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February 19, 2008



See, I refuse to donate to Goodwill for the reasons you mention not wanting to donate to this particular store. We don't have an outlet around here that I know of, just traditional stores...but, out of their dumpsters I've gotten cases of brand new school folders, stickers, pencils, pens, highlighters, cleaning gloves still in the packages, let alone all the clothes, toys, household items, etc. that I've seen in there. Our stores get the "leftovers" from Target clearance, and apparently, they trash most of the smaller items. All of the school supplies were donated to my sons school for those children whose parents can't afford folders and pencils and why couldn't Goodwill do that instead of throwing them in the dump?


Well done to the certain 'mother and her two boys!'


I have the same experience as Mika with Goodwill. They throw away a crazy amount of stuff. On New Years Eve everything in every local store (and we must have at least 5 in our town alone) went into the dumpster. They ran a 50% off sale, and by 3 pm everything that was left was scooped off the shelves and into the dumpsters. (And I know it didnt go to the outlet, b/c they smashed all of the housewares.)

On the other hand though, a thrift can only keep so much merchandise. Otherwise they would be totally overrun with stuff.


I can't believe people threw those things away that you found. Would you mind sharing which thrift store it was? I found out one of my favorite thrift stores in our old neighborhood threw away perfectly good items. I decided not to donate there again. I called the other thrift stores in the area to find out what they did with items they decided not to sell and found out from a couple that they passed on those items to other charities and I felt better donating my items to them. I agree with Sarah that some stores can only take on so much stuff before they feel burdened and overwhelmed with it all. I know another mom who has been known to rescue a small dining room set, t.v. stand, chair, and other odds and ends from the landfill over the years.


I really hate to see things thrown in the trash that still have lots of life in them too. I actually *can't* even put something in the trash that is still usable. The mental torment would be too much!


Wow, I have to admit I am shocked. I can't believe there were such good items tossed!? When my husband and I were first on our own in a new city, we loved walking past the apartment buildings on garbage day -- I think we furnished most of our first apartment that way.
I try to recycle everything, and I also circulate things among friends (ie books, children's clothes, etc). I never know what to do with the clothes that are beyond their lifespan though. My son gets a lot of hand-me-downs, which he then wears for a long time as he is a slow grower. They can be very stained and often with holes by the time he is done with them. I hate to throw them away, though.
We live in such a disposable society, where it is cheaper to buy something new than have a broken down item repaired. Nice to know there are other people out there worrying and trying to do their part!


Good for you. Well done for rescuing all that stuff. I don't quite know when good things became rubbish. It's such a sign of where this world is at isn't it!


Is it possible that the items were actually tossed into the dumpster by someone coming the the thrift store to donate them, then finding the store closed, tossed them into the dumpster rather than returning home with them?

Not that it would be any less of a crime, mind you!


I too have a huge issue with waste and trash. My local dump also does not allow anyone to take anything away! I can't understand that. And many thrift stores near me turn away donations because they are too full. How about a "Bag Sale"? That would clear them out pretty quick.

Have you ever seen the show "Living with Ed", featuring Ed Begly Jr.? He faces some of the same dilemas as I do. One example is an old appliance that works fine, but is energy inefficient. Replace it with a new energy efficient one, and send the old one to the landfill? It's like being caught between a rock and a hard place sometimes...


You're a gal after my own heart. Although, I have never been to a dump - I don't even know where one is in L.A. - I frequent the thrift stores. I saw one thrift store worker emptying shelves & tossing china/dishes into a trash can! I retrieved some perfectly good plates...I assume that if things sit for longer than they want it gets dumped, but their shelves are not overflowing by any means?!
I also try to tear things apart to re-use/ makes me insane when hubby just tosses stuff into the trash, he doesn't think to recycle as much as I do, so I am pulling out toilet paper rolls to put in the recycle bin.
I think the artists that create art using anything & everything are heroes. They can imagine the ordinary into something beautiful & are helping the cause.
It's also a wonderful thing that "shabby" "vintage" is popular and a lot of old furniture & items are getting a second chance. I take an upholstery class & a lot of the students find curbside chairs & re-cover them...I have a several crudy pieces that are waiting in line for transformation.
Here's to Mother Earth!


