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Best thing you ever pulled from a dumpster or out of someone's garbage?

 
gardener
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I recently grabbed two amazing stainless steel racks out of a dumpster.  They stand about 6' tall and have 5 heavy wire shelves.  I think they used to be used to store those big commercial soda canisters, because the shelves have labels on them: Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, etc.

I ain't to proud to pick.

I KNOW that there are some scroungers on this forum.  What's the best thing you ever pulled out of a dumpster or off the side of the road on garbage day?
 
gardener
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My favorite score  is probably the hundreds of dollars worth of live trees I snagged from home depot.
Not the most profitable, valuable thing, just the most satisfying.

 
pollinator
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The single best thing....wow, that's a hard one in a 20 plus year career at dumpster diving!  Several objects are still in frequent use ten-plus years later, including a 10 gallon stainless steel pot (restaurant dumpster, with scorch on the bottom.  A few days with ash and water in it and scrubbed clean.  Plus a few 2 and 3 gallon size, with lids, similar).  Or the huge golf or baseball practice safety net, which I'm still using for quick poultry pens. I still have a piece of a heavy rubberized truck tarp over my generator....it used to be huge and was used to cover this and that.   I have built several sheds and cabins largely out of the dumpsters....
 
master steward
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Personally, I've never actually dragged something from a dumpster, but my husband is a huge dumpster diver, and I've been around for a few of his "look at that dumpster!" spur-of-the-moment dives.

My most memorable dive, and probably snagged us the "best" thing, was our "Easter Egg Basket" dumpster dive. He, his mom, and I were driving home from church one Easter Sunday, and looked out the window at a catholic school, and saw they had three huge dumpsters full of stuff! We dubbed them our Easter Baskets and went diving! I thing we got a shelving unit, some sort of cleaning device, and an epic wooden rocking horse. This was a good 10+ years ago, 4 years before we had kids, but we couldn't pass it up! We stored it in our basement, and hauled it with us to our new home, and both our kids love riding on it!

I dug around through my old pictures, and here's my son--who's now almost 6--riding on it as a baby. It's a bit blurry, and I'll try to take a better picture tomorrow!

I'll also ask my husband what his favorite haul was from a dumper dive, as this sort of thread is right up his alley!
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wooden rocking horse
 
Posts: 664
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The only two things I recall retrieving from a bin is a small Pyrex mixing bowl that was thrown out by family when they cleared my Uncle’s place – unfortunately missed a massive amount of good stuff, including antique furniture that others didn’t want!

The other is a dime-a-dozen stainless steel laundry tub for garden use – cleaning fish, vegetables, etc.

However, I’ve inherited my Dad’s ‘dumpster dive’ stuff, which is probably of historical significance and should be in a museum. He worked on the waterfront during and after the War when many Allied ships and submarines were using Sydney Harbour as a base, or for refit after the Pacific and Coral Sea battles.

From an American Submarine: they threw out several garbage bins of stuff and he could only get a few things – a Nash Metalware 8 oz ladle (heavy enough to be used as a weapon!), and, one of the actual garbage bins used on the Sub (Americans are so polite, not only do they dump their garbage here, they also supply the bins to hold it!). That bin has been repaired several times over the years and is still capable of holding things. World’s oldest garbage bin?

From an Aussie Destroyer: Allied Forces Tablespoon and two naval gun shell bottom casings. The heavy shell casings were polished and used as weighty doorstops.

One typical observation – things made back ‘then’ were meant to last. No wonder ships and submarines sunk so quickly – the cutlery was SO heavy!


All of these items are still used regularly.

 
pioneer
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Wow, super interesting replies. My best dumpster find here in Sydney was an enormous rose quartz rock crystal, with the price tag of $120 still on it!
 
gardener
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I still think fondly about a pair of nearly-new Doc Martens I got out of my apartment building's "dumpster room" when I lived in Japan. not only could I not find shoes I liked in my enormous-foreign-devil size, Docs would have cost me more than I ever would have been willing to pay.
(my brother in law may have taken the cake though- he created a business driving around and collecting air conditioners that were out for trash collection where he lived, taking them apart and selling the metals. It turned in to a decent sized business and he made some decent coin, til the city realized they could be making that money and set up their own program. Good while it lasted.)
 
steward
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Wow! Neat stories.

