Connect with us
[elementor-template id="151043"]


Picking Through Trash to Find Gold



Find Gold Trash

This past weekend was bulk trash pick up and as such I spent the majority of saturday morning pulling out any and all junk that was cluttering my garage and any other storage space I had.

When I bought my home, I used an alternative method to purchase it and because of this, the person who lived in the home before me left a good chunk of items and junk.  This was a pretty big windfall when my wife and I first moved in as it included a fully functioning lawn mower, gardening tools, and patio furniture.

Unfortunately she also left tons of ceramic and plastic pots, construction materials leftover from A/C work, and a shed full of items that are useless to me.

The past year I happened to be out of town both times when the  bulk trash pickup happened.

This year, I made sure that I would be home to finally get rid of all this junk…. or rather my wife made sure that I would.

As I began to toss my unwanted items out on the curb I witnessed a live-action version of the old adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

There were some items that were gone before I even made it back with another armful.

Check out this list below to see some of the items

Bulk Items Include:

  • Doors
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Appliances (remove doors)
  • Passenger car tires (remove rims; limit eight tires per household)
  • Lawnmowers (remove gas/oil)
  • Railroad ties (cut in half)
  • Pallets
  • Rolled fencing
  • Nail-free lumber

Bulk Item Collection Crews Cannot Collect:

  • Brush, household trash, cardboard boxes, hazardous materials, mirrors, automotive chassis and bodies, motorcycles, trailers, boars and tires that are still mounted on rims
  • Sheet glass and other construction and remodeling debris

Collection Guidelines

  • Place bulk items at the curb in front of your house by 6:30 a.m. on the first day of your scheduled collection week
  • Separate items into three piles as described below
  • To prevent damage to your property, keep items 5 feet away from your trash cart, mailbox, fences or walls, water meter, telephone connection box and parked cars. Do not place any items under low hanging tree limbs or power lines
  • Austin Resource Recovery only collects bulk items from its residential trash and recycling customers
  • Items will not be collected if they are in an alley in any area, including Hyde Park, in front of a vacant lot or in front of a business
  • Do not put items in bags, boxes or other containers. Bulk collection is for items too large to fit in containers. Bags will be treated as extra trash and are subject to extra trash fees

Separate Items into Three Piles

segregate trash

  1. Metal items – Includes appliances (remove doors). These are taken to our Resource Recovery Center for recycling
  2. Passenger car tires – Rims must be removed. Limit of eight tires per household. We cannot collect truck or tractor tires. Tires will go to a tire recycling facility
  3. Non-metal items – Includes carpeting and nail-free lumber. These items go to a landfill. Austin Resource Recovery is working on plans to salvage reusable items from bulk collection to help meet the City of Austin’s Zero Waste goal

Because these piles are collected by different trucks, they may be collected at different times throughout the week.

At one point I managed to catch one of the “pickers” as he was going through my items, he was completely courteous about it and simply asked if it was okay for him to take a look.

As I had already decided it was worthless to me I had no qualms with it, but I did have a question.

I asked him what he would be doing with it or what he was looking for.

His reply was simple, “scrap metal”

We had a short conversation about his business venture and he said that he could make  several hundred dollars in a weekend on scrap metal alone.

Bravo for him, that is definitely one way to make a little extra scratch!

Then I began to think about it, and took a walk up my street to see what some of my neighbors had decided to toss out.

Several sets of tires- that could be used for container gardens
A lawn mower that may or may not have worked ( the most common problem with a tossed lawn mower is a bad spark plug- a simple $2.00 fix, or a clogged air filter)

pallets and scrap wood that could be used for small construction projects

yard and gardening tools.

I have to admit, any prepper knowledgeable enough to know the pick up schedules in each neighborhood could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in a few hours of picking.

Think about it, you have instant access to presorted materials!

A word about etiquette coming from myself as a home owner- If they are outside when you pull up, Please introduce yourself and at least ask permission, it is extremely rude not to even acknowledge me as you sift through trash on my property.

