Author Topic: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain  (Read 8170 times)

Toorg

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Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« on: January 21, 2024, 01:50:14 AM »
Been living in two apartments over the course of a few years of my postdoctoral research job in a major US city. You would not BELIEVE what people throw out and leave by the dumpster. In order of appearance, I have rescued and put to use:

- A solid wood coffee table (currently in my living room).

- A tall fancy standing jewelry box (given to a little girl in my extended family)

- A 50 inch TV that was perfectly functional but had a snapped electrical cord that could be replaced for $15 once you looked up the right part number (replaced my 2010 TV that was starting to have lines of not quite right color)

- A second solid wood coffee table (it's a reasonably sized living room)

- A solid wood endtable that must be at least 70 years old (needs some finishing but way better than IKEA)

- And just today, what the hell, a perfectly maintained perfectly functional 1968 typewriter with its original manual that apparently sells at enthusiast shops for up to $300

It's just stunning. I understand if you need to downsize or get rid of something, but good stuff like this straight to the dumpster rather than given away or sold?

uniwelder

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2024, 05:14:27 AM »
Amazing what gets tossed, particularly in my college town. Thereís always lots of cheap plastic and particleboard stuff, but also nearly new bicycles, box fans, laptops, rolls of paper towels and toilet paper. My best find was a solid wood Queen Anne table set by a dumpster. Itís one of the nicest pieces of furniture in my house.

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2024, 06:23:48 AM »
I don't have an example of stuff that gets tossed, but stuff that gets sold.

I now have a really impressive collection of absolutely beautiful cashmere sweaters. Aritzia is a really popular store here, and I guess they sell a lot of cashmere tops, retailing for over $200 each.

Anyhoo, young women buy them and then end up reselling them a few years later for $10-20 because they're covered in pills. They tend to advertise them as "a bit worn," because they don't realize the pills can be removed.

I guess their parents never taught them about sweater razors??

So now I have literally thousands of dollars worth of designer cashmere tops that take me about 10 minutes to razor, and they look brand new.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2024, 01:19:16 PM »
I have also rescued things left behind from apartments.  Computer desk, solid pine Ikea table and chair, floor lamps.  Could have taken more if I had had the space.

Just Joe

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2024, 01:53:59 PM »
Way back when I was in the military, it was the same thing. People unloading all sorts of things before transferring to a new duty station. Excellent selection of used items for sale and often for free. Cars included. I bought one for $50, friend bought one for $150. I bought another for $250 (sold it for ~$4K later). Also the shops overseas - like the bookshop and hardware store - would dump periodicals and the hardware store would dump returns.

We fished all sorts of things out and used them or bartered with them eventually.

Josiecat22222

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2024, 07:41:59 PM »
@Metalcat-- I agree!! you can pry my sweater razor from my cold dead hands! I am constantly amazed that so many people have never heard of this magical device.  I wear predominantly wool in the winter and I keep my 10+ year old sweaters in mint condition due to that thing.  DS even used it this week to freshen up his favorite hoodie.  Those things have a 3000% ROI.

Chris Pascale

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2024, 08:21:07 PM »
In an interview of Yeonmi Park, who escaped from North Korea, she talked about how 'people will just throw away a mattress.'

And that's how she got a mattress while living in the USA.

MayDay

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2024, 06:13:28 AM »
I think it can be hard to get someone to come get your stuff.

Also if people are moving they run out of time at the end. And most Americans don't live in dense enough areas where if the set things put with a free sign it will necessarily get taken promptly before trash pickup.

My sister lives in MX and it's a very different culture around stuff. The trash people come daily and they sort by hand through all your trash and separate out all the recycling and such, but also pull out everything of potential resale value, and they keep and sell it. Imagine if our trash people did that instead of sending everything to the landfill. In doorman buildings, the doormen take a first pass of pulling out tings of resale value.

At the end of the day Americans have too much money (or availability of credit) to bother. So into the landfill it goes. I don't think setting it out on the curb for free is a bad thing over selling/donating though.  And you never know why someone is setting something out.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2024, 02:52:54 PM »
Being a bachelor at the time, I used to get furniture donated to me, even though it was pretty clear that I had enough money to buy it.