While I cringe at seeing myself, here's a dumpster find of mine:



We're still using this pan.
 
gardener
Posts: 485
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Definitely not too proud to scrounge - in fact, proud to scrounge!

I lived for a while in a wealthy city, where large item pickup was 1 or 2 x per month!!! I often thought I could make money if I owned a trailer, just driving around and picking stuff up. Couches, dressers, bedroom sets, wall units, bookcases.... unfortunately I had a 400 sq ft apartment and a subcompact car.

I did get a few good scores, just in the back alley... absolute best was - an $800 bike that, judging by the tires, had been used once. Just needed air in the tires and the chain cleaned. Bizarre.

But also:
-many, many extra large plant pots that no longer matched people's decor - my landlord threw hers out every season, so I brought them to my dads
-shoe rack
-6! Laundry bins and 4 expensive plastic grocery buckets, and some rubbermaid bins (aka, my closet organization system)
- suitcases
- tiny pyrex glass bowls in 2 sizes
- expensive matching table and floor lamps
- all the boxes I needed when I moved (uhaul and home Depot brand moving boxes, used once.  Score!)

My desk/kitchen table and two chairs were side of the road finds that I painted. My dad's house is full of stuff from the local "mall" ( a trailer at the dump where people put good stuff they no longer want)- two apple peeler corers, tools, some art, books, corningware and pyrex, side tables, etc, etc...
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6016
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I'm with Alder Burns on this one, I'm building large amounts of my house out of second hand stuff, quite a lot of it dumpster kill. I sometimes make good money out of my trash picking habits.

Some of the things that would make most sense to most people that I have pulled out of the trash:
An 11 foot dome tent
A 14 inch cast iron skillet, brand new
Innumerable appliances
Full set of encyclopedias
Hundreds of pounds of metal shelving
Electric clothes dryer that needed a 50 cent fuse

We used to call it "dumpster season" when the local university spring semester ended, SO MUCH stuff got thrown out. (I'm a "don't waste anything!" type, it turned my stomach what got tossed.)
Bed Bundles: What you see is a mattress pad, unroll it, it has a bottom sheet, top sheet, couple of blankets, comforter, and a pillow in case all rolled up in it. (Don't wash your bedding, just peel and toss it....)

Finding full sets of dishes is common.
My friends kids used to ask me when they were going to move out of their parents house "Am I going to get a kitchen box?" "Sure, if you want one! What color?"  That kid would get a whole kitchen in a box, all matching if I could. Full set of dishes, silverware, pans, utensils, towels, hot pads, throw rugs, small appliances, ice cube trays, broom, mop, anything you need in a kitchen, usually a couple of cute things in there too, a pretty vase that matched or similar things.

When my best friend got married I asked her if dumpster kill and second hand was appropriate for her shower gifts, she said yeah, as long as it didn't look like it to the other guests. I asked, because just before that, I had been digging in a dumpster, lot of cool stuff, a guy came out with more trash, I asked him to save  me effort, just stack it there so I could sort it easy. The female who was dumping her apartment had a serious Victoria's Secret habit, and was tossing unopened drawer sachets, drawer liners, padded hangers, etc. (Never even OPENED it. I hope that guy had the sense to dump that female, that's not a good sign!) So for her shower, I had a pile of boxes, and a story: Her cats went to the store for gifts for her shower, they got her all of these (multiple gifts: shower curtains, bath mats, soap dish, etc) They told me to wrap them, I told them "Will do, but that's not what a shower means." They were terribly embarrassed, they thought they knew about showers! So they went back, and got (multiple gifts: set of mugs with kitties on them, pretty kitchen towels, a set of steak knives, etc) My cat likes scented things, she picked these (multiple gifts: potpourri in pretty dishes, scented sachets, drawer liners, padded hangers) I like pretty things so I got these (multiple gifts: full set of real silver silverware in a wooden box, lace curtains, silk scarf, antique china that matched her set.) I have forgotten most of what I came up with for that whole game. This is a very incomplete list. I do recall her laughing herself silly, as more and more came out (blamed on the cats) afterward she said "So how much cash outlay did you put into that pile?" "Under $20.00! :D" I had paid for one of the pieces of the antique china, and the silverware set. Even the wrapping paper was dumpster kill (and none of it Christmas or birthday paper!) (bunch of it was Victoria's Secret, I didn't even know they SOLD all this stuff!)

