Saturday, January 25, 2014

Scavenged Treasures: January 2014

Last week's scavenged treasures
The bulky trash collection in Austin is a scavenger's paradise. I've written about it previously (here and here and here ). I hadn't done much scavenging in the last couple of months because I felt like my materials collections were sufficiently full. I recently built a new raised garden bed out of scavenged lumber from my materials yard and felt like I was a bit low on lumber afterwards so I decided it was time to make the rounds. I looked up the bulky trash collection schedule on the city website and saw that west Austin was scheduled for the third week of January. I only make the rounds relatively close to home and west Austin was just close enough for me to warrant going. 

I set out in my trusty minivan with a cup of coffee and some leather gloves. As soon as I turned onto the first street scheduled for bulky pickup I spotted this little jewel (the chair, not the child):

Isn't that a riot? Big Sister took one look at it and proclaimed, "It looks like a throne! We can use it when we play King Tazo!" Little Sister delights in its velvet upholstery. The cats love to knead it under their paws. And when I brought it inside I realized it looks lovely next to our cabinets with the Frida Kahlo fabric doors. 

After I loaded the throne into the back of my van I headed through the neighborhood and found a rabbit hutch. Yes. I call it a rabbit hutch because that is what it will be at my house but I suspect it was originally a bird cage (doves, probably). It's made of cedar and hardware cloth and it is still in great shape. Somebody just didn't need it anymore. I have spent the last month planning how to build rabbit hutches and then the universe smiled upon me and gave me this first one. 

After I loaded the hutch I moved on to a different neighborhood and found a sweet pile of lumber on a cul-de-sac. (This is where the leather gloves come in handy.) I picked up several uncut eight-foot long pieces of wide lumber (two-by-sixes, maybe?) and some good wooden shelving as well as a few shorter boards. In a separate pile I found an eight-foot long two-by-ten. I'm pretty sure I paid for the gas for my scavenging trip with that single piece of lumber alone. 

Moving right along I gathered a medium-sized folding table, two flexible plastic downspouts (brand new and destined for rainwater catchment), three plastic under-the-bed boxes with lids, and a very large plastic tote. The very large tote had a brittle and breaking plastic lid, which I left behind. I don't need it anyway because I'm going to raise chicks and ducklings in the tote and it will be topped with an old baby gate to keep the cats out. 

Nice, right? Little Sister helped me scrub out all the totes, clean the folding table, and thoroughly vacuum and wipe down the throne. I sorted the lumber into the appropriate piles in the materials yard and now I'm ready for my next building project. I have a big scavenging run planned for March when the bulky trash pickup comes to southwest Austin, my favorite and closest scavenging region. Let me tell you, the best place to scavenge is the 'burbs. 

Scavenge on, my friends.


  1. I can't believe that people would throw that stuff out rather than donate it. Truly. I love the throne, dude.

    1. I always hope that people throw that stuff out knowing that somebody is going to come along and take it before the trash trucks roll through. I hope so. I'm certainly not the only one out there trolling. Although I'm probably the only soccer mom in a minivan out there trolling.

  2. That is an incredible haul. Did you make trips or did you squeeze all of that into the van as one load? Wow!

    1. Hi, Adah! It was all from one trip. I can fit a ton of stuff in my van with all the back seats folded down.

    2. Again, wow. I had a minivan in college, but I always forget how much they can haul.

  3. Heavy trash in Alpine just ain't the same. ;)

  4. Yes! YESYESYES!
    We are thinking alike and I am linking your blog post in my own today, as they are about similar topics.
    I heart you.

  5. Mrrrurgh! My comment disappeared into the Interether great hereafter. I probably didn't push the big blue button and instead wandered off like an absent minded toddler.

    Anyhoo. What I said a couple weeks ago was basically: Good job! Good finds! Sweet throne! Whee!

    And also that I'm going to start feeling better about picking stuff up that I see on the side of the road. Pushing all necessary buttons now.


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