Tag Archives: waste

Loonies & Toonies

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Bag-o-vision

I went for a walk last weekend, not to find garbage but to get out of the house. Junk has a habit of finding me, however, so while I left home with no bags I ended carrying home five.

I kicked this bag and heard the jingle of coins, but unfortunately they were only pennies. More importantly they had been sullied by food waste, and I didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty for maybe 25c. To the dump they likely went, to join the millions of pennies already there.

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I had better luck later on my walk. Yup, those are toonies. When you throw those out, maybe it means you have too much money.

All in all I found three toonies, six loonies, at least three Euros, and lots of other coins. I also found a £10 British pound bank note, and a fiver in one of the many purses that you’ll see later on. This all adds up to something close to 40$, making it my best cash haul in quite some time! British pounds, American dollars, and Euros are the best foreign currencies to find as they’re easily exchanged.

I found no gold here, but I did some pieces from a sterling vanity set (at right). I’ve never seen a hook like that before, so I’d appreciate it if someone could enlighten me! The animal charm bracelet looks vintage and cute, while the necklace is a quality Monet piece.

I usually don’t peddle in stuffed animals, but this time there was a whole garbage bag full and they all looked to be in pretty good condition. Plus, I’m more likely to take a chance on stuff when it comes from a household that throws out toonies.

These toys should find a new home at my next yard sale. This Fisher Price dog is especially fun, if you click on the picture it should show you a short video of it walking.

I also enjoyed this squirrel puppet (there’s a video of this one too). Perhaps my cat will appreciate it.

This spot was perhaps most notable for its large collection of barely used bags. The Herschel duffel at the top right was a nice find, they retail for around 100$ new. The Lole bag still has tags and seems to retail for around 140$. There’s a couple of vegan bags, one by Urban Expressions and one by Rachel F, a local designer. The WESC backpack also a lot of life left in it.

The little green purse is signed Christian Louboutin, and if it’s not fake it could be worth good money. I tried to do some research online, but most of the info out there is about fake shoes, not fake bags. It does look well-made.

I found lots of shoes as well. The two at top right are Repetto ballet / dancing shoes, which seem to sell for good money online. The black ones look barely used. The APC heels are also nice.

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Here we have some Star Wars toys, an unopened box of Q-tips, and some plastic ties.

I also found some teas (I drank some already, they’re great) and an unopened jar of maple butter. As you may know, I love maple and am always excited to find it in the trash. I expect it was at least 8$ new.

There was another big pile here last night, but it was mostly unexciting garage / under the sink kinda stuff. I saved some useful cleaning products, but nothing too exciting. I’ll keep an eye on the situation, but at least I did very well here this one day.

Otherwise, I found a cool “Man and his world” (post Expo 67) vanity plate at that spot in Villeray I blogged about recently. I’m trying to figure out whether I should sell it or put it on my car.

I found a collection of slides in Outremont, all of which contain pages from two old comics.

One was À quand notre tour?, an anti-communist comic book first published in 1947. For this shot I used a little plastic slide viewer I found a while back, it did a pretty good job!

It definitely provides an interesting look at Cold War era politics.

The other was Cidopey, a trippy looking comic by well-known illustrator Richard Corben. Cidopey first appeared in an underground comic in 1971, but since these are in French they’re likely from the first issue of Métal hurlant, which is the French version of Heavy Metal magazine. I’m not sure why these comics would be in slide form – if you have any ideas, let me know. Regardless, these might be of interest to a collector.

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Next to the slides was an old society sash. It was made to be reversible, with green fabric and red / gold illuminations on one side, and red fabric with green / gold illuminations on the other. I’m not sure what society this comes from, and I’d appreciate any input you might have!

I happened upon a bag in Villeray that contained a bunch of old stocking, and also a little ring box. Underneath the little ring holder part were two 10k gold Catholic pendants with chains. Maybe the previous owner didn’t notice them, but it was pretty obvious that something was inside the box.

There were many other bags around, but all of them were filled with actually gross garbage. This jewelry made getting my hands dirty worthwhile, however, as the scrap value of 8.5 grams of 10k gold is about 185 CAD$. If anyone wants these, I would sell them for a bit above scrap.

I found a ruined Victrola cabinet in St Michel. It wasn’t worth saving, but I did remove the top (which I thought could be repurposed) as well as this old badge. It’s worth around 15-20$, but I might just keep it myself.

