

Last year I did very well, finding a working MacBook Pro, and iPad, a couple of valuable perfumes, change (including loonies and toonies), and even some bills. However, I realize now that I got pretty lucky. I used to think that May 1st was the biggest day for garbage, but this year I figured out that April 30th is best. Last year I was actually late to the party, and was lucky to come away with some great finds regardless. I’m surprised I made that mistake, as now it seems obvious that most of the moving would happen before the end of the month.

The mistake didn’t effect this years results anyways. My plan was always to go to the area early and often in hopes that I’d get the first pick of as much garbage as possible. I knew that even if the 1st was the best day, it wasn’t the only day – some people were bound to move out before that. There’s actually a lot of competition for move-out day garbage, so it pays off to put in that extra effort.

I ended up having a pretty productive few days! My finds don’t quite match up with last years, but they’re still very good.

I think I was most excited about finding another MacBook Pro. The things are like money in the bank – even when broken they typically sell for three figures. I know I’m going to have at least a decent day when I see that silvery plastic shell.

Thankfully, I found one in the trash pile above. I could see it through a little hole in the bag.

The MBP, a 13″ Mid 2010 with a good screen (but no HD and perhaps other issues) sold quickly for 180$. But I found lots of other good stuff that day, including a Samsung notebook that seems to work fine (it runs Ubuntu though so it’s a little harder to do a factory reset), a nice pair of Sony headphones that are worth around 60$, and some tea, spices, and paints.

I had good luck with laptops. I found another one, a Lenovo Yoga 2 not far from my storage. This one is actually in very nice condition except for an issue with the screen, which flickers and stays off about 95% of the time. I was persistent and managed to get it working (mostly through determination / sitting in front of it for a while) long enough to do a factory reset and test the internet. It’s a nice little laptop that should sell for around 175$ even with the screen problems.

People were throwing away Plantronics earphones left right and center. I found three different pairs, all of which worked fine. I guess they were cheap enough (24.95, according to the packaging) to not worry about. I also found two pairs of Qatar Airways headphones with noise cancellation. I sold the lot (minus the fancier Sony headphones) to one person at my yard sale for 15$, which I think was fair for both sides.

There’s always some dumb frosh / frat stuff that gets thrown out en masse on moving day. This year it was sunglasses. The design is actually pretty cool, but they’re almost always emblazoned with some slogan that makes them a hard sell.

I also found a 1tb external hard drive. I haven’t been able to get it working yet, but it might just be my computer being weird.

Here’s some semi-useful stuff. There’s so much to choose from that you really have to limit what you take. The jewelry was almost exclusively junk that ended up in a free box. I sold the two canvases for a dollar, and the Cuban pesos for another dollar.

I found a shopping bag full of books that reminded me of my Sociology degree (I actually still have a copy of The Protestant Work Ethic & The Spirit of Capitalism). I sold most of them to some guy at my yard sale for 10$.

I also found a longboard that my skateboarding expert friend says should sell for around 60$.

I opened up a bag on St Urbain and was greeted with a mushroom container full of jewelry. Most of it was junk, but I did find a locket that was marked as being made by Tiffany in 2004. The locket looks legit in a lot of ways, but Tiffany is commonly faked and it’s best I determine the authenticity one way or the other before selling it. I can’t find a similar piece online, which might be a good thing as most fakes are based on well-known and popular designs. I took a few extra pictures which you can see below, and if you have any potential insights let me know in the comments!

Otherwise, the kids always throw out lots of change.

I had better luck on that front last year, but I still found around 24$ overall, not including Euros and other foreign coins. Better than nothing!

My best cash find though was this gift card. I was optimistic that there would be a little money left on there, but I wasn’t expecting it to be 63$! This is actually the first time I found a gift card with money on it, and obviously I hope to find more going forward. I feel like it’s something I should see more often than I do, and I wonder if I’m just overlooking them as I scan and evaluate the trash.

I look forward to doing this again next year! However, July 1st (aka Moving Day in Montreal) is coming up as well. This will be the first time in a few years that I won’t be moving myself, and I’m excited to see what I can find on the curb.

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Sugaring off

Things were a bit slow last week, in part because someone decided to break into my friend’s car. They took only the registration and insurance papers that were in the glove compartment, which was a bit odd considering the car isn’t particularly valuable. Apparently criminal organizations sometimes do this to provide legitimate looking documentation for stolen vehicles that are set to leave the country via shipping containers.

