Tag Archives: waste

Colgate’s Kit Bag

I came across some good trash while biking on Sunday night. Inside these boxes and bags was a large collection of reel-to-reels, cassettes, and videotapes, big enough that I had to go get the car to pick them up. The hope with old recordings is that they contain something that doesn’t exist anywhere else, for example the audio from a live show in the 70s. It’s not clear that these tapes contain anything interesting, but fortunately I’m in contact with someone specifically interested in preserving that kind of stuff. I gave them to him, and I’ll let him figure out if there’s anything on there worth digitizing. It’s quite possible that these tapes aren’t too interesting, just recordings from the radio and so on, but I figured it was the worth the effort just in case.

Regardless, the collection was pretty impressive and very well organized. It must have taken thousands of hours to compile.

Those recordings are unlikely to benefit me financially. Fortunately, one of the bags I brought home was filled with old electronic bric-a-brac.

This c.1960s Sony cassette recorder with speakers needs servicing, but should still sell for around 45$ on eBay.

Here’s some electronic doohickeys. The Ortofon STM-72 transformers are actually worth pretty good money. I have one that looks to be new in box, and one that was loose in the bag. The latter, which I listed as “untested” already sold for 75$ + shipping. Believe it or not, I should be able to make money from the old batteries as well – some collectors like having the original battery pack and will pay to have them rebuilt. Here’s one that sold for 20$ with shipping.

I found two high frequency drive units made by a Radford Acoustics Ltd. I didn’t find much about them online, and don’t really know what they’re worth. If you know anything about this, please share your thoughts in the comments!

Inside this box was an Ortofon SL-15 Mk II moving coil cartridge for a record player. Ortofon makes pretty high-end cartridges, some of which sell for over a thousand dollars on eBay. I found another one of these for sale for about 400$, but I don’t know if that’s a realistic price or even if mine works. Mine does has a needle, which I’m pretty sure is a good thing. Again, I don’t know much about cartridges so let me know if you have any useful info!

My favourite find from this spot might be this pocket-sized 1950s Sony TR-610 transistor radio. Old transistor radios are very collectible, and this little guy should sell for somewhere between 100-150$.

I’ll be keeping an eye on that spot in the curb. If I’m lucky they’ll toss some more vintage electronics!

Otherwise, I happened upon a heap of bags in Westmount. Most of the stuff was trash, but I did spot a small shopping bag that held a few intriguing items. All the pieces at bottom middle are marked as being 10k gold, and together they’re worth around 150$ for their weight. I couldn’t figure out what the “For Sisterhood Service” pin was for, maybe you can help me with that?

The most interesting might be the piece marked 1936, which is an old Radio Orphan Annie decoder. The radio show was apparently sponsored by Ovaltine, who gave out these badges in exchange for proofs of purchase, and at the end of each show there would be a code that only the owner of a badge could crack. I just noticed too that there’s a secret compartment in the back (unfortunately, it was empty). These seem to go for around 25$ on eBay.

The watch, a “Tradition” with 17 jewels is also nice. It runs well and is probably worth about 25$.

I also saved a couple of Estee Lauder perfumes. They already sold for 12$ to a local buyer.

I’ve been going back to the spot where that kid asked me to leave his trash alone. I haven’t seen him again, so maybe he has better things to do with his time. Anyways, I haven’t found anything mind blowing but I did save four large toy cars there last week. I sold three for 2$ each at my most recent yard sales (I did a very casual one with a friend on Saturday that lasted about an hour, and one on Sunday that I didn’t announce because there wasn’t much new stuff – it was really windy and a bit of a failure for a variety of reasons). The only car left is the red one, which I’d guess is a Corvette.

Elsewhere, I found a comb with a silver top; …

… a large collection of new tennis balls, some of which have now been chewed apart my my friend’s dog;

… and an old Sanyo B&W portable TV. I don’t know if anyone will want this, but I figured I’d put it on Kijiji and see what happens.

My mom was in town this weekend. We had a nice visit, and she also helped me organize some bags of sewing stuff that I saved a few weeks back. I don’t really know much about sewing but I took them thinking that the stuff might appeal to someone more crafty than I. All in all we filled three tubs with fabrics, ribbon, lace, sewing patterns, and lots of other sewing-related bric-a-brac. Hopefully someone takes interest in this at one of my future yard sales!

I like finding sewing stuff because there’s often neat little surprises mixed in. This WWII-era “Colgate’s Kit Bag” would have been used to hold a soldier’s personal items. After wartime, it was used to store a small collection of buttons. It’s worth around 30$ on eBay.

Let’s finish with this cool vintage patchwork quilt. I actually found this at a great spot I’ve been picking at in Villeray – I’ll share more finds from there soon. My mom told me it was both hand and machine stitched and guessed that it was from the 1940s. It smells a bit like basement and needs a little TLC but should be reparable. I gave it to my friend in exchange for helping with the sale.

Montreal’s big moving day is at the end of the month, so I expect to be pretty busy for the next little while! I may do another sale this weekend as my neighbours said they were interested in collaborating. If so, I’ll let you know.

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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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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