Posts tagged refuse

The Freegan Establishment

I’m still amazed by the freegan movement and the lengths that people go through to avoid consumerism.  I found this article very interesting.  It’s about people deeply involved in freegansim.  There are some good points, but being a mother, I don’t agree with going all the way.  There is a limit to the free stuff.  What do you think?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Squatters-t.html

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The best things in life are free…..

While I haven’t been able to do any dumpster diving because of the cold (and now rain), I’ve been doing lots of craigslist curb alerts.  They are as good as dumpster diving in my book because people put items out on the curb, post an ad on craigslist, and ask people to stop by and take the items.

Just this past Saturday, someone posted a curb alert for furniture and footwear.  Since I was bored, I decided to take a look.  Not everyone posts exactly what they put out.  Sometimes, it’s a big, fun, treasure hunt.  You never know what you are going to find.

When I arrived at the curb alert, the items were a mess.  Things were thrown out and it looked like a big pile of trash.  I’m not afraid to go digging.  It’s what I do best!  I was with my partner and he however, was a little timid at first because there were two bars and lots of people standing around.  I began looking.  I found some floating shelves.  Next, I found some assorted housewares.  I’ve been into decorating my home lately and free is always the cheapest it gets!

I put those items in the car and walked over to the pile of mess again.  My partner pointed out a Macbook Box.  I figured that no one would throw out a Macbook, so I began looking inside of the bags.  I found something silver that caught my eye.  It turned out to be a laptop!!  I was so excited!  Further examination of the bag revealed all of the manuals and cds that come with the laptop when they are new.  We took those items to the car and went back to the pile once again.  I decided to look through the clothes.  It was there that I found the charger to the laptop.  A complete laptop…I can dig it!

My partner plugged the laptop in when we returned to the car for good.  I have a power inverter for things of this nature.  The laptop works just fine.  It is an older Gateway Solo 5300.  It is in great cosmetic condition and works.  I couldn’t ask for more….well, maybe wifi, but I ordered a network card from ebay and should have the internet up and running on it within no time :).

My son has been asking me for a laptop forever.  This nice new (to us) item may be his….if he can get his grades up.  I already have a laptop that works well.  I can’t afford to buy him one, but this is a total blessing.

The good folks that threw this item out didn’t mention it in their craigslist post.  I’m happy, because it wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  Finding that laptop made my day and kept me busy.  My partner says from now on, he isn’t going to hesitate in looking.  Let that be a word to the wise….have no shame in your game.  People may stare and even laugh when they see you digging, but I guarantee you they’ll stop once they see your treasures!

We hit more curb alerts.  I came home with an 8′ x 10′ cream rug.  I am in love with rugs: they are versatile and provide a quick change to your home.  It is in great condition and pretty much clean.

We also obtained some heavy duty cardboard storage boxes, computer equipment, including a huge battery back up/UPS (uninterrupted power supply), a small 3-drawer dresser, a toy car for the kids, and a brand new carrying bag.  It was a great weekend and I had fun.

It’s raining now which totally sucks.  The end of the month is the BEST time to find free things.  People are moving, can’t take everything with them, and end up throwing it out.

Hoping the rain stops soon…..

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Missing My Trash Picking

It’s been awhile (about a week and a half) since I’ve gone trash picking.  I’m sick with regret.  All of the stuff I am probably missing…I need to go out.  I haven’t because I have my living room full of crap that we’ve rescued and haven’t done a thing with.  I don’t want to create clutter, but I want to find some treasures.  What is a girl to do??

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I picked the trash and all I got was a brand new 40in Sony Bravia LCD TV

In a previous post, I mentioned finding a Sony Grand Wega 50″ Rear Projection TV.  The television wouldn’t power on, but after some research, I learned that Sony Grand Wega’s are known for having bad lamps.  I found a lamp for $80 and figured I would call it investment.

When the lamp arrived, we installed it.  The TV worked…almost flawlessly.  It had (and still does) two large yellow spots in the middle of the TV screen and blue dots in the background.  The picture is still manageable.  It mainly has an annoying yellow tint.  I was going to sell the TV but decided to research the color issues first.  There has gotta be something I can do to fix this after spending $80.