When we moved to Missouri, it was interesting to watch as I chose what got packed and what didn't make the cut how much of my keep pile had been dumpster kill. The rental we are currently in, sitting at my desk, I see at least 20 items in this room that came out of the trash. All of it matches, works for what we want. I'm a connoisseur of trash :) I can see what I want in my head, and bring home any parts that match it. Kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle, where you look at the pieces and pick out the ones that will make the part you are working on. Just ignore the rest. I tend to scoop out the rest, and take it to the thrift stores, or senior citizens center, or leave toys in the park with a free sign on them. I hate seeing good stuff wasted, even if I don't want it. I used to take it to the flea market and sell it, one year after dumpster season, after I had taken out all I wanted, and my friends did too, the rest made me over $700.00 at the flea market.

Formidable Vegetable has a song called "No Such Thing as Waste" and he uses the word "disgrace" in connection with waste. I TOTALLY agree. It's disgraceful that I can find so much excellent stuff in the trash. It really is. It's bad manners toward the whole Earth.

 
pollinator
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A 20 KW pto generator.

It was ugly and rusted, beat up and bent, but after changing the gear oil, prying out the dents, painting it, and then buying a new PTO shaft for it, I had an $1800 generator working for around $200. I would have spent more than that for a 4000 watt generator than what I have in a 20,000 watt generator.

This is the ugly dumpster duckling now hardwired into my home.



DSCN0420.JPG
20 KW generator
20 KW generator
 
master gardener
Posts: 1906
Location: Maine, zone 5
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I have to go to the way back machine for this one.  Back when I was in grad school we used to get all kinds of great things from the apartment building's dumpster.  When people would move out they would often times just put stuff out by the dumpster.  We got a lot of furniture that way.  One time I snagged a vacuum cleaner.  It was plugged up and needed to be cleaned out before it could run.  Upon cleaning it I found a gold ring!  Wow.  

When my kids were going home from college each spring I always saw that the dumpsters were full of amazing stuff including unopened containers of all sorts of food...uggh...hate seeing so much good stuff tossed out!  I highly suggest hitting the dumpsters right after the college kids leave if you're near a school.
 
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
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I've saved hundreds of dollars picking up pallets and other wood from in and around dumpsters.  I have a stool and some shelves built from that wood.  I've given away several things made of that wood and made props for church plays.
My grandson and I are building him a treasure chest from scrounged wood.  We are even using home made glue that is water proof.  (I can explain that if anybody is interested.)  The handles will be made of salvaged copper pipe.

I pick up nearly every microwave I find.  I teach science and they have several bits and bobs that are good for use in science classes.
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Phil posted the glue recipe in the frugality forum. It's not organic at all, but looks really effective if that's not the priority to you. I'm going to try it!! https://permies.com/t/122270/Water-Proof-Glue#980855

 
gardener
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When I got to law school about a quarter century ago I had basically the contents of two suitcases.  Over three years I furnished a whole apartment from the throwaway items of departing students (I lived in a highrise university building that had a "garbage room" on each floor where people would leave the items too large to fit in the garbage chute to the dumpster in the basement.)  And when I left?  Except for what fit in my sedan, it all went back down the hall to the garbage room.  Hopefully it found new homes with younger students before the maintenance guys loaded it into the cargo elevator.  

It is absolutely the case that college kids leaving campus throw away tons of amazing, high-quality, stuff.  Coming from "poor folk" I was astounded by the pickings!  And at first I was contemptuous of wasteful rich kids.  But here is the reality, which confronted me by the time it was my turn to leave:

-- you are hundreds or thousands of miles from "home" or the location of your new job.
-- it's very likely you don't have permanent housing lined up yet at your next destination.
-- you probably live in a building where a garage sale is impossible: a controlled-access building, explicit prohibitions in your lease, etc.
-- your lease or your dorm access expires within days -- sometimes hours! -- after your final academic events; you have to clear your room in a hurry.
-- at that moment in your life you are probably exhausted from weeks of study, finals, and emotionally-complex departure rituals
-- movers or a rental truck would cost hundreds or thousands to load up and transport the stuff; is it worth it? Where to have them take it?
-- if you will have a roommate situation at your next destination, there may not be room for your shit there either.