I guess I was a "worthy cause" at that point.   And I had room for it, even in a small apartment.

iris lily

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2024, 02:59:35 PM »
We dumpster dived for decades in the dumpsters behind our house. One time someone put a live baby human in the dumpster behind our house, but we didntít find the baby, our neighbor who was rehabbing a house found the baby..

She was fine, she lived, the weather was chilly but not freezing.

But yeah, we found lots and lots of good stuff in or around the dumpster. DH taught me to look inside the dumpster for drawers of large cabinets piled next to the dumpster. Usually they were there.

It was always my goal to sell at least one alley find at our parkís annual fundraiser. Usually all they needed was a bit of cleanup.

And because we had a teuck, we could run around to nearby neighborhoods on their bulk pickup days and snag good stuff. Dor many years all of our upholstered furniture came from the alley, free. I stopped doing that when bed bug infestations became a thing.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2024, 09:31:26 AM by iris lily »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2024, 03:45:23 PM »
I think it can be hard to get someone to come get your stuff.

I find it very difficult to give things away, even with a curb alert, because when I advertise the item I'm deluged with demands to "hold" it (for people who never show), or to deliver it. However, when I put the same item out with a "For Sale: $25" it will be stolen almost instantly.

theninthwall

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2024, 03:48:34 PM »
My people!

We've lived in apartment complexes for a few years now and OP is right, they are gold mines for furniture. We have literally furnished half our house with our finds. The current list stands at:

- Our best find, three identical desks each worth over $500 (https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/Home-Garden/Modern-Style-Wooden-Writing-Desk-with-Unique-Metal-Legs-Walnut-Brown-and-Gold/24230074/product.html?opre=1&option=40743384)
- A retro/industrial looking square table/desk thing
- Small Ikea side table
- Flat screen TV (technically this was given to us by someone in the apartments, but it would have been thrown out)
- Two really nice stools we use for guests when they come over
- A cool floor lamp
- One of those ladder style book shelfs that rests against the wall
- Outdoor set with two chairs and a little table, on which rests a candle-holding Buddha we also rescued from the trash
- Various plants
- Full set of crockery, cutlery and glassware
- Brand new pots and pans
- A slow cooker (again, also technically given to us but about to be thrown away)
- A TV unit we use as storage in our bedroom
- A giant glass vase thing
- A modern looking acrylic coffee table (https://www.walmart.com/ip/IKIFLY-Modern-Glossy-White-Coffee-Table-W-LED-Lighting-Contemporary-Rectangle-Design-Living-Room-Furniture-MDF-2-Tiers/112176761)

I'm sure there is more. It's ridiculous. We're at the point where we have found even nicer things to upgrade the things we already found. We donate what we have and take the nicer stuff!

Sanitary Stache

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2024, 06:12:52 PM »
I just helped a friend move. I took home three shopping bags of things too valuable for me to throw out. Some of the things I couldnít throw out were a certain type of glass jar I use. But other things were somewhat valuable.

We threw away many more things that held value.

There wasnít time. My friend had no other friends to help move things let alone get things to a place they could be used. Selling them would have taken much longer. This friend works and commutes and solo parents a young kid. Moving out of this house meant moving out of an abusive relationship.

We threw away a bunch of shit that had value to someone. We threw away a bunch of shit that could have been recycled. But we didnít have the capacity to deal with everything in the most responsible method.

I imagine the hoards of people in the world who can barely handle their lives make the same kind of choices often.

