Changes pt.1

Sorry about the lack of updates. I just haven’t been able to get into the writing mindset. I think I just reached peak burnout, and eventually I realized I had to switch things up if I wanted to really enjoy life. It’s been a busy few months figuring that out, but things are falling into place (I think) and I feel some creative energy returning.

Got lots of things to tell you about, but I’ll break them into a few different posts, because these short posts are much easier to write.

I guess we can start with the most recent, which is that I bought a “new” (to me) car. It’s a 2012 Kia Rondo, which I think is a nice size for my purposes. Big enough to fit a lot more stuff (and not have to do so much sorting on the spot), but not a boat like some of the bigger vans out there (like the Dodge Grand Caravan). For trash picking in this city, it’s nice to have space, but it’s also nice to have a maneuverable vehicle that’s easy to stop and park. It’s also big enough for camping if that’s something I want to do.

I’d been looking for a new vehicle for a while, but the used car market is a bit crazy right now. Personally I think prices have come down, but a lot of people are still trying (unsuccessfully) to sell their 10 year old beaters for 2x what they’re worth. I played the waiting game, and eventually found one that was reasonably priced. I paid 4450$, which I think was very fair. So far, I’m pretty happy – it’s very clean, feels well maintained, and is also a lot more comfortable and powerful than my old subcompact beater, which was a bit of a lemon as well.

Here’s some finds from a spot in St Michel earlier this summer. I miss this spot.

These guys were travel agents I think, and apparently never threw away an old paper. I found lots of boxes packed like this, with travel ephemera dating mostly from the 50s to 70s.

Here’s the contents of a big envelope marked “Ontario.” There were several envelopes filled with similar content from different provinces. I listed some on eBay, but the listings don’t seem too popular. Maybe it’s better sold at yard sales, or on Instagram.

I love a good map, and there were a lot of good ones here. This is PEI in the early 60s (iirc). I heart the colour scheme.

Some of the ephemera was a little older, like this Quebec booklet that was published in 1934. No need for me to take more photos of this, when the Quebec Archive has already scanned it!

I also like a good vintage box. This Kraft processed cheese box is pretty neat, I didn’t know they once had a factory in Outremont. From this document, it looks like they were operating from 20 Bates in the early 50s, and likely a bit before and after.

Not as vintage, but still fun is this Steinberg’s skim milk powder box. I doubt there’s too many of these kicking around! I’m guessing it’s from the late 70s or early 80s based on that font. People around here love Steinberg’s memorabilia, so it definitely has some value to a collector.

This is one of those spots that produced so much cool stuff that it was kind of overwhelming. Going forward, I’m going to have to be a bit more picky about what I take pictures of… but I’ll get into that more in my next post.

Links

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: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.

1935

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.

Links

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: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items

Fog-brained pt.2

(FYI, I started this post a month or so ago, will leave what I wrote and add a bit of newer info at the end).

The garbage has continued to be just okay overall, though it’s good to remember that today’s okay is yesterday’s (as in, when I started this blog) “omg.” I’m still picking up enough to keep the ball rolling, and thankfully I now have a few different people I trust selling stuff for me. I don’t feel motivated to flip my own trash these days, maybe because it’s never been easier to have someone else do it for me. And why not? It saves me a lot of effort, and sometimes they do a better job that I ever could, especially in niches I’m not very good at (ie: clothing). So the money has been consistent, even if I haven’t found much gold, literally or metaphorically.

The brain is still pretty foggy and it’s hard to jump-start it. I’m trying a new medication called Trintellix but it’ll be a couple more weeks at least before I know if it’s actually working.

The spot above was a two hit wonder. Maybe if I had gone down that street a little sooner I would have found more… Anyways, that first day I picked up a bunch of worldly items in good condition, including a couple nice pieces of Tonala (Mexican) pottery, some quality brass tchotchkes, and several miniature houses that I’d guess were bought in Spain or Morocco. A lot of this was sold on my new Instagram account, @garbagefindssells, and others went to the yard sale pile.

The standout from that night though was a little white kitchen bag filled with coins and other “junk”. My most valuable find was probably the Montblanc pen, it’s just the basic ballpoint but it should sell for 100-150$ (haven’t done my research yet though). Otherwise, I picked up a lot of largely worthless foreign coins and several largely worthless bills, but also some Euro coins and two silver coins from Germany commemorating the invention of the x-ray (top left-ish).
I went back the week after and found a recycling bin chock-full of crystal. I’m 99% sure crystal and drinking glasses in general aren’t recyclable, but whatever. I spent a good while picking glasses out of the bin – a surprising amount were not damaged.
These were my favourites. I saved 8 in total (they came in a few different colours), and the set sold quickly for 100$ thanks to one of my sellers. There was also a nice pink and clear decanter, which you can kind of see in the recycling bin shot on the left next to the Tim Horton’s cup (also not recyclable). That sold for 40$. Otherwise, a lot of the cups went to the yard sale and sold for around 1$ each. I still have a set of four cups from this spot to research, they’re heavy and have a cool bubble/hole in the bottom but aren’t signed.
Otherwise, here’s a few bits from another spot. There’s a couple bits of silver, like that little brooch on the left and the baby rattle on the right. The watches are the moneymakers though. The Casio at the top right is probably the most valuable, it’s in nice condition and those models from the 70s are fairly collectible these days… it should sell for between 100-150$. The solar Casio’s to the left both have signficant screen bleeding, but fortunately they’re the same model so I listed them together “for parts or repair.” They should sell for 50-60$.

I never heard of the Tissot Two-Timer before, but then I found two within a week (one came from another spot). It doesn’t seem to be super valuable, but the two together should make me around 80-100$. That antique compass is also very cool, too bad the glass is all bunged up.
Otherwise, I found a stash of vintage election posters right around the beginning of the election. A few featured Nick Auf de Maur, who I’d never heard of but sounds like quite a character. He ran, but lost as a PC in 1984. I also saved about a dozen 1986 Montreal Civic Party posters featuring Claude Dupras, their first party leader who wasn’t Jean Drapeau (he lost). I like political ephemera, so I’ll probably keep one copy of each and sell the rest.

More recent news & notes:

  1. Trintillix sucks so far. I’m losing interest in trying pharmaceutical anti-depressants, they have done little to help so far (and I’ve tried about seven now?). But I’ll talk to my doctor any see what happens…
  2. The flow of garbage has also been mediocre, at least until last week. It was probably my first “very good” stretch for a while. Hopefully it keeps up, this job is more fun when I find things. Hopefully I can get my brain into actually posting some of that stuff here.
  3. WordPress has changed up their format and so far I hate it. If anyone knows a way to use the old platform, let me know. In the meantime, forgive me if certain things don’t work like they usually do (ie: you can’t seem to click on the pictures to zoom in, so if you want a closer look you’ll have to zoom in using your browser – usually CTRL & the + sign).