All those factors combine into a wall of hopelessness.  "Fuckit, throw it all out, move on to the next stage of life" is a perfectly rational, if wasteful, reaction.   Some of the "rich kids" were less wasteful of the stuff than the rest of us; they could afford to call a mover, have their stuff packed by servants, and ship it, no worries.  (A few of the "big firm" law job offers in those days came with reimbursement of moving expenses, so why not?)  It was those of us with inherited "good stuff" that had no options; all of the "don't throw it away" choices would involve spending money, time, and mental resources that we just didn't have in that moment.  

It seems like the amazing quality of campus dumpster diving comes up in every one of these threads, so I just thought I'd explain what I learned "from inside" about why that's so.  
 
steward
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The 4 yards of linen from which this tunic was sewn...
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linen tunic
Tunic
 
pollinator
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I used to dumpster dive stores right after holiday seasons were up. I once found 40 tins of Christmas cookies still sealed in those metal tins that are painted with Christmas scenes. Not my most profitable dive, but one of my favorites.
 
pollinator
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One of those big cube shelving units about 7foot x 7foot. All the pieces were there. A friend spotted it while helping me move.
 
pollinator
Posts: 127
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I once found a 1981 Burton snowboard that I sold on ebay for $680

Another good one was a 1986 Power wheels Bigfoot I sold on Craigslist for $100

I am always on the lookout, found numerous things I actually use, too
 
pollinator
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My first salvage was a set of cast iron frying pans at the end of the school term in college.  Is there a theme here?  They were filthy!  But they are still primary tools in my kitchen.

When I was growing up, there was a little old guy who travelled the alleys of my town pulling a wagon and salvaging from people's trash.  When I expressed sympathy for his decrepitude once, my mother corrected my perception.  She told me he was actually quite wealthy from his salvage career.

I have furnished an apartment in a new town in two weeks of curbside collections.  Beds, rugs, table and chair set, etc. etc.  It still amazes me what people toss.  Right now, my van is carrying 2 room sized bound rugs and three patio tables.

Possibly my favorite haul was from a renovation of the local library.  Slabs of white marble countertops and 8 oak armchairs, not to mention all the old shelving.  Those armchairs are now spread out over three households and they are indestructible, quite handsome and very comfortable.  The modern furniture used to replace them is ugly and seems designed to move people along.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Not a dumpster,  but at the dump. A full pick up truck of brand new Pierre Cardin socks, with minor defects. Made some money on that score.  Waited until their company truck pulled away.  So, there's the added sweetness of getting away with it. 😈
............
To make it a fair contest, I'm not including anything from 24 years,  living off of the waste stream,  in the demolition business.  
Edit. Can't stop myself. ..  The house that my children grew up in.  Yay !!! I won,  I won, I won !!!  ...... what's that?.... my inner voice just said it's not a contest....oh.....self reflection. ..contemplating.... aaand ....... I'm back, and I still won😅
-----
Real edit this time. Looking at all of the loot, I  think we all won. And mother nature won, by giving all of this stuff a second life.
 
Posts: 27
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Consulting my long list of acquisitions:
The best all-time find was 60-70 lengths of 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4"  threaded rod. Yes, my life is held together with this stuff. Just had to buy nuts and washers.
Money.
A number of sleeping bags, backpacks, and first aid kits.
Multiple ice chests.
6 rolls of TP. It was just the cheap stuff, but who throws away unopened TP?!!!
Lots of vitamins from the local health store.
And that's not counting the extensive list of dived food. Yes, I've served friends dived steak.
And lots more.

