Saturday, March 2, 2013

More Curbside Treasures

One of three loads of treasure I collected
Aided only by my trusty minivan I managed to scavenge a record amount of stuff from the trash last week. It was bulky trash pickup in southwest Austin, which only happens twice a year. People put all sorts of stuff out on the curb. I spent a couple of hours Monday morning and a couple more on Tuesday making the rounds. In case you are wondering what sorts of things one finds on this type of venture, I typed up a complete list of my treasures. I will also tell you what I planned to do with each item, lest you think my house includes 3 staircases and multiple dogs. And in case you were also wondering what type of person drives around picking up trash, let me tell you that I was not alone!  If you live in Austin you have probably seen the pickup trucks pulling trailers trolling the neighborhood streets during bulky trash pickup week. I had competition!
A few of the treasures that will be incorporated into future household projects

1 long roll of bamboo privacy screen (for making cool outdoor shelters with the kids)
2 rolls 1/2" garden mesh (animal housing or garden protection)
3 rolls 2" garden mesh (animal housing or garden protection)
2 dog houses (housing for ducks)
3 babyproofing stair gates (animal housing)
1 set of bed slats for Ikea bed (replacement for broken ones in Big Sister's bed)
3 pieces of plywood (general project stash)
8 2x4 and 2x6 pieces, long and short (general project stash)
4 smaller wood boards (general project stash)
1 long piece PVC pipe (1/2") (chicken or duck run)
12 wooden stakes (anchoring tomato cages in the garden)
1 plastic hose caddy (for garden hose)
4 soaker hoses (for veggie garden) 
1 regular garden hose (for general use)
1 shelving frame made of heavy-duty lumber (perfect size to use as a raised-bed garden frame)
1 10' heavy duty playscape slide (add to kids' treehouse)
2 sections of playscape climbing wall with hand/footholds attached (for the kids)
1 wooden ladder section for playscape (for the kids)
3 wooden pieces with plastic handholds for playscape (I don't know but the handles looked useful)
2 hockey sticks (for the neighbor boy who loves to play hockey in his driveway)
12 little bamboo garden stakes (general garden use)
6 fat, long bamboo poles (for making a tipi!!)
2 metals poles with attached volleyball net (for the kids)
1 toddler bicycle helmet (for Little Sister)
1 homemade kids' go-cart, base only with wheels (the wheels are for chicken tractors or other projects)
1 Ikea-type desk with laminate wood top and 4 metal tubular legs (gave to the neighbors)
2 red like-new lawn chair cushions (hmmm, don't know yet)
1 wooden garden bench with storage under seat (will repaint and use in our mudroom)

Amazingly, the bench storage contained: 
  • 4 old bedsheets (for covering plants in a freeze or as painters' drop cloths) 
  • 2 pillowcases (fabric will be sewed into tote bags) 
  • 1 kids' rug (ugly- I tossed it) 
  • 1 fleece throw (also got tossed) 
  • some worn-out clothes (also tossed) 
  • 1 Black and Decker electric sander, working! 
  • 1 pair safety glasses 
  • lots of plastic drop cloths for painting 
  • 1 outdoor chair pillow (tossed this) 
  • 1 yoga mat
And that, my friends, is what you can find in the trash on two beautiful spring mornings in Austin. What is your best trash find ever?


  1. I've lived in the boonies too long to have any good heavy trash pickup stories, but I love living vicariously through your treasure hunts! Good score!

    1. City living has some benefits, huh? And some drawbacks.

  2. I wish we had heavy trash pick up. And that I had a minivan.

    1. You might be surprised at how much you can fit in the trunk of your car. I brought home a filing cabinet in the back of my Civic. I also stuffed an enormous jogging stroller in that car once, but I was never able to repeat that feat.


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