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2024, 06:28:26 PM »
^ interesting. Where I live it's literally easier to donate stuff than to throw it out.

sonofsven

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2024, 08:29:04 PM »
Yeah, I get so much free stuff as a building contractor/carpenter, it's crazy. During building projects people throw away all kinds of good stuff. And I'm often in the fancy neighborhoods during the day for work and get some good stuff put out for trash day,
Last summer I got a 10 year old Weber gas grill. I spent about $30 on new burners and it was good to go. It replaced a perfectly good one, but it was 23 years old, so the new one is nicer looking. It was out by the trash cans, so I knocked on the door. They said to take it if I wanted it, so I did. They bought a new one at Costco, I saw them next time I was there, $999.00. Really it needed a good cleaning and new burners.
I gave the old one to my ex, she opened a bar and uses the gas grill to cook oysters on the half shell, so it lives on! I'd replaced most of the parts over the years so it should last for a few more years, at least.
I've gotten woodstoves, cars, furniture, old solar panels, building materials, plants, a hot tub; some of it I sell, some of it I keep.
I go through purging periods where I sell a bunch of stuff on craigslist (I'm in one now, actually). It's more fun to sell stuff you got for free. I have to push back against the hoarding gene, lol.
Sometimes I take stuff just to help people out, like I took a free Asko dishwasher that I have the same model of at home, that I can use for parts, or install a new door spring and use, or strip the parts and sell them on ebay.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 08:32:50 PM by sonofsven »

DeniseNJ

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2024, 07:18:16 AM »
When I lived in the projects, we would just put stuff in the hall.  Before you got inside your apartment and locked the door, the thing would be gone!  Over the years, I've "thrown stuff out" bc I just assumed someone else would stop by and take it.  I certainly have.  It's hard in the city if you don't have a car, although I have dragged furniture on the subway.  But in the suburbs, I've picked up lots of stuff from the curb. 

I always assumed someone put stuff out they didn't want for other people to take, not to actually be thrown out into a landfill.

Sibley

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2024, 07:48:16 AM »
This is a result of the fact that there is simply too much stuff in the world. That's all. When items are scarce, or you aren't able to easily acquire replacements, then of course you keep them or resell them vs trash them. Nothing crazy about it. And I have put stuff out for the taking, knowing that it would get picked up. And it did. It's easier for me and I'm not going to complain.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2024, 07:58:40 AM »
Last house I put so much out on the edge of the road before the move since I had no room for it in the new place.  It all disappeared within a few hours.  The trick was to put it out on a nice day.  The house was in a rural farming area, on a not very busy road.

When the county had the large trash pickup day, people would put out piles. They would be reduced by 1/3 by the time the trucks actually came.

I think the fact that so many people had pickups, because it was a farming area, made it easier for people to pick up stuff.

SpaceCow

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2024, 08:10:47 AM »
Most of the power equipment in my garage was obtained for free, mostly garbage picked:

-Commercial straight-shaft Echo weedwhip
-Pressure washer with Honda 5HP engine (needed a pump, $100 on amazon)
-Toro Recycler self-propelled Push Mower, a high-end model at that!
-6 different chainsaws (most don't run, haven't fixed yet)
-Rotary brush cutter

I haven't figured out why people are throwing out stuff that starts up and runs fine. The only thing that I can think of is that being able to properly start up a small engine is an uncommon skill.

jeninco

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2024, 04:16:37 PM »
Our kid is attending college within (very easy) driving distance, but I realized some things at dorm move-out day last year:
- Stuff is cheap (probably way too cheap, but that's a different -- and related -- topic)
- shipping stuff is relatively expensive
- storing stuff can also be pretty expensive, if you don't have a friend with a larger place to help you out.

Specifically, decent computer monitors are really cheap. When you move out of the dorms to go home, you can either toss them, ship them (which will probably cost more than the monitor did in the first place) or .. what, try to fly with them? And all your other stuff?

So, for all the people who have to clear out a dorm or an apartment relatively quickly, throwing stuff out is the only real feasible solution. (Especially if you have finals right up until you have to move out.)  Responsible colleges (he's attending a bit state U, and they are NOT doing this) will create a place for people to donate stuff -- and then make it easy for students to browse the donated stuff immediately upon arrival, so they don't re-purchase it.

But yeah -- anything that's easier/cheaper to re-purchase at the other side of your move than it is to carry or ship is going to get tossed.  This is inspiring me a bit to try to reach out to places where this happens the most, and see if there's a way to make it easier for people to donate than to throw out.

crocheted_stache

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2024, 06:02:19 PM »
I've rescued a whole assortment of furniture, tools, small appliances, and appliance parts that happen to match mine (but were in better shape), among many other things.