DK
 
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there are industrial sales businesses that throw away every thing, let me repeat, everything that gets returned for whatever reason gets thrown into the dumpster, some of the best scores I made from one of them was a couple new electric water pumps that I sold on eBay for $1000 each. but the list is long, chainsaws, motors, water pumps, hydraulic pumps, power tools, chains, chain falls, ropes, hand tools, electronic meters, all kinds of very expensive stuff. one thing I still have is a Milwaukee magnetic drill, was new in the box, an awesome tool. yes industrial park dumpster diving can be very rewarding
 
Dale Hodgins
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Edit ... Oops. I should have read the previous comments. I told the same story not too far back in this thread.  I can't believe I covered almost all the same points before. Now I know why my kids can't hear my voice anymore . They've probably heard the same shit many times.
.......
I was at the dump in St Catharines Ontario, when the Pierre Cardin truck showed up. I laid a huge tarp out and he dumped his load of misprinted socks on top of it. The tarp was then folded over this load and the driver watched it being buried. Then the foreman of the dump carefully uncovered it and we split a load that contained thousands of pairs of socks. I was doing a lot of flea market stuff at that time.

Another time, some young fellows didn't pay their rent and they disappeared. Their landlord gathered up all of their leather jackets and leather motorcycle pants and riding boots. He was about to heave them into the big container, but instead we put them in the back of my truck. I did really well on those things.

The house my children were raised in was destined for the dump before I made my deal.

Just last month, I arranged for two houses that were slated for machine demolition , to be saved by a house moving company.

I've been making my living from the waste stream for 25 years. About 15,000 tons so far. Will we be deterring a winner in this thread?😂  Its probably best if we just add it all up and declare that we and the environment have all triumphed, collectively.
 
bruce Fine
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dale it sounds like you've got the system figured out and have the reclaiming system down to a science, good for you. ill never forget when my first corporate job moved me to Louisiana in the late 80's and took notice of these crews of guys in would disassemble old houses and pull all the nails from the lumber and haul it off to a yard where it was resold. Its too bad more people don't have a desire to put to use previously used items. I'm gonna nominate you for the pep badge or whatever it is.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1944
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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One time at band camp the county dump a guy was about to toss a disassembled motorcycle into a huge dumpster. It didn't look too bad so I asked if I could have it. Spent a few dollars on some gaskets & reassembled it. Rode it around a while then sold it for $500.
 
gardener
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Working at a small county landfill.  I had salvage rites.
In a box of miss. stuff / junk I found a 1920's colt firearm pamphlet with a price sheet for 1926.
I got $90.00 for it on line ,even with stains and some mouse chews!
 
William Bronson
gardener
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This year for Christmas , my daughter will be getting a new in the box sewing machine ,my son a pink salt lamp(don't ask), and my wife and I a crockpot and an electric pressure cooker.
All from a single dumpster haul.
The breast pump and new clothes that fit none of us, went strait to Saint Vincent De Paul, a thrift shop organization that also provides free prescriptions.

That last part is important.
I have learned the hard way that holding onto stuff that has no obvious future use is a burden to myself and my family.

Use it, sell it,  give it away, or leave it where you found it.
Don't let it becomes a millstone around your neck!

 
Dale Hodgins
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If I had to choose between salvage rights at the dump and being mayor of the city, I might just choose the dump. It would be like being King of the trash Heap , lord of the leftovers, vicount of the vultures.
 
Marco Banks
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As I was just reading some of these stories to her, my wife reminded me about what she used to use at the end of the academic year in the dorm.  She was a Resident Director of a dorm at a University, and every year at the end of the spring semester, she would take 8 cardboard boxes and with a big marker would write on them: "Please put your excess laundry detergent, drier sheets and softener in this box.  These things should not be thrown in the dumpster."  She would place a box in each of the laundry rooms on the floors -- 8 laundry rooms total.

A week later, she would go around and collect those boxes.  They would be filled with half-used boxes and bottles of laundry stuff.  We'd have all the detergent and drier sheets we needed for the rest of the year.  Students would stick a 20 lb. box of Tide that had barely been used into her "Leave it" box.  Thank you.  We'd get full boxes of drier sheets.  Even if the bottles of liquid detergent only had a little bit left, we'd combine the bottles and get dozens of free loads of wash out of it.

After we moved out of the dorm and bought our home, we still had laundry detergent for 2 years before we eventually used it all.
 
pollinator
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Dale Hodgins wrote:If I had to choose between salvage rights at the dump and being mayor of the city, I might just choose the dump. It would be like being King of the trash Heap , lord of the leftovers, vicount of the vultures.