Also DO NOT just begin tossing items around, I had to ask one person to leave as they began tossing items across my yard and into the street. I don’t mind you taking these things but I am not OK with paying a fine for littering because you were careless.

Be kind, courteous and quick, and you might be amazed at what you will find.

My wife had me on a short leash for the weekend, so I wasn’t able to bring anything in, but I’m curious to know if any of you have ever used bulk trash pick up and if so what is the coolest or most useful thing you have found?

Let me know in the comments below!

*As a final note, the above listing is based on my area. Be sure to check local guidelines for bulk trash pick up as it may be different where you live.

Learn more with these related articles from our site:

How to Make Rope from Recycled Plastic

The Many Uses of Shipping Containers

Make a DIY Raft Out of Trash Bags

Continue Reading


  1. Dale

    February 21, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    I’m a recycler, aluminum cans, shelves, and other odds and ends. Depends what it is and if myself or someone esle I know can use it.

    • Emma

      February 21, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      It is not only the trash pick up where you can make out big time. For years our children went to Cornell University when the students were moving out and furnished apartments, got computers and many other things to sell. When the semester is over many students toss out their books. My son gathered them and sold them on ebay. He always had more money than he needed for his own books for the next semester.

      • Walt

        February 23, 2013 at 8:56 AM

        I have a friend who has done this for years at UT. He never schedules anything during finals week for the fall and spring semesters.

    • Brian

      February 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I used to do security for a relatively expensive apartment complex which included the garage area. As I was patroling the garage one day I saw that this door was open when it usually wasn’t. As I got close enough to inspect it I noticed that there was a lot of interesting stuff being thrown way, I had found the trash bin for the apartment complex. As I went in and looked around I found a jewlery box that was made of wood and the only thing wrong with it was a hinge had came off. Well I’ve always have been good with my hands so I took it and repaired it and gave it to a girlfriend of mine. Watching her face light up made it all worth it.

  2. Del

    February 21, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    In Mad Town Taxconsin every mid-August is “move out day” for all the college students. They have a one-day mess all around the UW campus as students are forced to move out for a day, then move in (usually to a different apartment) the next day. Pickers have trouble trying to get it all there is so much. Furniture (St. Vincent has a field day picking up furniture!), small kitchen appliances, electronics, cleaning supplies, clothes, fans, dorm fridges – it’s all on the curb. If I’m in the area I’ll grab what I can use, then just load up stuff until I’m full and take it to either Goodwill or St. Vinny’s.

    I also keep a watchful eye on the curbs as I drive around. I’ve picked up a lot of good building material, etc. that way.

  3. Mariowen

    February 21, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Oh my, my husband and I will stop where someone leaves out things that they no longer have use for. We pick up anything we can use or repurpose into something else. Anything wood that isn’t stained or painted or varnished can be used as firewood. You can never, ever have enough firewood. Recycle what they aren’t wanting to recycle. The house next door was being cleaned up because the man had died and the bank was repossessing the house. As they did the clean up and clean out, we were there and took out a whole pickup load of stuff they were tossing – and they were tossing everything!

  4. Janice Hoover

    February 21, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    We have a friend who used to refinish furniture as a hobby. After he retired from his full-time job, he became a “picker” at neighborhood garage sales and by driving around early on junk pickup days. His garage was stuffed with a wide variety of items that he thought had potential. He was always fixing and refinishing and when he had enough items completed would have his own garage sale. Everything was profit because he got it free. Equally as important, his activities gave him purpose and kept him active — he is in his 80’s and going strong!

  5. B

    February 21, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    When we have things that we no longer want, need or may need repair, we just set them on the curb and they are usually gone by the end of the day.

