Tag Archives: garbage picking

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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Very rich people pt. 5

I’m having my last yard sale of the year tomorrow! I may also do one on Sunday actually, but I don’t want to promise that just yet. Anyways, it will be at 4096 Coloniale near Duluth starting around noon. If you can’t make it Saturday and want to know if Sunday is a go, send me an email or Facebook message and I can let you know. Also do that if you’re interested in a specific item and you’re wondering if it’ll be at the yard sale.

The last part of this Very Rich People will showcase the bits of jewelry I found. These pieces are all costume jewelry, but some are signed by companies like Sherman, Weiss, and Boucher, all of which go for pretty decent money on eBay.

For a while I thought this would go down as the best spot to not provide any silver or gold. However, I ended up finding those earrings, which are busted but still good for silver scrap. The clasp of that faux pearl necklace is also silver.

However, these earrings were easily the best pieces I found. Marked Chimento and 750 (18k) gold, they weigh around 10.2 grams, which means they’re worth close to 400$ in scrap alone. However, they’re in perfect condition, so their actual value is more than that.


I currently have them listed at 800$, which might be a little high but not by much…

I’ll finish off the series with this pack of printer paper. Not very exciting, I know, but it did save me from having to buy some.

That may be all from that great pile of trash, but I’m always finding great stuff that rich people throw out – those people just happened to be very rich. I’ll share some more soon enough.

I’ll bulk up this post with a few other recent finds. I found some snowshoes poking out of a trash bin not far from Olympic stadium.

They’re nice old ones, marked as being made in Lac Megantic Quebec.

I could sell them, but I’m leaning towards keeping them for the winter. I might actually go snowshoeing, who knows. I’ve been talking about doing that for years.

I also found a smaller pair of snowshoes without bindings, which I’ll try to sell at the yard sale.


Those trash cans were filled with old garage / basement junk. I dug around a bit and found a dirty old canvas bag that smelled strongly of must. I knew it was worth a closer look, however, as that material was often used during the wars. As it turns out, the bag was made to hold a WWII-era US Army combine.


I was able to clean it up pretty nicely in the shower, and the musty smell was mostly gone after it stayed outside for like a week. The zipper has some issues, but it’s an interesting piece regardless and should sell for 30-40$.

I found some intriguing stuff at one place in NDG. Unfortunately I’ve seen nothing but kitty litter there since, but maybe the spot will come alive once again. It seems that whoever lived there was an engineer or engineering student, and this photo envelope contained some unusual photos, presumably taken before Expo 67 that show it under construction.

Zoom in for a closer look! From what’s written on the envelope I’d guess they were taken in February of 1967.

I found more interesting engineering related photos as well.

These ones are a fair bit older, I’m guessing from the 30s or 40s, and look to me like a dam under construction.

I also found a bit of junk. Slide rules are always a fun find, and I liked the wooden cheque from “Banque Dubois.” There were some nice cufflinks, though none were made of precious metals. The Expo 67 flag with the UdM pin was also interesting.

I found a bunch of old books and VHS tapes at another spot in NDG. None were particularly exciting, though I did enjoy finding this old tin.

It contained a little box, along with miscellaneous sewing bric-a-brac. I’m not really sure what that oval glass thing is supposed to be, if you have any ideas let me know.

Inside the box was an old collection of string. Unfortunately, string doesn’t really stand the test of time very well, but the box itself was sturdy and nice. There were also some sewing needles and a couple thimbles that might sell at a yard sale.

I love finding sewing stuff, in large part because there’s often interesting bits and bobs mixed in. These old pins were in a small brown envelope marked “extra buttons.” They’re service badges from Supertest, an old Canadian oil and gas company that disappeared in 1973. Supertest operated lots of gas stations in Ontario and Quebec back in the day, so people from central Canada may remember them.

The pins ascend in years and materials from five (sterling silver), to 15 (gold filled), to 20 (10k gold, with a small diamond or diamond-like object). Petroliana is a big market right now, so I should be able to get a bit of money for them, even if just for a bit above their weight in silver and gold.

As usual, I’ll be keeping an eye on this spot going forward!

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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