Duke of the discards.. Earl of the leavings.. and not to forget, scourge of the seagulls!

Honestly, providing a second life for as much stuff as possible is probably a lot more important than what your average mayor accomplishes..

It makes me very sangry to visit the dump and see all the saveable stuff and materials getting chucked. No mechanism at all for re-use...
 
Ruth Meyers
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Son-in-law scavenged a fresh cut Christmas tree from someone's curb a few days ago.  I'm amused to imagine the spousal conversation in that household.
 
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A couple months ago I saw that some neighbors had set out what I thought was a set of cabinets---two lower cabinets and two upper cabinets. I was driving by and stopped and got out to look at them. Around here if you don't want something, you set it out at the end of your driveway and it magically disappears.  They were not upper/lower cabinets but were part of a bedroom suite from the 80s. The lower part had large drawers and the upper part had doors that opened to reveal shelves.  Each set was designed to sit on either side of a bed and there was a horizontal section that joined the two sets together across the top. However, it was being used in their garage so I didn't get that. But wow, were they a find! Made of solid oak--no veneer over particle board or plastic anywhere on them. Storage is an issue for me because I live in an old house that originally did not have closets (as many old houses don't!).  One set went in my huge bathroom for storage, and the other is in my sewing and craft room, also for storage.

I've found furniture, shelving, two galvanized walk-through gates; one 36" wide and the other 6' wide. All they needed was new chain link fence to put on them, which I had.  

Also scrounged oak for firewood, found tools laying in the road, plants, construction materials that were new and unused.  Just all sorts of things.

I'm definitely a scrounge.
 
Dan Boone
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Daniel Kaplan wrote:
6 rolls of TP. It was just the cheap stuff, but who throws away unopened TP?!!!



I actually know a couple of women who would do that, performatively, if someone else in their household who did the shopping dared to not buy their preferred triple-ply quilted brand.  Imagine a nasal whiny voice of outrage: "I'm not using that -- it's nasty!"

In fact I advised one poor boy not to marry that old girl, but did he listen?  He did not!
 
Dan Boone
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Ruth Meyers wrote:Son-in-law scavenged a fresh cut Christmas tree from someone's curb a few days ago.  I'm amused to imagine the spousal conversation in that household.



There's a story in my wife's family that one year, mom and dad got in a wrangle over whether to have a cut fresh tree or a plastic tree.  Dad got to the front door from the pasture with a fresh tree he'd cut at just about the same time as Mom arrived from Walmart with her preferred new plastic tree still in its box.  Apparently they got into a physical pushing and shoving match in the doorway as each one attempted to get their tree into the house first.  Ultimately, Mom won, because "she didn't want that ugly thing in her house."

I imagine your curbside fresh tree must have some sort of "interesting" story behind it of that sort.
 
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I am in UK, London and am always checking out the local recycling area.  People often leave their 'trash' beside the recycling containers.

Not sure about 'best thing' since that would probably be practical stuff, e.g. have salvaged lots of perfectly good kitchenware - bowls etc.  I am into naturalistic gardening and am always on the lookout for aesthetically pleasing adornments to add there.   Here is a photo of a perfectly good butterfly mirror someone didn't want.
butterfly-mirror-found.JPG
[Thumbnail for butterfly-mirror-found.JPG]
 
Dale Hodgins
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Continuing with an earlier theme.
......
The dump...

One man's trash, feeds another man cash

Carter of castoffs, just wash the crap off

Don't mind the crack, I'm cool with that

Builder from bins, others wasteful sins.

Smooth, rough or shiny, ginormous or tiny

Think someone will buy it, pile it and try it

A feast for the senses, I found these pipe wrenches

I no longer smell it, keep that I'll sell it

Junk from my stash, converted to cash.
......
I am the Salvage King, I can Sell Anything.
 
Dale Hodgins
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26 years ago, I was walking along a beach on Salt Spring Island, only five days after moving to British Columbia. Our new landlord, a history teacher and amateur anthropologist, had taken us for a boat ride.