  6. Wayne Hennie

    February 21, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    I used to have a morning paper route growing around Cleveland Ohio.. on “garbage day” my Mom would check my paper bags as I can home to see what SHE had to throw away.. I loved going through peoples trash as they cleaned out their garages and basements.. one thing I found an still have is a pair of old ice tongs.. and a brass army trumpet , which I used to blow from our garage rooftop and annoy the hell out of my nosy neighbor. I was on a dive trip in the Bahama’s one time years ago and saw a ship about 75′ long docked .. it had old bicycles, lawn chairs, garden hose box springs, etc etc tied to the bulkheads and strapped all over the ship..Being Ex-navy I’d never seen anything like it.. I went up and talked to the skipper.. he was from Haiti and what he did was he had a pickup truck in Miami. He would dock the boat, and drive the neighborhoods on trash day picking.. and bring it back to his boat, haul it over to Haiti and sell it there.. I have a picture of his boat somewhere if you want to see it sometime.. I used think.. The Free Enterprise system alive and well..Making money from other folks trash is a cool idea.. in my book.

    • Joe

      February 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      Hey Wayne, that is a great story, I would love to see those pictures if you have them!

  7. Jackson

    February 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I have been a trash/rubbish picker from an early age. I remember one occasion when I was about 5 or 6 years old I brought home to my mother a discarded peanut butter jar that still was about 1/3 full of peanut butter. Needless to say, that item was in our trash the next pickup day. Perhaps my best find was a discarded washing machine which I repaired and used for many years until it was worn out.

  8. Ned

    February 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    For over a year I worked in a recycling center, where the city’s trash was sorted. Workers were forever finding cash and jewelry (one man found a purse with $2500USD). ALWAYS check pockets.

  9. Evangeline Williams

    February 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    My husband and I have done all of the obove. He is now very sick and I cannot leave him long enough to do any but we do have some very good items that we picked up. Also many that we gave away, sold or other wise put to use. Good going.

  10. Stu Ashley

    February 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Hi All;
    We feel hauling stuff to the dump or “transfer station” should be a last resort. Garbage (except meat) goes into the mulch bin and eventually into the garden. Anything of value can be left at the edge of the property. (We don’t have a “curb.”) Even broken cement blocks apparently are useful to some folks. We also regularly give to any non-profit group that will take building materials, furntiure, appliances, or clothes. And heating the house with scrap wood is a good idea. Avoid dump fees and gain valuable heat.
    Cheers! Stu.

  11. Mariowen

    February 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    We drove by a storage place and they were giving away all the stuff from a shed where the renters hadn’t paid for a long time. All the stuff was placed outside by the road and we became the fortunate owners of a lot of stuff. One thing was boxes and boxes of clothing that was in great shape. I brought it home, washed everything that was washable and now have clothes to donate to those in need. What a great find.

  12. Picker

    February 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    “Picking” is a of life for me & my wife–look for useful discarded items everyday of the year, even on vacation–I do not even buy tires, which for my vehicles run $200 to $300 each, saving at least $5,000 so far–Combine picking with Craigslist scavenging, you can get most of what you want for free–being courteous to people also brings rich rewards–if you are at a “pick”, be neat, talk to the person if there, & often you are offered even nicer stuff they do not want but did not want to put out–Also, give stuff away to neighbors that need something & they will be there if you need help with something–indeed, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

    • Joe

      February 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Thanks for the comment about picking!

      Your reference to craigslist just reminded me of something.
      I hadn’t look on the site in a while and last weekend I noticed that they now have a maps feature for postings. THIS IS HUGE
      Now if some one has free items out ( it also works on for sale items) you no longer have to waste time calling them to get the address! you can pick and plot which places you want to hit before ever heading out, saving time and money.

  13. Duane

    February 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    With the advent of Flat Screen TV’s, my wife and I found 2 30″ (or so) color TV’s sitting out on the curb with signs that said “Free”. It was a perfect find for my garage (Man Cave). We only took 1 thinking taking both would be too greedy : )

    • Joe

      February 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      check the free section on craigslist, I’ve found dozens of big screen tv’s the older ones as well as newer DLP tv’s that are all free.
      Most of the DLP ones just need a new bulb- so for around 300 bucks you can have a near brand new 60″ big screen.