My friend and I happened upon some great stuff from an eviction in Westmount the other day. It’ll take a while to process all that, but I’m excited to get it figured out. In the meantime, I have other recent finds I can share with you.

The weather is looking good for this weekend, so expect my real last yard sale to happen on Saturday or Sunday. I’m considering doing both as well, with Sunday being a kind of “pay what you can” kind of thing. I really don’t want to store a bunch of stuff over the winter, and I hope that by the end of it I’ll only be storing a bunch of empty suitcases. I’ll keep you posted and let you know by mid-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.

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Quality junk

One of my storage areas after a heavy purge.

I’ve been too busy lately. I did a yard sale on Saturday, and those are always a lot of work (roughly nine hours without a real break in this case). On Sunday I organized my storage area, which was a disaster zone, and did a purge of junk I didn’t think would ever sell or was just sick of looking at. I also went on a garbage run that night, and filled the car with more stuff.

On Monday a friend and I did more organizing, and dealt with some of my finds from Sunday. In the evening I went on another trash run, and again filled up the car with more quality junk.

At this point I’m slightly burnt out, so a car full of stuff doesn’t conjure up the same amount of joy it normally might. If anything, part of me is annoyed that I had to take time today to make room in my garage for these recently orphaned items. I’m not completely burnt out, but I will need a real day off sometime soon.

Most of my finds last night came from a wealthy street in Cote-des-Neiges. I almost skipped it this week, but at the last minute I reversed course, remembering that one specific household looked to be getting ready for a move.

I saved a bunch of decent stuff, including two vintage folding chairs; two enlarged prints of vintage 1960s Couture magazine covers; a set of what I now know to be Roto-Toms; a hockey stick, driver, and putter (there were more golf clubs, but I left them for others); a mid-century looking cushion; a pinball game; a signed photo of Patrick Roy; and some other things.

I also saved a couple decent pieces of furniture. I particularly like the cabinet on the left, which has some great mid-century pulls. Neither are in perfect condition, but they’re definitely worth yard sailing. I also found a miniature chair and a pen holder thing. The latter looks kind of fancy, and has a powerful magnet that holds the ball in place. The plastic bit is busted, but that could probably be replaced.

Inside the large “Montreal 1986” folder was a nice screen print of the Eglise Notre-Dame. The artists involved don’t look to be famous, but it’ll definitely sell at a future sale.

I also found a few things in Villeray, like this vintage wind-up toy clock by Westclox. I’ve been finding a lot of good stuff at a spot there recently, but most of that will have to wait for a future post.

I’ll finish up with some other bits and bobs I’ve found recently. St-Michel has been productive of late, and one spot in particular has produced some excellent finds. My collage friend will be happy to receive this batch of National Geographics, most of which date from the late 60s and 1970s.

I also found a vintage enameled bedpan. I’m not sure anyone wants this kind of thing, but I do like having a few funny items at my yard sales!

Edit: just checked eBay and people do seem to want them, though they’re not super valuable or anything.

A bin in TMR last week provided a large collection of vintage wristwatch bands. Some of the bags had gotten a bit moldy but most were fine. They were all made by a company called Meillon in Paris. I can’t find any reference to them online, but I’m sure they’ll sell regardless. They might even be worth eBaying, since the cost of shipping would be very low, basically lettermail + bubble envelope.

The bin also provided this very cool mid-century perpetual calendar. I love the globe design, and it should sell for between 10-20$.

I picked these up on a local heavy garbage day. I’m not sure what they were made to do, but I thought they were cool and potentially useful for some interior design project. They remind me of the inside of a confession both, though I doubt they were used for that purpose. If anyone has any ideas, let me know in the comments!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg really. I’ve found so much recently, and unfortunately a lot of it will never make the blog. I already have a load of photos to post and stories to tell, so some things unfortunately won’t make the cut due largely to circumstance. A recently acquired storage cabinet is full of these things – here’s a look inside. There’s a lot more, and unfortunately I would need an unpaid intern and more storage space to get it all on the blog.

Although I’d love to take next weekend off the weather is supposed to be great, and Sunday seems like a perfect time to do a final yard sale. Mark the day in your calendars if you want to check it out! If all goes well I’ll do a couple more posts this week, one featuring a couple bags of cool vintage clothes I found a couple days ago and one featuring recent furniture finds. Assuming I get the posts done in time all the items within will be available at the sale.

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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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.

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