I've also put out various things during large trash pickup, with the intention that someone adopts them before the trash truck comes. Usually I can guess what will "sell" this way, and I intentionally keep it separate so it will be easy to people to see and take without making a mess.

I've given away and gotten many things on the various free groups, too. It's a little more effort to create the post, but it's also a pretty good trade-off when somebody comes and hauls something away for you, especially when that thing is large or heavy.

tygertygertyger

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2024, 06:56:32 PM »
Our neighbors were throwing out a real wood play kitchen - like a classroom quality one. We grabbed it, replaced the fake oven knobs (it was missing one) and repainted the stove lines. Sold it for $75 with no effort. We spent maybe $3 on supplies. So easy!

We know someone a couple blocks away that has taken up picking up free stuff, fixing it if needed, and reselling for a decent side hobby. He enjoys it and is glad to keep stuff out of the landfill.


kanga1622

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2024, 07:49:17 AM »
So, for all the people who have to clear out a dorm or an apartment relatively quickly, throwing stuff out is the only real feasible solution. (Especially if you have finals right up until you have to move out.)  Responsible colleges (he's attending a bit state U, and they are NOT doing this) will create a place for people to donate stuff -- and then make it easy for students to browse the donated stuff immediately upon arrival, so they don't re-purchase it.

But yeah -- anything that's easier/cheaper to re-purchase at the other side of your move than it is to carry or ship is going to get tossed.  This is inspiring me a bit to try to reach out to places where this happens the most, and see if there's a way to make it easier for people to donate than to throw out.

I have LOVED the years our local college partnered with Goodwill to have a large trailer in the parking lot. Then they have staff volunteer to help collect items and load them into the Goodwill trailer. Gives all those mini-fridge, microwaves, computer monitors, clothes, etc. a chance at being used again. And we find a lot of random community members use it as an excuse to donate as well. We have an actual Goodwill shop being built now so I'm hoping that partnership can be expanded. Then hopefully the incoming kids have a way to furnish their dorm/apartment at a cheaper price too.

GuitarStv

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2024, 04:48:13 PM »
My whole house is furnished with other people's junk.

- My computer desk with keyboard tray and sliding drawers (found it when in university)
- Glider chair in the living room (I refinished it and replaced the chair cushion when my wife was pregnant).
- Coffee table and end tables (university find)
- Antique tube radio end table (found at the dump)
- Dining table and set of eight chairs (neighbour I was living next to just after getting out of university was throwing them out - I still haven't got around to reupholstering all the seats . . . but our son has been hard on the table surface so I might have to refinish the whole thing which keeps making me put it off).
- Sons computer desk (found on the side of the road)
- Book shelves in the living room (work was throwing them out, so I took 'em and repainted them).

And it doesn't stop there.  Nobody in my family has purchased a winter hat in more than a decade.  I find one or two new hats every winter while walking around, take 'em home, soak 'em in antibacterial stuff and give 'em a good wash and we all get new hats regularly.  Same with scarfs.  I'm actually very picky about scarves - turned my nose up at three different ones this year alone because I was looking for a dark grey scarf that would go best with my outfit (found one that matched the requirements last week).  Pairs of gloves are a little more rare, but I usually get a pair that will fit me, my wife, or my son at least once every two years.

That doesn't count other random bits and bobs that I'm always on the look out for while cycling around.  Large, sturdy wire frame dog crate with plastic bed liner?  Side of the road.  Toddler toys and work bench?  Side of the road.  Random tools (screwdrivers, sockets, full set of drill bits, allen keys)?  Side of the road.  Replacement hub cap?  Side of the road.  Milk crates and plastic organizers?  Side of the road.  Laundry bins and drying racks?  Side of the road.  Reflective neon vest?  Side of the road.  I built my son's first two bikes out of bits of kid's bikes that were being thrown out.  2x4s, wood, bricks, 20 gallon plastic pails . . . yep, all available.

For all thy needs, the road provideth.