      Of course you can now get a flat screen LED for the same price… but you can’t win them all

  14. Lindalee

    February 21, 2013 at 10:16 AM is a site dedicated to recycling all those things which would end up in land fills, I love it, you can get rid of that stuff that is no longer useful to you and find things you need.

    • Joe

      February 21, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I have tried to use freecycle, but apparently in austin it has not taken root yet… I love the concept but the group here is non responsive and the site is trashed ( no pun intended)
      I am glad that it works for you though!

  15. Sam In Pa

    February 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    My husband used to think he was a little too upper class to be a picker at these events. Then we started rehabbing buildings and renting them out. After he saw how tenants ruined things or broke them, he began to see the value in getting “free” stuff that could be used to make repairs. So now, we routinely look for good lumber items – scraps of plywood, 2 x 4s, windows, doors, etc. You’d be surprised what people throw out. We also utilize Yahoo’s “Freecycle” group. You can post things you want to get rid of, and things you would like to obtain. I get used working appliances there, and I get rid of furniture that tenants leave behind.

  16. John

    February 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    My wife and I are the recycle center for our small town. We get all sorts of stuff, the tin, aluminum and other metal goods we can take and sell. It pays for our fuel to take the other items to the recycle center in the big town 40 miles away.

    We also have found some interesting items to keep for use around our place. We have some really good lumber that for some reason people just throw away. Fencing material too, we are working on putting up a fence that will cost much less than if we had to buy the parts to do it with.

  17. Gary D.

    February 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    I’ve been doing this for a few decades now for different reasons. It was so lucrative that I opened up a very large and successful 2800 sq. ft. second hand store that I solely ran for about 8 years, unfortunately there was an electrical fire and it ended the business and I retired. It was the most popular store in the retail district.

    The one thing I’d like to add here is that lot of trash is tied up in plastic garbage bags. “If you open the bag and dig thru it make sure you tie it up again.” It’s proper junk picking etiquette.

    Picking is very popular in my area and there are too many that give the rest of us a bad name which can cause problems. In my city it’s illegal to pick trash on the actual trash pickup day, so you start a day or so ahead and also the night before. Basically according to this law, it’s not city property until the pickup day. So check with your local laws before you start doing this or you may end up in some trouble.

    Also, each town usually has it’s own schedule and laws. My city has different sections for trash day divided by dates, there’s usually a different section every week. Yet a nearby town only has trash pickups only a few times a year.

    People throw out all kinds of very valuable stuff, many times without knowing it. I’ve picked up things from very valuable antiques, gold & silver jewelry to CASH. In fact I can’t remember a time I haven’t found some money, the most was $25.00 in change inside a coffee can.

  18. martha

    February 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I lived in military base housing for over 20 years. When people are moving to their new duty station, you have to make under a certain weight allotment in order for the military to move your personal and household items with no out-of-pocket costs to you, and the overage costs are sky-high, so people get rid of a lot. Add to that if you’re moving overseas, a lot of the housing is considerably smaller than in the US…moving to Japan means that you’re going to have to get rid of all your furniture and appliances, or put it in storage. As a result of this, a few of the things I’ve gleaned are: carpets, curtains, blankets, an antique dresser for 50 bucks, two antique oak chairs, virtually new clothes for my kids, just about anything you can think of for gardening, pots and oak barrels to garden in (you can grow in a pot, you can’t dig up the yard and flowerbeds in housing), trash cans of pre-sorted aluminum cans that I hauled to town(free money!), pots, pans, mason jars….the list goes on and on. Granted, when we moved we had to get rid of things, but there are some things you just don’t toss.