Well Done! As a empty nester I still like to see things get re-used again and again! In our area, each Spring we have a Spring clean-up in all the little inter-miggled towns... so people are allowed to put about anything out to the curb to go to the dump! This is one time I scout around to see what others think is garbage! I've found chairs (antiques at that!) and a desk, books, if I remember once I found a friend a newer washing machine. Such a shame to see people be so wasteful! My father's mother went thru the Great Depression, so it was hard for her to give up anything! Matter of fact when she passed away, she had "saved" everything.... over-kill! But, that was in the early 70's before as much recycling was available. And to tell you the truth people have to work at recycling, some people are just too lazy to do it. To bad. There are a lot of neat things out there waiting for someone to pick them up! Our Landfill rules are the same as what you were saying... your not supposed to pick anything up either. Pretty hardbreaking if you ask me!
What a great thing that your teaching your kids... to take pride to use what they have, and not to be wasteful! Good Job, ahem.... I mean to that Lady and her two kids that is! Jean-o


My husband has made some wonderful finds in dumps and recycling piles. I am glad to know we aren't the only family who finds things this way! He works for the military and you would be dismayed to see how much the government throws away that is NOT allowed to be taken off base and put to good use. It is a shame and such a terrible waste both financially and environmentally.
By the way, your blog header makes me so happy! I feel like I am 8 again whenever I look at it.


Oh yes! Dumpster diving! One of our favorite activities after we first got married. We would dive in the dumpster behind the local auction house. It's how we furnished half our apartment! I can't believe what people throw away these days! I think its high time I went back and checked out the dumpsters again!

Kudos to the lady and her kids who saved the items from the nasty dumpster!


That lady and her 2 kids sound a lot like a lady and her 2 kids that live in Michigan that I know.


What a tremendous waste - why on earth didn't the thrift store put these perfectly good items in a 'free box' or something. Well done to the 'woman and her two young children' for liberating these things again. Here in the UK we, very sadly, don't have such a concept for dumpster-diving. You're not even supposed to take something out of a roadside skip (dumpster) without asking the skip owner's permission!! I don't think many people take a lot of notice of that particular law, and I've had some useful bits and bobs from skips over the years. I also once liberated some books from an open black sack outside a charity (thrift) shop, which had been donated and then thrown straight out!! One particular charity shop in my small town often has a note in the window saying they can no longer accept donations as their stock room is overflowing and it contravenes health and safety laws (always a good cop-out). However, this particular charity shop charges outrageously high prices and I often think if their prices were more reasonable they would sell many more items and would therefore have a lot more space in their stockroom. It's a crazy old world we live in.


the wood on that is lovely! but i balk at the name "lazy susan" hehe. i too am horrified with the amount of usable things people just throw away. good haul!!!


I absolutely applaud that mother and her children. Well done.

Charlotte Hills

Well done to "a certain mother and her two boys". You sound like our family. All of us are hoarders, unwilling to throw out anything unless it is unrecyclable, uncompostable and not reusable. Most of my children's favourite toys have been from thrift/charity shops. The ones that are new are the sort that will be kept for our grandchildren (a long way off I know but hey forward planning is good).

I have one major headache with my hoarding though, I am running out of garage space!


Wow, such treasures you found, good for you :-)

Racheal x


Wow, such treasures you found, good for you :-)

Racheal x

Jill A.

We find the best stuff in our neighborhood --- the people are crazy (or lazy!) and throw out so much --- which is weird because there are so many agencies that will pick up at your house for free. My husband is an expert "trash picker" --- I have a bunch of his great finds on my blog.


Some great dumpster diving finds there. I must admit sometimes struggling to work out whether things are worth giving to the thrift store, or will they just throw them out. I also struggle to get rid of things that still have some life left in them. Classic example a zip came off a polar fleece jumper in the wash recently - I was going to throw it out but then thought I could recycle it into a hot pack!


There seems to be so many people out there who care about this planet and want to halt its destruction. I hope all of our concentrated efforts will bring the change we need.

Sharon J

That takes some guts!

I was tempted to do the same when a family in our street moved out and threw loads of stuff in a dumpster but I was too afraid to be seen by the neighbours. I know I shouldn't really care what they think but I can't help it, I do care.


Hi Selena, well, I'm not as good as you. I don't go through dumpsters but I do try to either recycle or take to Good Will. Or have a yard sale. Interesting post!

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