Trash or Treasure

When we lived in Hoboken, you could put anything on the curb and it would disappear. I mean, anything. Random items, with any sort of useful life, would be picked up well ahead of the scheduled trash pickup later in the evening.

In clean, less dense and less urban Seattle, you do not see many people putting used items out on the sidewalk. One exception is my neighbor and me.  After class last Monday, I took this photo of my neighbors’ latest trash or treasure pile:

Free Pile Before

Pretty random assortment of mostly junk.  Computer screens, a cooler, mop bucket, barbecue, and fireplace insert.

Then, after work on Tuesday the pile looked like the following:

Free Pile Tuesday Night

Thought it was odd that someone took the  inside part of the mop bucket, but left the bucket. Thought they went together…? But the main point is most the items that seemed like trash walked off into the sunset to be reused by someone else.

This informal re-use program probably drives my more uptight neighbors nuts.  It is a fine line between garbage and giveaway program, especially when items sit on the curb for longer than a day or so.  We seem to have an informal 24 hour rule, but think we are technically in violation of some rule or another.

I wonder if there is a way to make this into a more formal program without creating a messy sidewalk dumping zone? Or maybe it is just easier to take it to Goodwill? Not sure the answer, but looking back to Hoboken, the volume of items taken for re-use out of the garbage was impressive

Found one random blog talking about the addiction to finding treasures on the sidewalk.  Maybe there is away to organize our “free” sidewalk piles?

Found another blog where some guy in Montreal finds items in the trash and sells them on Etsy. Here’s a link.

It would be really cool if the garbage collectors would let you pull out items that someone may want and place them to the side of your container. Unfortunately, in Seattle, they tend to charge you for an extra pickup. So, for now, it is back to our “trash or treasure” piles….


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