*  I've never had luck with roadside water bottles.  Even the metal ones tend to get a funky smell that won't come out, so I only use them to hold oil and degreaser in the garage.  The wife has also made me promise no road underwear.

Gerard

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2024, 01:25:32 PM »
When I moved out of Newfoundland, I had lots of stuff to give away (because shipping was expensive and we were combining households). So I'd put it out on the curb, and people would take a few things. Then they'd come back and ask if it was okay if they took more stuff, because they didn't want to take too much and deprive other people of the opportunity.

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2024, 01:52:21 PM »
When I moved out of Newfoundland, I had lots of stuff to give away (because shipping was expensive and we were combining households). So I'd put it out on the curb, and people would take a few things. Then they'd come back and ask if it was okay if they took more stuff, because they didn't want to take too much and deprive other people of the opportunity.

Hilarious, I was about to post about how there is no such thing as free curb stuff in Newfoundland because they will sell literally anything.

FB marketplace in NL is packed with literal garbage listed for real money. My local "antiques" shop is literally mostly old garbage, like selling a "vintage" WD40 can, which is really just a half-empty WD40 can from 2005, for $10.

Whenever I see what looks like "garbage" on the side of the road, there's always a price tag.

Because stuff is so hard to get out there, virtually everything can be resold.

neo von retorch

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2024, 01:59:08 PM »
Ultimate Garbage Value

When I was about 7 or 8 years old... my brothers and I found a bunch of stuff near the road, along a treeline at the edge of a farmer's field. A lot of it appeared to be garbage, but we found a few gems. Among them was a Commodore 64, in box including the manual. I snagged it, plugged into my TV's coax port, and set off on an adventure. Now 25 years into my Software Developer career, a huge amount of my progress towards FIRE can be attributed to this garbage find.

theninthwall

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2024, 07:51:10 PM »
I have to report a tragedy. Our apartment complex has now put up a gate in the area next to the dumpster where people used to leave things. A serious impediment to our next-to-the-dumpster diving!

clarkfan1979

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2024, 06:37:42 AM »
My 6 year-old son is gifted way too many toys from other people. We drop off toys at the Goodwill about once every 3 months. He is the only grandson on my side of the family. My parents are divorced and both remarried. From my perspective it appears to be extremely wasteful, but I just do my best to keep my mouth shut.   

Dicey

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2024, 10:57:24 AM »
I do the next best thing: I volunteer at a Thrift Shop. I never shop retail anymore.

Bonus: It gives me an easy way to offload as I very gradually declutter.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2024, 05:52:23 PM »
Ultimate Garbage Value

When I was about 7 or 8 years old... my brothers and I found a bunch of stuff near the road, along a treeline at the edge of a farmer's field. A lot of it appeared to be garbage, but we found a few gems. Among them was a Commodore 64, in box including the manual. I snagged it, plugged into my TV's coax port, and set off on an adventure. Now 25 years into my Software Developer career, a huge amount of my progress towards FIRE can be attributed to this garbage find.
This is possibly the happiest thing Iíve read in a month. I actually teared up a little.

(Who the heck left a working video game console anywhere in those days?)

ATtiny85

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2024, 01:45:55 PM »
Ultimate Garbage Value

When I was about 7 or 8 years old... my brothers and I found a bunch of stuff near the road, along a treeline at the edge of a farmer's field. A lot of it appeared to be garbage, but we found a few gems. Among them was a Commodore 64, in box including the manual. I snagged it, plugged into my TV's coax port, and set off on an adventure. Now 25 years into my Software Developer career, a huge amount of my progress towards FIRE can be attributed to this garbage find.
This is possibly the happiest thing Iíve read in a month. I actually teared up a little.

(Who the heck left a working video game console anywhere in those days?)

