Clean up Day

Our building is entitled to two Council pick ups of household junk per year. We have a pickup booked in for tomorrow, and were allowed to start putting things out today. Its against regulations to leave junk in the street at other times. I had a box of things waiting in the garage that were not good enough to donate, but just might be of interest to someone if it was free.

This morning I put out my box early so that people going by would have all day today to pick it over if they were interested. Every so often I would check out the window to see if there was any action. Given that the pick up is in a back lane I was amazed at the level of interest our junk attracted by passersby and professionals.

I was grilled by a man from the Council to be sure that we had booked in a pickup, and the junk was not dumped illegally. All OK there. Passers by stopped and had a good poke about, and some took things home and even came back for more. I put out two old style car locks (the type that hook on steering wheels or break pedals) complete with keys and they were gone in 5 minutes. I saw a gentlemen testing a key with great satisfaction that the lock was in working order.

The biggest thrill was when a scrap collector came with a trailer and began to do a very thorough job of stripping the pile of any metals or electricals. I saw my chance and yelled out did he want a sewing machine. He did. Excitement plus! It was very old, built into its own table, and too heavy for me to put on the footpath. He was happy, I was happy.

By the end of the day, there was not much more on the footpath than at 10am, but a lot of stuff had already been put out and taken away. The new system of booking in pickups when needed, rather than doing the whole street all at once, certainly seems more efficient in allowing scavengers to take things without creating a dreadful mess of the entire neighbourhood.

I don’t know what people wanted with some of those things, that to me were just junk, but its great that it isn’t all going to go straight to landfill. Its given me a kick to see the informal recycle network in action!


  1. reretro said:

    do you know about frreecycle? that’s a fantastic way to let people in your area know you have things to give away- and often artists/repurposers will come and pick up stuff. i live on an intersection and anything i put out is gone in five minutes.

    • Linda said:

      Yes, freecycle is a great way to move things along that are not really suitable to sell or donate. I shared a very old TV that way once. An international student with a young family was thrilled to have it. Our local Council fines people who leave things on the footpath so thats not an option most of the time. The box in the picture was mine, its been taken by a passerby as well. Nobody has taken the teacup though. Today the truck hasn’t come and its rained for a few hours, so the fun, and the rejected matresses and doonas, have dampened somewhat. Looking forward to hearing it all go – at 5am tomorrow I daresay.

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