    • Irene C

      February 22, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      I spent many years in military housing also so I know what you mean. When we went to Germany, we had our washer and dryer with us. Needless to say, it was useless due to the electric power difference. Another couple was leaving for stateside and they had a Mercedes Benz that they couldn’t take with them and they needed a washer/dryer. So we traded. They got a “free” washer/dryer and we got a “free” car.

  19. rev. dave

    February 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Half my furniture came from the dumpsters in my apartment complex. I have 2 new mountain bikes and two fairly used cruiser bikes from here as well. Pots, pans, slow cooker, rotisserie oven too. I’ve also found and taken parts from 3 rear-projection TVs – they have huge Fresnel lenses in the screens, and each of them also has 3 heavy glass magnifying lenses in them. I have sheets of leather that I use for gear and craft projects which came from discarded leather furniture.

    I used to have a collection of 1/4, 1/3 and 1/2 hp electric motors from larger appliances but lost those in a divorce. I even got a free snow-blower, a Honda Gold-wing, tons (literally) of oak firewood, a few loads of usable pre-cut lumber, numerous tools, etc. by simply picking it up when I had the opportunity.

    • MVS

      March 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Funny you mention the rear-projection. Just last weekend, after it had an electrical problem I couldn’t easily fix, the kids & I took it apart (I kept them away from the capacitors and such), it was a good experience for them. Took the fresnel lense, and also the magifying ones, and burned leaf or two.

      What I realized was this was a great way to restock my screw, nut and bolt collection. The plexiglas is nice too. Thought maybe some of the other parts might be useful to someone with the same Sony TV.

  20. Joy

    February 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I spend weekends in ditches and roadsides picking up aluminum cans to sell. I also find other pieces of scrap metal (lots of truck rims, hubs, lugnuts, etc) in the ditches as well. It helps keep my local area semi-cleaned up, and it puts money in my pocket for supplies for my stash-closet.

  21. Bev

    February 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    It’s counterproductive for me to go to the landfill..I usually come home with more stuff than I took! Contractors tend to throw out any excess lumber, etc. from a house project…
    Some of my relatives in a different state told me their landfill had a building where people could leave useable/fixable items, and pick up anyone else’s items at no charge…sounds like a great idea. Too bad more communities don’t do that.

    • VA Guy

      February 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Unfortunately, it’s not allowed in our county landfill to pick up stuff anymore. Before then we got a few nice bikes, and a large office desk which I’m using right now. And yes, there were days when I came back with more than I left home with.

  22. andy

    February 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    In my community (and also in NYC)once it’s brought down to the street, the town/city owns it. People occasionally get arrested here for going out the night before garbage day, and picking up newspaper and cans set out for recycling. The city wants the money for these items and will prosecute those who beat them to it.

  23. John

    February 21, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Yes, in my area I notice all kinds of people cruising my neighborhood the night before garbage pick-up looking for scrape metal to sell.
    What amazes me is I see people in everything from pick up trucks to nice SUVs to small cars like a Honda looking for stuff, it must be a sign of the times with so many people out of work.
    I did recently pick up a perfectly good lawnmower that a lady was throwing out, all it needed was gas I am still using it.

  24. Grannie Annie

    February 21, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    My husband worked in a custom furniture industry where there were often scraps of exotic woods being trashed. He was allowed to pick through and salvage cherry, teak, and many varieties of Brazilian woods. He’s a master woodcraftsman as well as an engineer. I have a beautiful Parson’s table he made for my birthday from such scraps as well as many re-purposed commercial file drawers that are now bedroom dressers, table tops converted to headboards, etc. all of solid cherry that costs us little or nothing. Good for the environment and for the budget!!

  25. ME

    February 21, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    In Albuquerque, NM 49 years ago on bulk trash day as they went by our house my 2 year old son saw a toy plush monkey on the top of the load. He began talking and pointing and the man manning the truck gave the monkey to him!! It was a very dirty little guy but we washed him and let him get dry–he was the most loved monkey in the world and we still have him in the family minus one plastic hand but my great grand daughter doesn’t care!!