HEY! The C64 was not a "game console!" My Atari 2600? Sure. But not my beloved C64 with its sprites and its clearly written manual that made it possible to take off running immediately. The severely underpowered tape deck, the wonderfully overheating 1541 disk drive. So fun to finally get to type "open blah blah ,8" instead of ,1 for the tape (I think). I got my early start building a breakout board from one of the ports. 40+ years later, still playing with that sort of thing. Having said that, there were some great games for it also.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2024, 04:24:56 PM »
Ultimate Garbage Value

When I was about 7 or 8 years old... my brothers and I found a bunch of stuff near the road, along a treeline at the edge of a farmer's field. A lot of it appeared to be garbage, but we found a few gems. Among them was a Commodore 64, in box including the manual. I snagged it, plugged into my TV's coax port, and set off on an adventure. Now 25 years into my Software Developer career, a huge amount of my progress towards FIRE can be attributed to this garbage find.
This is possibly the happiest thing Iíve read in a month. I actually teared up a little.

(Who the heck left a working video game console anywhere in those days?)

A vengeful ex.

FrugalShrew

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2024, 04:40:51 PM »
Hilarious, I was about to post about how there is no such thing as free curb stuff in Newfoundland because they will sell literally anything.

FB marketplace in NL is packed with literal garbage listed for real money. My local "antiques" shop is literally mostly old garbage, like selling a "vintage" WD40 can, which is really just a half-empty WD40 can from 2005, for $10.

This is actually pretty sweet, that nothing is wasted.

I wish there were somewhere I could donate open containers of things that I don't need anymore or that didn't work out for me. Sometimes I'm able to find a friend who will take an open container of something, but I am not aware of any thrift stores that will accept open containers of anything.

geekette

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2024, 05:19:12 PM »
If there's a "buy nothing" group in your area, they're a great place to offload stuff.  I've seen still warm pizza offered, leftover birthday cake, open bags of oddball grains, the last 5 packets of oatmeal in the box...  Lots and lots of clothes and kid's stuff, too.

Serendip

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2024, 05:37:53 PM »
We dumpster dived for decades in the dumpsters behind our house. One time someone put a live baby human in the dumpster behind our house, but we didntít find the baby, our neighbor who was rehabbing a house found the baby..

She was fine, she lived, the weather was chilly but not freezing.

This is wild @iris lily  and so happy to hear the baby was okay.

I have found lots of great items over the years...earrings, books, furniture, clothing. I love the flow of odd things into and out of my life.

I recently posted some wooden bedside tables for free (didn't want to move them in our little car and thought someone would appreciate)...and someone immediately came and took them for their university student :)

FrugalShrew

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2024, 09:00:41 PM »
If there's a "buy nothing" group in your area, they're a great place to offload stuff.  I've seen still warm pizza offered, leftover birthday cake, open bags of oddball grains, the last 5 packets of oatmeal in the box...  Lots and lots of clothes and kid's stuff, too.

Good point, I kind of forgot about BN because the BN group in my part of town is kind of a dud. There's supposedly a more active one in the downtown area, but I don't think it makes sense for me distance-wise. I'm glad at least some people have places to offload their open containers and leftover birthday cake. :)

oneday

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2024, 12:44:46 AM »
This week I got a small trash can out of the dumpster...is that irony?

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2024, 05:44:39 AM »
If there's a "buy nothing" group in your area, they're a great place to offload stuff.  I've seen still warm pizza offered, leftover birthday cake, open bags of oddball grains, the last 5 packets of oatmeal in the box...  Lots and lots of clothes and kid's stuff, too.

Good point, I kind of forgot about BN because the BN group in my part of town is kind of a dud. There's supposedly a more active one in the downtown area, but I don't think it makes sense for me distance-wise. I'm glad at least some people have places to offload their open containers and leftover birthday cake. :)

Oh no, it's absolutely worth it.

I joined a BN group for a neighbourhood further away because my area is quite poor and the next neighborhood over is extremely wealthy.

It's worth the drive for some of the stuff they give away. I recently got a Colombia down parka. I have really good winter gear but I've always preferred short coats, but with the giant titanium rod in my femur, my uncovered leg gets super cold, so I wanted a nice, thick, warm parka until I can get the rod out. But even used they're a couple hundred dollars.

So yeah, I was absolutely willing to drive to go pick up the coat, which I'll probably just relist on the BN group in my poorer neighbourhood once the rod it out.

Today I'm picking up a Rubbermaid bin of wool and cashmere sweaters.

