Tag Archives: garbage day

Requiem for a garbage day

From the borough website

Recently the Plateau (the neighbourhood I live in) decided to switch up their garbage days. Beginning on February 1st garbage was picked up in the morning instead of the evening across the entire borough. The recycling days were changed, and now mostly align with one of the garbage days. Also, the garbage in one sector is now only picked up once a week.

The roll-out of these changes was totally bungled. The city put up these signs in my sector, but none of them mentioned that the collection time was changing to the morning. At least 50% of people had no idea that anything was different, and only now over a month later do most know when to put out their trash.

Regardless, I was sad about the change at first. The Plateau trash day had been a regular route of mine since I moved to Montreal around 7 years ago. The garbage in most of the borough was picked up starting at 7pm, and I very much enjoyed (especially on a sunny summer day) casually going for a walk or bike ride in the late afternoon to see what I could find. At first it was just a fun hobby, but these garbage days are also what inspired me to think of scavenging less as a pastime and more like a potential business.

I also liked that there was little competition for these times slots on my schedule. Most trash in Montreal is collected in the mornings, and other than a few sectors of Rosemont and Hochelaga (which are a fair bit further) I can’t think of any other evening collections. The Plateau now has to compete for my time with other neighbourhoods, and that makes the route feel a little more like actual work – especially since I’ll have to go out either really early or really late to get it done.

However, over time I’ve come to appreciate the change. My days are now a lot easier to plan, and I have more time for rest because I won’t feel tempted to go garbaging. I’ll have more time to play pickup softball at a nearby park, which should benefit my fitness and social life. The transition from two garbage days a week to one means that I get a bit more bang for my buck every time I go out, and that’s always a good thing. I also think that I’ll have a little less competition for the same garbage – most “normal” people won’t be interested in looking at trash that late at night or that early in the morning.

So, I’m happy with the change overall. I think I’ll always have a bit of nostalgia thinking about those evening runs, but I feel that the switch just makes things easier for me from a time management perspective. I can always make the occasional trip to Rosemont or Hochelaga for their evening garbage day when I feel like doing a bit extra.

Anyways, I realize that there’s probably few people in the world who care about the garbage collection schedule as much as I do, so let’s get to some actual finds!

It was a pretty slow week overall, but my first run on Monday morning was a good one.

I’ve been finding interesting trash in front of a nearby apartment building for the past couple months. I’m guessing that someone’s slowly clearing out one of the apartments. Much of what’s been thrown out has been total junk, including bags of worn-out clothes and shoes, but once in a while some decent stuff (including the first group photos from this post) pops up.

This small collection of jewelry has definitely been my best haul from this spot so far. Most of the pieces aren’t too exciting, but two are worth a further look. Can you spot them?

The brooch on the left is made by Florenza, a now defunct brand that seems to have a decent following on eBay. I think it’ll sell for between 25-50$, though I listed it for a bit more just to be safe.

The bracelet, which I polished before taking this shot is marked Levin Sterling.

That means it was made by Ed Levin, a noted mid-century designer. His stuff goes for decent prices on eBay, and I think this bracelet will eventually sell for 100$. Not bad!

Later in the week I found two vintage film cameras at the same spot. I have no idea how to test them, but they’ll still go for an easy 5$ at a future yard sale. Hopefully that apartment produces more stuff like this, and less old clothes going forward!

My Monday morning run also produced a somewhat broken Nexus 5 cell phone, a sealed copy of Lightroom 4, and some small change. I was able to sell the phone pretty quickly for around 50$ – I grouped it with another Nexus 5 that I found in much worse condition. I always like finding cell phones, because at the very least by saving them I ensure that the valuable and often toxic metals inside don’t go to landfill. I expect this one will get fixed up and resold, given its good cosmetic condition, and that’s an even better outcome.

The weather, and my luck turned cold later in the week. These were the last things of note that I found. I had to dig through some kind of gross stuff to get them, but oh well. The best piece was that Mexican silver chain second from the right; I sold it for 10$ to one of my readers not long after finding it. Better than nothing!