What I found in my research was so much more valuable than fixing the color.  I found out that Sony has had several complaints regarding their Grand Wega TV sets and some models are involved in a class action lawsuit.  These TV’s have defective optical blocks.  Since most of the TV’s are out of warranty, Sony refuses to do a lot about it.

It just turned out that they got enough complaints to implement a “replacement” program on the model I found.  Yay me!  I called up Sony and was offered a Sony Bravia 4oin Flat Screen LCD TV for $75.  Now, here’s the catch.  I spent about $80 on the bulb for the TV I found. That is part of the Optical Block issue so I received a credit for $80.  That made my new TV FREE!!!!

So I am now the proud owner of a brand new televison. I also have the one we found. It works fine for the kids considering the TV I had in my living room before was in worse condition.

Think twice before you throw your stuff out!

Want more information on the Sony Optical Block Issue? Read this website about their pending lawsuit and other action taken by Sony Customers.

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Back At It

My partner and I decided to take a break for about a week.  Last Sunday when we went out, there were tons of people in our special area.  I’m not sure where the influx of people came from, but it was annoying.  Then we decided that we had a lot that we need to fogure out what to do with, so we opted for sleep instead of hunting for trash.

While we didn’t see a lot of people out last night, we didn’t see a lot of trash either.  I guess there wasn’t much to be thrown out.  We left our special area and went to another area that we’ve only been to once.  I was almost ready to leave when we stumbled upon a large slew of items.  Someone apparently had a yard sale and threw out the items they didn’t want.  Many people in our area will post an ad on craigslist for a “curb alert” when they throw out yeard sale items.  I guess these people didn’t because among other things, we found a Dell Inspiron 6000 (laptop).  It looks older, but who cares…it was free.  I’m going to get a charger for it and see if we can use it.

There were also cd’s, dvd’s, home decorations, beach chairs, household items and more.  The people that it belonged to came out and looked at us.  They weren’t rude but wanted to see who was trash picking.  Overall, it was a wonderful night.

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No trash for me

I skipped going out Thursday night because I was too tired. I will usually ignore y fatigue and go anyway, but I didn’t The next morning, on my way to the grocery store, I stopped in an area and decided to take a look. The trash hadn’t been picked up. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness! I am usually too embarrased to look when people are around, but I ignored that. It was daytime and I could see everything so perfectly. We didn’t end up finding much, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

I did go out last night, but only magaed to find two things. It almost looked as if the trash wasn’t being picked up the following day. After a half an hour or so, we reluctantly left the area and returned home.

Where’s the trash at?

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TV’s, Flooring, and MORE

The last few nights have been super exciting.  We’ve been able to rescue many items.  Thanks to our curbside recycling efforts, I have a like new bed set.  This includes a comfy brown comforter, blue satin sheets with 2 pillow cases, a mattress cover and a comfortable foam type pillow with a cover.

One night, we went to an area we don’t normally go to.  We were found an almost new looking Sony Grand Wega 50″ rear projection tv.  We hurried home to test it to see if it worked.  It didn’t.  The good news is that it only needs a $200 lamp.  The tv retails for over $2,000 brand new.  We decided to keep it and buy the part.  You can’t beat a beautiful TV for $200.  In the end, even if we don’t fix it, it can still be sold on my favorite website, craigslist.

Last night, we went to a ritzy part of our favorite area.  We found a full to queen sized blow up bed.  It’s so cool because the air pump is attached to it.  We also rescued a Krups Coffee/Espresso Maker.  The person wrapped it very neatly, as if they were hoping someone would take it.  Imagine, if we didn’t pickup these items, they would be dumped into our landfills and hurting our earth.

The only dilemma I find with our efforts is what to do with all of this stuff?  To be honest, I keep what I can use, sell what I can’t, and donate the rest of the useful items to a thrift store.  I don’t see why things should go to waste.  Some people that engage in this activity believe in only taking what you can use and leaving the rest for others.  My next thought is what will happen if no one else picks up the items? They will go into the landfill.  So, when we are out, we take what we find.  As long as it is recycled, it shouldn’t be an issue.

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