Sunday, December 9, 2007

One Man's Trash . . .

I'm no Freegan but I strongly believe in dumpster diving. Unfortunately, we live in a throw away society where it seems easier for folks to chuck something in the garbage than to donate it to a charity, freecycle it or sell it. Some people have speculated that, if Peak Oil and Climate Change result in an economic collapse, we will be able to meet many of our material needs by simply digging through landfills for treasures from the past. Judging from the little lovelies I've rescued from local trashcans and dumpsters, they may be right.

This mail holder was retrieved from a dumpster in my neighborhood.

We found this truck sticking out of a trash can and got to it before the garbage man. My little one loves it and a parent at a local park once asked me where we got it. It's a desirable size because it is SO big - that is a full sized baseball next to it.

This vintage nightstand was found in a garbage heap with piles of cardboard boxes and broken toys in front of a newly vacated house - apparently waiting for a trash pick up. It now has a new life as a pseudo-dresser in a guest room closet.

My kids adore this Fisher Price ride on car which I pulled out of a dumpster near my little one's school. That dumpster was filled to the brim with all kinds of items in excellent condition (e.g., two pink girls' bicycles, a new aquarium with the price tag still on it) that could have easily been donated or given away or, for goodness sake, left on the front lawn with a free sign attached. I would have freed the other items from the dumpster if only I were a bit taller and stronger. The only thing I could reach was the car which was perched on top of the heap.

These are just a few of the treasures I've unearthed over the last few months. Others include a brand new plastic shopping cart and doll crib now enjoying a new home at one of my son's preschool, like new jeans donated to a local thrift shop, and a boy's bicycle and a wooden bookcase given away on freecycle.

On trash day, keep your eyes on those garbage cans as you drive, bike or walk down the street. You never know what you might find. One man's trash is another man's treasure (or at least mine).


Cindy said...

I love your mail holder. It looks very unique - far more interesting than the generic crate & barrel versions. A friend of mine actually found a fascinating piece of art from a neighbor's garbage pile. Now every visitor to her house takes time to admire the art. I have not had luck running into any treasure yet :). But I've been using neighborhood email list to trade toys and books. It's amazing how many neighbors I have met this way and how much $ we have collectively saved. At this point, I rarely buy toys or books for my kids. Anyway thanks for sharing, nice post!

Melinda said...

When I lived in Manhattan, I furnished my entire apartment with beautiful antique furniture I found on the streets. It's amazing what people throw away! At that time I was going to art school, and I had so much fun gathering sculpture supplies the same way.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I love what you're doing, and will add you to my blogroll!


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