Otherwise, I used up a bunch of last week’s peppers in a chili. The ones I couldn’t use I cut up and froze, as was suggested by a few readers. Thanks for the tip! I think I’m set for peppers for the next little while. Oh, and the Tupperware containers I found a few weeks back came in very handy.

Over the last week I’ve received around 150$ in early contributions to my car fund. I wasn’t expecting to receive anything so soon so thanks for the support! It makes me more optimistic that my campaign could be successful. I do think I’ll go with IndieGoGo, in large part due to their flexible funding option. It’s also more fun when you’re able to track the progress of the campaign on a day-to-day basis.

I’ll have to figure out how to make a good video, and what to say in it. I really don’t enjoy seeing myself in video form but I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment. I’m sure I can come up with something decent. Anyways, I’ll definitely let you know when it’s all ready!

This week hasn’t been too exciting thus far. I went out on Monday without much luck, and took Tuesday off because of some freezing rain. Here’s hoping I find some good stuff in the next few days.

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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Recent sales (July 18 – August 14)

It was pretty slow going for a while there. In fact, there was a period of two weeks (between July 23 and August 7) where I didn’t sell a thing. Thankfully sales picked up a bit and I ended up having a decent if unspectacular month.

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1. Yard sales: 330$. I had a sale a couple weeks ago that I didn’t advertise whatsoever. I made around 100$, which is below average, but while everything was out on the curb I was able to weed out the clutter that wasn’t going to sell anytime soon, if ever. That set me up nicely for yesterday’s sale. I wasn’t able to put out as much as I usually do, but still had success because the things I brought were of better quality. I ended up making 230$, despite it being super cloudy and near rain for much of the day. I think I would have been cleared out if it had been sunny all day.

By the way, those framed images I mentioned in my last post didn’t last too long. The first to sell was the only non-religious one. The second was actually kitschy Jesus, who I figured would be the hardest to sell. The last supper sold last. I priced them all at 5$, which was maybe too low but I was happy to move them quickly. Looking back, this stuff might actually be in style, at least in the artsy / hipster Plateau.

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2. IBM Selectric Typewriter: On Kijiji for 50$. The Selectric was very popular in the 1960s. It was very bulky and quite heavy. Found this May in Rosemont.

3. Perfumes: To a reader for 40$. I found a nice, nearly full bottle of Miss Dior near Snowdon metro last week that went for 30$. It was vintage, probably from the 70s. The other two were smaller, half full perfumes by Annick Goutal that I found in Outremont. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures.

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4. Macbook Pro, for repair: On eBay for 250$. I bought a new battery for it, so my actual profit was around 200$. This is the one I found back in February. It seemed to work at first (at least after I took out the old battery which was bulging and impacting the trackpad), but after a while it became really slow and painful to use. It was a 2009 model, so chances are the original hard drive was cooked. It’s probably an easy fix for whoever bought it. Found in TMR.

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5. Vintage Tiffany jewelry box: On eBay for 50$. I’d guess this box was made in the 20s or 30s. Anything Tiffany related is worth a bit of money. Found January 2016 in NDG.

6. Rodenstock Rocco eyeglass frames: On eBay for 44$. I listed these a long time ago. I have a faint recollection of finding in the Plateau a couple years back, but I can’t be certain.

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7. 1964 Lindsay Place (Pointe-Claire) High School yearbook: On eBay for 40$. I’ve heard of people having success selling old yearbooks, but only recently did I try doing it myself. This yearbook, one of several I listed sold within a day. I was pretty happy about that. I’m sure the rest will be long tail items, but eBay’s fees for listing books are lower for just that reason. Found in TMR.

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8. Rosen remote control: On eBay for 27$. I don’t think there’s anything less exciting than selling remote controls. I don’t even know what this remote was for. Still, selling them is pretty easy and they make me a bit of extra cash. I only recently realized that this was market I could capitalize on.

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9. Vintage Alan Stuart designer toothbrush: On eBay for 30$. It was in its original box. Saved from a cheesy bag in June of 2015.