GuitarStv

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2024, 07:34:43 AM »
I just found a couple mirrors on the side of the road today, so I'm going to see if there's an artful way to arrange them in the basement to brighten it up a bit.

BlueHouse

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2024, 11:05:48 AM »
I just picked up from a neighbor's pile a bar cart, designed as a globe on wheels.  Something I have no use for, and doesn't fit the style of my home, but that I think is so cool and I couldn't wait to get it! 

On my way dragging that thing down the street, someone pulled up in a car saying he would have loved to get that.  I made arrangements to put it out for him IF I decided I couldn't use it.  Tomorrow's the day, and I'll be putting it in front of my place for that other guy.   We both win!   Now I know that I never want one of those things again! 

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2024, 11:11:59 AM »
Sweater pickup from BN group was a success!

I pulled up to a house that has to be worth at least 5M and this lovely older lady hands me 2 giant Ikea bags full of wool. Most of it is sweaters that have been dismantled because her collection was for her felting hobby.

She collected wool and cashmere tops from her friends and family and then turned them into crafts, but her hands are getting arthritic.

So 70% of the wool is useless to me, but I got a solid 7 or 8 beautiful sweaters, mostly cashmere, some fine Italian merino, and one stunning thick Irish cable-knit sweater.

FrugalShrew

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2024, 02:19:24 PM »
Good point, I kind of forgot about BN because the BN group in my part of town is kind of a dud. There's supposedly a more active one in the downtown area, but I don't think it makes sense for me distance-wise. I'm glad at least some people have places to offload their open containers and leftover birthday cake. :)

Oh no, it's absolutely worth it.

I joined a BN group for a neighbourhood further away because my area is quite poor and the next neighborhood over is extremely wealthy.

It's worth the drive for some of the stuff they give away. I recently got a Colombia down parka. I have really good winter gear but I've always preferred short coats, but with the giant titanium rod in my femur, my uncovered leg gets super cold, so I wanted a nice, thick, warm parka until I can get the rod out. But even used they're a couple hundred dollars.

So yeah, I was absolutely willing to drive to go pick up the coat, which I'll probably just relist on the BN group in my poorer neighbourhood once the rod it out.

Today I'm picking up a Rubbermaid bin of wool and cashmere sweaters.

Wow, you could not have provided an example that was more convincing. I used to avoid wool and cashmere as too fancy, but as a perpetually cold person, in the last year or so I have gotten hooked because they are so warm! Also trying to move away from synthetic fibers. Your sweater haul sounds so amazing.

BlueHouse

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2024, 03:08:50 PM »
Good point, I kind of forgot about BN because the BN group in my part of town is kind of a dud. There's supposedly a more active one in the downtown area, but I don't think it makes sense for me distance-wise. I'm glad at least some people have places to offload their open containers and leftover birthday cake. :)

Oh no, it's absolutely worth it.

I joined a BN group for a neighbourhood further away because my area is quite poor and the next neighborhood over is extremely wealthy.

It's worth the drive for some of the stuff they give away. I recently got a Colombia down parka. I have really good winter gear but I've always preferred short coats, but with the giant titanium rod in my femur, my uncovered leg gets super cold, so I wanted a nice, thick, warm parka until I can get the rod out. But even used they're a couple hundred dollars.

So yeah, I was absolutely willing to drive to go pick up the coat, which I'll probably just relist on the BN group in my poorer neighbourhood once the rod it out.

Today I'm picking up a Rubbermaid bin of wool and cashmere sweaters.

Wow, you could not have provided an example that was more convincing. I used to avoid wool and cashmere as too fancy, but as a perpetually cold person, in the last year or so I have gotten hooked because they are so warm! Also trying to move away from synthetic fibers. Your sweater haul sounds so amazing.

Buy Nothing Arbitrage is real!  I used to use Freecycle and I used my town to give stuff away and my sister's town to get great stuff.  My town was built in the 60s as a planned community to be self-sustainable, so most of the residents bought into the idea of reuse, recycle, buy less stuff.  My sister's town (6 miles away) is a newer suburb on a golf course.  Full of giant SUVs, even before that was popular.  But I think the real difference was the costco.  What was really odd to me though was that some of these people were ultra-wealthy, but still bought some furniture at Costco.  Every time Costco would release a new sectional, older (2-5 years old) furniture would end up on the curb. 

