4.06.2010

Trash Pickin' Tutorial!


Good morning everyone!  I've had a few requests for tips on "trash pickin" or "dumpster diving" so here's my 101!

TRASH PICKIN LIKE A PRO!

When are trash pickup days in your community?  For my area, it's Monday and Thursday, but just a mile down the road it's Tuesday and Friday. 


What time does the trash get picked up in each neighborhood?  I try to hit the early 7:30 pickups the night before.  All others I have timed and I hit the neighborhoods in time order.  I pick in some neighborhoods that pick up as late as 9:30 am.

What are the best days to trash pick?  For me, it's the first day after the weekend.  People clean their garages out on Saturday and Sunday and I usually find the best stuff then.  With that said, sometimes it's worthwhile to drive around Sunday evening to see if they've put a pile out on the curb.

Other hot spots - People that are moving will usually put piles out before they move.  Know which neighborhoods have a lot of homes for sale and visit them often.  These are also good night time or early morning drive-bys.

Be aware of houses with workers or saws, etc outside.  They may be remodeling or replacing floors.  You can score cabinets & trim or even a good piece of carpet that you can have bound for a rug.


Types of neighborhoods good for trash pickin - I've found that the really ritzy neighborhoods (with the $1M plus homes) are often NOT the best places to trash pick.  I guess they hold on to their stuff!  The best neighborhoods for me are the middle-of-the-road additions, nice but not shi-shi.

Times of the year great for trash pickin - Right after Christmas is a great time and as soon as the weather turns nice people start cleaning their patios and garages and get rid of stuff.

Things to look for - I really don't have a rule here, just anything that catches my eye.  I typically don't dig through people's garbage cans.  I just look for things that are placed out on the curb.  I usually grab and run, instead of inspecting.  If I don't end up wanting it, I just put it back out with my trash.

Keep an open mind.  Accessories and furniture can be repaired and/or painted.  Upholstery can be cleaned.  Items can be repurposed.  My best finds are the things that people were too busy to fix!


DUMPSTER DIVING...Not for the faint of heart!

I haven't done much dumpster diving, but occasionally I'll look.  I know many people that have found great stuff in the dumpster.  Here are some tips if you are brave enough!

Attire - Wear sturdy waterproof gloves, a long sleeve shirt and pants, and closed toe ratty tennis shoes.   You could get dirty!  Bring hand sanitizer!!

Time to Go - Late at night is usually best for business dumpsters but anytime is good for apartment dumpsters.  Don't forget a flashlight if you are going at night!

Bring a friend - It's fun and you want a buddy for safety reasons.

Bring large trashbags or boxes for your finds

Bring something you can hook and grab things out of the dumpster with - a stretched out hanger with the handle as a "hook" works well.  A garden hoe works too.

So have I converted anyone to trash pickin?  Happy hunting!


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4 comments:

Aimee said...

Very interesting and great tips. Have not converted me yet but at least if I ever decide to I know where to look :)

Kim said...

Wow. I don't know if I'd make a special trip, but you-go-girl :)

diana said...

i actually have done trash pickin and found a dining room chair i painted black and found some fabric that made a whole different outlook on trash pickin, but not dumpsters not that brave !!

Corie Drane said...

This is interesting. I haven't done trash picking since we have services in our apartment here in NYC. But I think the garbage should be out before 5p.m. 'coz the truck will be picking it up at night. This is done twice a week. I think I'll try this cleaning technique and use the commercial products I got from the store yesterday. It's been ages since the last time I did an actual cleaning. LOL.

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