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10. Silver turtle bracelet: On Etsy for 30$. My first Etsy sale since May.

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11. Vintage Lancome Magie Noire perfumed dusting powder: On eBay for 80$. This stuff seems to be pretty collectible! Found last month in Outremont.

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12. 1977 Grey Cup pennant: On eBay for 100$. I found this over two years ago. I kept it myself for awhile, using it as a decoration. I like collecting Montreal related stuff, and especially enjoyed the image of the Big O. However, I didn’t end up putting it up at my last place, and when I didn’t display it at my new place either I figured I might as well sell it. I got a very good price so I’m pretty happy. Found May 2014 in TMR.

Total: 1071$, 15051$ since the new year.

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The Sourdough Gang

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I got up at 730 this morning and checked out the trash in Park Ex and Villeray. I went back to the place where I found the good stuff on Tuesday in the hopes that there would be more. Alas, no luck today. Still, I did some sorting of the treasures I did find and took some pictures to show you guys. This post will focus mostly on ephemera, or old paper collectibles.

I’ll start though with this cross. I thought the material of the cross looked special and decided to do the hot water bakelite test. It passed that test, giving off that specific formaldehyde smell. Unfortunately though I forgot it for a bit and left it in the water too long, which sort of damaged the submerged area (the bottom). It still looks good but not as perfect and shiny as before, though apparently there are things you can do to polish or buff bakelite. These, in good condition sell for around 30-50$.

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These beads, which were stored in this old Q-Tips container, also passed the hot water test for bakelite. They also come with some string for making necklaces. Most of them are different sizes of round but there’s a few odd long ones as well. Maybe I can make some necklaces!

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I found this bottle of Legrain “Royale Ambree” Eau de Cologne. It looks fairly old and the brand seems to be kind of collectible, there’s one similar (but not quite as old looking) up on Ebay for 50$.

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Here’s some of the ephemera. I thought these old business cards were all quite beautiful. The top three look to be from the early 1900s (the second from the top is marked 1911) while the bottom one is probably later, perhaps the 1950s. I have a little collection of old business cards I’ll likely add these to.

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A notepad from a 1930s Toronto-based garage and a promotional notepad for Dy-dee Wash, the “original diaper service” in Chicago. It was made in 1943.

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Another one of “Mumsie’s” religious books. I couldn’t find a date but it’s probably from the late 1800s. Inside are lots of little bookmarks, many of which are these great old lithographs.

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Old knitting magazines from the 1940s and 1950s. The older ones talk a lot of knitting in wartime.

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A nice 1940s unused notepad from an insurance company and another old lithograph (Merry Christmas!).

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These playing cards are in excellent shape. I’m not sure exactly how old they are, but the “rules” section has the date 1935 printed on it. That might have just been when the rules were determined, however.

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I’ll finish of with a few of my favourite old photos. On the back is written “Rosie Carroll, Mum’s 1st cousin who sent us boxes and boxes of clothes from New York till we were grown up. Thank you Rosie.” The picture, which measures around a foot and a half by a foot, was produced by a Gibson’s Studio in New York.

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This one’s captioned “The Captain, George Scott.” It’s a nice, if vaguely blurry colorized image. Judging by the old cars in the background it was probably taken in the 1910s or 1920s.

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This tin-type came out of an envelope that was otherwise full of funeral notices. I hadn’t noticed it before and was pretty happy to come across it! I love old tin types. These women seem to be dressed completely in fur. There’s some writing on the back but I can’t make it out. I might be able to read it if I take a photo and do some editing, however.

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The last photo is this group shot of the “Seattle Sourdough Club” taken in 1943. I did a little research and couldn’t find any information as to what this Sourdough Club would have done. If anyone has any information let us know! My photo of the photo doesn’t really do its clarity justice, it’s really quite a cool piece.

All that’s really left to sort through now is the massive haul of old, vintage clothes. I’ll show you some pictures at some point!

That’s all for this week, though. I’m taking tonight off, I’ve biked a lot of heavy loads this week and feel I deserve a bit of extra rest.

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