My neighborhood would frequently try to give away 1/2 box of Kaashi.  Theirs gave away Hepplewhite furniture.  Honestly -- they couldn't get anyone to buy it and sometimes had to pay to have it removed! 

Metalcat

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2024, 03:13:44 PM »
Good point, I kind of forgot about BN because the BN group in my part of town is kind of a dud. There's supposedly a more active one in the downtown area, but I don't think it makes sense for me distance-wise. I'm glad at least some people have places to offload their open containers and leftover birthday cake. :)

Oh no, it's absolutely worth it.

I joined a BN group for a neighbourhood further away because my area is quite poor and the next neighborhood over is extremely wealthy.

It's worth the drive for some of the stuff they give away. I recently got a Colombia down parka. I have really good winter gear but I've always preferred short coats, but with the giant titanium rod in my femur, my uncovered leg gets super cold, so I wanted a nice, thick, warm parka until I can get the rod out. But even used they're a couple hundred dollars.

So yeah, I was absolutely willing to drive to go pick up the coat, which I'll probably just relist on the BN group in my poorer neighbourhood once the rod it out.

Today I'm picking up a Rubbermaid bin of wool and cashmere sweaters.

Wow, you could not have provided an example that was more convincing. I used to avoid wool and cashmere as too fancy, but as a perpetually cold person, in the last year or so I have gotten hooked because they are so warm! Also trying to move away from synthetic fibers. Your sweater haul sounds so amazing.

It really is.

I'm currently wearing one oversized thin cashmere sweater that is the only one that had some tiny holes in it, but it's perfect because I've been avoiding wearing my nice cashmeres/wools around the house because I don't want to damage them, and a lot of them are fitted.

This one is like a slouchy cashmere pyjama top, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to practically live in it.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2024, 03:32:00 PM »
...I'm currently wearing one oversized thin cashmere sweater that is the only one that had some tiny holes in it, but it's perfect because I've been avoiding wearing my nice cashmeres/wools around the house because I don't want to damage them, and a lot of them are fitted.

This one is like a slouchy cashmere pyjama top, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to practically live in it.
This is by far my favorite lounging gear. The cheapest ones have been someone's laundry accidents, originally in men's sizes.

The dismantled wool would be a goldmine to a certain type of knitter, even the laceweight stuff.

iris lily

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2024, 03:53:23 PM »
This week I got a small trash can out of the dumpster...is that irony?

Lily Tomlin did a bit something like this.

draco44

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2024, 09:14:13 PM »
Love this thread! One college I attended started a very cool program where stuff left behind in dorm rooms at the end of the spring semester is now stored in sections of the football stadium building over the summer and then sold back to students in the fall. The prices are affordable for the incoming students, the money raised goes to local charities, and a couple barge's worth of desk chairs and such doesn't end up in the landfill. It's fantastic.

I also had a lucky break where once when I was starting out and was taking over an apartment rental from another person, I got on well with them and mentioned that anything they didn't have time to sell before moving, I'd be happy to take and deal with (I noted the old tenant seemed very clean). And thus I ended up inheriting a bed, dining room table with chairs, couch, and tons of kitchen stuff.

rosarugosa

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2024, 04:32:25 AM »
I have pieces I trash-picked from a neighbor when I was still living with my parents 40+ years ago.  One is an old mahogany TV cabinet that was fitted with shelves.  I don't have a linen closet in my small house, so I use it to store our towels and linens. The other 3 pieces are a pretty hideous woodgrain Formica over plywood set of coffee table with 2 end tables.  These things are incredibly sturdy, and we use them for storage in the cellar and the shed.

iris lily

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Re: Stuff people just throw out - their loss, my gain
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2024, 09:51:33 AM »
Iím trying to picture a bar cart designed as a globe. Iím going to go Google those words and see what comes up.