That's when I discovered someone's garbage dump which had collapsed during a storm. It was a midden created by Coast Salish people thousands of years ago. I found a very smooth piece of sandstone which was embedded with jade dust. Someone had been sharpening a jade point or maybe shaping an art piece. There was a half round cutting tool , probably used to cut the hide and flesh of seals or other sea animals. There were many pieces of slate that had been flaked, in the process of making tools. The substrate was mostly oyster shells but also the bones of many creatures that were eaten.

We immediately bagged and marked where those things came from and when we got back to Vancouver Island, we made a call and the University along with the local Native band, did a dig and found lots of other neat stuff.

I asked Ted, my landlord if it was always this easy to find artifacts. He told me no, I have paid quite a bit of money to go to the Queen Charlotte's, now known as Haida Gwaii and other remote places and never found so much stuff, so easily. Beginner's luck he called it.

Later on when I got into the demolition business, Ted became my number one scrounger of scraps. He became so enamoured with free stuff that his wife asked me to refrain from telling him about every job. He went from casual hoarder, to Semi-Pro.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The most glorious find of my youth, was an enormous stack of Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler magazine, left in one of my dad's appartments, by a group of young guys who moved out. I was 13 and very interested in the articles contained in those magazines.😂

I found a suitable hiding spot in the basement. There was a gap between the cold air duct and the floor above. I stuffed about 10 ft of this space. The total haul was enough to fill a laundry basket.

I was not silly enough to take it all to my room. It was serious Contraband in our home. So I would only take a few with me at once, where I would READ them in less-than-ideal light. Its lucky I didn't go blind.😨

Eventually, some wanker, (my brother Robin,) learned where they were and was quite sloppy with our little library. He eventually allowed a loose cover , to fall on the floor to be discovered by my mother. And that was the end of it, except for a few that were hidden in my room. Robin had his sitting where they were easily discovered by my mother and he was declared the owner of the entire stash

My older brother Darryl, was assigned the task of firing up the burn barrel, to get rid of it all. He did this, but also burned quite a bit of newspaper and other things. That's because he wanted to have a nice big fire, despite having kept some of the library for himself.

Recycling can be really fun sometimes.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Dale Hodgins wrote:If I had to choose between salvage rights at the dump and being mayor of the city, I might just choose the dump. It would be like being King of the trash Heap , lord of the leftovers, vicount of the vultures.


I'd DEFINITELY take the dump over mayor! Not even a question in my mind.

Dale Hodgins wrote:The dump...

One man's trash, feeds another man cash

Carter of castoffs, just wash the crap off

Don't mind the crack, I'm cool with that

Builder from bins, others wasteful sins.

Smooth, rough or shiny, ginormous or tiny

Think someone will buy it, pile it and try it

A feast for the senses, I found these pipe wrenches

I no longer smell it, keep that I'll sell it

Junk from my stash, converted to cash.
......
I am the Salvage King, I can Sell Anything.



I'll claim the title of salvage queen :)
I have no idea how many tons of things I have scavenged over the years. My dad is a scrounger, and when I was 6 or so I went to the dump with him "this is the dump, everything here is free."  neat! Can I have this? "yes" and that? "yes" oooohh cool! A trash picker is born :)

When I was 17 or so his grandmother, who had raised him, (and had taught him to scrounge in the depression and dust bowl in Texas) who he loved more than his mom, was dying, and he was going to where she was. Mom didn't want him to go alone, but couldn't go with him, so I went. One day it was his birthday, we went out for a steak dinner, then we wanted to something non-depressing (as hospitals and chaos was very depressing) so we went to the small town dump (still dressed for dinner!) and loaded into the truck an antique rocking loveseat that we brought home. My mom is a great upholsterer, but that was SUCH a complex piece she took a class to learn how to do it, fascinated the teacher! That loveseat didn't make the move with us, unfortunately, for many reasons, I found it a great home. That's the kind of memories trash has for me....
 
pollinator
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Haven't found paydirt in dumpster diving yet, but plenty of free front-yard finds!

Wagon, sandbox, folding chairs, surfboard, a dismantled play structure, and plenty of free firewood

Found a box of hundreds of transformer toys when I lived in the old apartment - now I don't have to buy Christmas gifts for my boy many years!! (my wife does NOT like my thriftiness in this regard - we'll see if i can convince her.)
gift
 
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