Regardless of the motives, it was a minor hassle for all involved. We had to go get new papers, and it took a couple of days to get new glass installed. I missed out on a quality garbage run as a result. Oh well! Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again, as it cost around 300$ to get everything sorted out.

The weather also hasn’t been particularly picker-friendly. There’s been lots of rain (apparently a record amount for Montreal in April) which washed out a few of my preferred bike trips. Still, I made a few decent finds, and I have high hopes for this week as move-out day approaches.

The place in the Mile End where I found the jewelry and watches last week provided more neat stuff, mostly old bottles this time around. I love old bottles, but I will say that it feels kind of gross to look through bags full of medicines in the rain. Something about the wetness and the smell of weird old liquids makes me feel like I’m going to get a disease, even though the risk of anything bad happening is extremely low. Either way, I overcame that feeling and amassed a great collection of bottles, most of which date from between the 30s and the 80s.

My favourite bottles are the ones marked “poison,” like the synthetic wintergreen in the picture above. I think a lot of people feel the same way – poison bottles have good value in the market, especially the ones with the skull and crossbones logo like the bottle of iodine I found a few years back. I could probably sell that one for around 40$, but at least for now it’s part of my personal collection.

There’s another poison bottle in this bunch (this time iodine), as well as a tin of boracic acid. The bottle of Perry Davis Painkiller is hard to date, but I’d guess it’s from the 30s or 40s. Production started in the 1840s, and apparently it was mostly composed of alcohol and opiates.

Yeah, maybe it’s gross to take 40 year old Preparation H, but I just really like things in their original packaging!

The 1964 Montreal street guide is pretty neat, as is the small Lenormand tarot deck on the right. It’s probably worth around 20$.

I thought those Rawleigh’s tins were really old when I found them, but now I think they’re probably just from the 50s or 60s (pre-metrification). I’m pretty sure Rawleigh’s still makes tins like this today. The vintage safety glasses are kind of neat, as are the hairdressing scissors.

I haven’t noticed any trash at this place recently, so maybe the source has dried up. If so, too bad as I quite enjoyed its specific brand of junk.

The people who tossed the tarot cards from my last post threw out another deck last week! This one is called the New Tarot; it was self-published in the early 1970s by Jack Hurley and John Horler, both of whom were influenced greatly by Joseph Campbell. Apparently the deck was pretty revolutionary at the time – check out this blog post if you’re interested in knowing more about their history. There seems to be a healthy market for this deck, one pretty similar to mine (and in far from perfect condition) recently sold for 170$ on eBay.

The only thing I’m confused by is the number of cards that are supposed to be in the deck. I counted 79, but the deck is supposed to only have 78. Then again, the instructions say that the “fool card is zero” so perhaps it is not included in the final count. On the other hand, the listing I linked to above says it includes two “extra cards” without specifying what those cards would be. I don’t know much about tarot, so I find all that pretty confusing. If anyone can help clarify how many cards I should have let me know in the comments! I guess I could also compare every card to the ones mentioned in the instructions, but that would take a while.

I found a neat old chandelier in a bag in the lower Plateau. I’d guess that it was made in the 1910s or 1920s. “Com Fix 589” is stamped on the top but I can’t find any reference to that phrase online. Regardless, it’s a pretty nice piece! I put it on Kijiji for 100$, and we’ll see if anyone bites.

There weren’t that many noteworthy finds last week, so I’ll bulk up this post with a couple of finds from this week. I saved this chrome “eyeball” lamp from a bag in Villeray on Monday night. It was probably made in the early 70s. I think there’s a solid market for these right now, and I’ll find out for sure soon when I list it on Kijiji.

Maple syrup is one of my favourite things so I’m always pumped when I find some in the trash. It comes around semi-regularly, but not often enough that I never run out. Anyways, I found an unopened wooden box containing a bottle of syrup and jar of spread this morning. I ate some of both already, and it was great! Thanks are owed to whoever for satisfying my maple cravings for the next little while.

I also came across a bag full of old photos and slides. I haven’t had time to look at most of them yet, but one envelope contained a bunch of photos featuring former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. They were taken at a “sugaring off party” in April 1976. Current PM Justin (age 4) may be there too actually, it’s hard to tell – check out the photo at bottom left and let me know what you think. It’s a pretty neat find regardless! Here’s hoping more of those photos turn out to be interesting.

My yard sale the other day went very well. I’ll let you know exactly how well in the next sales summary post. I still have lots of stuff to sell so I’ll be doing another sale soon, maybe next weekend if the weather is nice. I’ll keep you posted!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

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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