trash-picking: mission failed

I chickened out.  I’m kicking myself over it.

Monday morning is the best morning to take a walk around the neighborhood because that is the day all large “trash” items are put out on the curb to be taken to the landfill.  It’s sick really, to see what people consider trash.  Oh, there is honest-to-goodness trash out there: limbs from trees, splintered boards, packaging (though even that could be reused; almost everything can be reused).  But sometimes there’s perfectly good stuff.

One day I picked up an old wooden ladder and a plastic frog sandbox… and proceeded to drive away with such excitement and embarrassment that I whipped out in front of an oncoming car.  The car was going slowly enough to wait for this crazy trash-picking lady.

But seriously, what are people thinking?  This morning, one house had an overstuffed armchair, at least eight plastic patio chairs, a glass patio tabletop, and a couple plastic trashcans.  Come on, if they haven’t heard of Freecycle, couldn’t they at least donate the stuff?

It was that armchair I was eying.  I was imagining how I singlehandedly would lift it into the trunk of my car, grab a few patio chairs to stuff next to Isaiah in the backseat, and drive away with glee.  But there were cars in front of the house, and I just knew someone would see me.  I know.  Dumb.  What a weenie I am.

Too bad I wasn’t sensible enough to use my courage to just knock on their door and ask them if I could take a few things off their hands.  Is that the first step in combatting America’s waste?

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  1. I have always thought that when people put out large, usable items like you described–someone taking them is what they HOPE will happen!

    • Rachel
    • September 8th, 2008

    My neighbor has six huge buckets in his backyard that he uses to catch rainwater to water his garden. I asked him where I could find some….$5 per empty bucket at Lowes OR his way, driving around the neighborhood on large trash days. I’m trying his way.

  2. There’s a pear tree on my running route that is loaded with fruit, and lots has fallen on the grass, too. I keep thinking I need to ask the residents of that house if I could take the fruit off their hands, because it’s been there for at least a couple weeks. They obviously don’t value it much. We’ll see if I ever get up the courage and let it get high enough on my list for the day. I’m not succeeding in that mission yet, either.

    • clbeyer
    • September 8th, 2008

    Yeah, speaking of pear trees. Our good friends have a pear tree in their front yard and never use any of the fruit. I offered to take it, but they said the previous homeowners used to dump oil and stuff under the tree. Uh, yuck. I wonder how long that could effect the soil, tree, and fruit.

  3. Your post makes me laugh… we seem to have a similar situation here in LA. It really is quite sad what some people call junk. And yes, you aren’t the only weenie around… I have spotted some good finds only to drive away because… my pride gets in the way.

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