  26. Phil

    February 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    All good stories,, been ‘pickin’ for nesrly 40yrs.. Yep, money, too! there were dumpsters at the city shop in a retirement town where I used to live. My wife used to cuss me for dragging things home, lumber, doors, cast iron cookware.. Once a gallon mason jar over half full of change..(she was soon helping…) When the oldies passed away, the families just cleaned out their stuff, not wanting to deal with it.. SCORE!! I’ve been accused of collecting junk,, now, being politically correct,,, I recycle! I’m always giving stuff to someone whose looking for an item they don’t want to buy new.. We also have a ‘Re-Store’ here with Habitat for Humanities which has great stuff and graciously accepts unwanted household treasures as well.. Y’all keep on pickin, ya hear!! Great job! So nice to hear I’m not alone in this!!

  27. Mar

    February 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Great story ! Yes anyone can find great stuff during bulk pic up BUT why wait to get rid of things you no longer need?

    Find a local group by searching “FREECYCLE.COM” and not only give away useable stuff but ask for items you need.

  28. jim e

    February 23, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    been a “picker” for decades… used to live in a college town of pretty substantial size, was out & about one fine spring day, and saw literally tons of furniture, tv’s, stereo’s, small appliances, etc. in the proximity to the student housing dumpsters, the light came on, scampered over to the local you-renta-truck-and/or-a-trailer franchise, rented their 24 footer truck ( at that time, you got 6 months of free storage from this nationwide chain with truck rental ) for 2 days, and headed back to school. filled the truck with mostly small items, stored them, cleaned up what was needful, painted the sort that would benefit, and come fall, had a HUGE yard/garage sale when kids returned to school, made scads of free money, and repeated for a few years. one of my most memorable sales was a little lass who just LOVED that futon and coffee table set, ” it looked just LIKE my set from last year”! lol probably was (-;

  29. Junker 4 Life

    February 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Hey there guys and gals.Just a word of caution before you start looking for Gold along the streets during trash day. I live in Southern NJ. A lot of Townships and Municipality’s in this state have laws against pulling out certain recyclables from the curbside piles. My brother has been scraping for years. He has been approached by several police officers,and local Township workers. They all told him that what he was doing was against the law,and not to be seen doing this again. Fines and jail time were even brought up in a few conversations. So be careful where and when you are looking. Better yet ,check with your local Municipality on there laws. Good Luck, and keep on scrapin.

  30. Ann Clarke

    February 24, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    We recycle as much as we can, and give stuff away on Freecycle, but over here in the UK it is illegal to take stuff from skips unless you ask permission of the owners.

    If we want the council to take large items away, they charge us. Smaller items are taken by them to be recycled, but things like small electricals and old computers, we have to take the the local recycling centre ourselves if we can’t give them away.

  31. jay

    February 25, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I work for a waste colection firm and its against the rules to scavenge but asking is a grey area. I have come home with silver gold jewlery ( dimonds, emeralds ) tools. I have even picked up a car that an angry wife was going to scrap

  32. SCSharon

    February 25, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    We used to have a newspaper route, early AM, and got to calling Trash Day, shopping day…we found furniture, books, antiques, chairs, (I love chairs!) I found some Christmas trees, made out of steel and plastic that were really cool… My kids got embarrassed about it, as they got to be teens, tho…
    Saved plenty on furniture, etc. A treasure hunt.

    • ME

      February 25, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Cheyenne, Wyoming has great free cycle and online garage sales. You can ask for what you need or give away what you don’t want any more–works really well and if you wait long enough everything gets there!

  33. GG

    February 28, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    College town Dumpster Days! Always profitable where wasteful students will just ask Daddy for new next year. Finds have included: Schwinn Cruiser; a tandem bike; solid oak furntiure; lots of paper, pens, and backpacks; canned food (including a shrink-wrapped 10 pk of Starkist tuna with 1 can removed); new blender in the box; microwave oven that needed a spring for the door; inline skates (in our sizes); Drover Oilskin coat.
    My pantry shelves are built from industrial shelving tossed from a warehouse. The wooden, louvered, bi-fold doors for our linen closet are one set of about 10 we picked up.
    If something different is in our house when our son visits, he always asked “was it free?”

  34. Fritty

    March 7, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    In 1969 my husband volunteered to mow the church lawn in another town and I rode along. On the way I saw a hide-a-bed loveseat partially open on the sidewalk a few blocks from the church. I wanted to stop and look because we needed a small sofa but he said “No, it’s trash!” I left him mowing and said I was going “shopping”. I went back and knocked on the door of the house to ask if it was okay to take the sofa. They said yes so I said I’d get my husband and we’d pick it up. They dragged it up their driveway so no one else could get it while I was gone! I picked him up and brought him back to get it. He was really unhappy. The people even brought out the cushions which they had in the house and were planning to keep but they gave them to us. When we got home, my husband discovered to fix the loveseat he just needed to turn the screw which was sticking out in the bed mechanism and it shut! We had a like new hide-a-bed loveseat that fit perfectly in our tiny living room. However, sorry to say that today I would very carefully clean anything I picked up and probably would skip upholstered items due to drugs and their residue — at least where we live. Probably online sites are better than the curb here.

  35. Gabrielle Miller

    March 11, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    The county landfill used to let people get in and dig around. Now they haven’t for several years. I used to bring home old dinette tables, and kitchen chairs, dressers, etc. My husband is a welder. He would fix up the broken metal parts. Then I would spray paint the metal parts gold, brass, or black. I would repad the seats and cover with material. He would also repair any broken drawers on dressers etc or other wood items. I would sand and stain dressers, wood chairs, end tables. How many sets of repaired tables and chairs we have given away to people who were in need. Even a few old bedroom sets that were scrapped. When people are in need and have to watch every penny, they are not too uppy to use things that have been fixed up and made “new” to them. My grandparents would make 3 or 4 trips a year to poor sections of Mexican towns and donate clothes that we have been given or bought at church rummage sales, yard sales or people just call us to pick them up. We would wash them, and repair things like buttons, zippers and seams. Anything not decently wearbable was cut into rags for cleaning etc. We had churches where would stay and do the giveaways. Grama would use her tithe money and buy food supplies from local stores in where we were going to give money or buy in bulk here at home. My step grandpa was from way down in Mexico so we never really had problems going through the border as he could tallk with them. My Grama taught me what it was like to live and survive in the Great Depression. She was a hoarder to a point but she would always give what she had and share. She did not like dogs or cats but she would always feed strays. Go figure. I hope I never have to live with kerosene lamps and wash on a board for a long time, but I have had experiences on the short term when money was really short and did just that. I lived ok. Reuse, recycle, renew. Help others out. I feel at peace reading all the posts knowing that there are people who are not lazy and are of a like mind to survive, and be kind to others. Bless you.

    • Ann Clarke

      March 12, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      That’s a lovely story. Not enough people like that around anymore. There is so much selfishness in the world now.

      Thanks for sharing your memories!

  36. Nancy L. Pate

    August 16, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    I’ve been a recycler for forever. My dog even got into the act one morning. We came upon a huge pile of “trash” and at the very top was a stuffed animal. Up the pile she went and down she came with it in her mouth. She high stepped it home with nary a stop, pulling me behind her literally as I was hysterical with laughter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyright © 2020 Survival Life. This copyrighted material may not be republished without express permission. The information presented here is for general educational purposes only. MATERIAL CONNECTION DISCLOSURE: You should assume that this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the persons or businesses mentioned in or linked to from this page and may receive commissions from purchases you make on subsequent web sites. You should not rely solely on information contained in this website to evaluate the product or service being endorsed. Always exercise due diligence before purchasing any product or service. This website contains advertisements.