Destined for a landfill?

A favorite neighbor was moving today. I wanted to say goodbye and headed outside where I ran into my best friend/neighbor who had the same idea.  Not sure if I should be glad I did as now I have a multitude of projects to work on.

When moving, our neighbor couldn’t take all his things and knew he’d get in trouble by management if he left a sign on them saying free out front. So they were going off to the dumpster when he smiled and spotted us coming out.  Here’s what I saved today.

Here is a foam mattress cover that would fit a queen sized bed.  I will cut off a piece and cover for a mattress for the littlest grand daughter when she comes to visit.  The rest will be saved and used for other crafting projects as they come to me.

Yes, it’s clean I did check that over carefully

Then there was his clothes rack.  I didn’t know at first what to do with this, but didn’t want to see it tossed. I figured we could take it a part and use the wood for something and so on. Then someone mentioned using it out back to hang potted plants on in summer.  I was off with plenty of ideas from then on, which include hanging a hummingbird feeder among the plants.

My neighbor who checks for treasures daily in the dumpsters found the gift bag in perfect condition (hanging from the top bar) and took that home as well.

Then there was a cabinet. It’s in very good condition and something my daughter-in-law has been hoping to find for her office where she can store all her supplies out-of-sight and away from the little ones.  Her search is now over, as this will be going home with her today.

All this needed was a couple of small finishing nails to better secure the backing to a couple of the shelves. Problem solved as I always have them on hand.

Of course the largest item will be coming indoors for some TLC.  I can picture this with a contrasting color along the back.  Baskets on the adjustable shelves for toys, movies or whatever and a nice cushion and pillows in the larger open area, meant for a TV (using some of the found mattress pad and fabric I already own) for a quiet seating area for a small child to curl up and read in.

What would you do with this other than use it for an entertainment center?

I’m not sure if I will have a taker for the entertainment center, so I will tinker with it and if no one mentions wanting it by the time I am done I’ll list it online for free and find it a new home.

We had to check the dumpster for more items that could be saved.  We found plenty of cardboard boxes from packaging that should have been in the recycling bin and moved them to be recycled.  We found the gift bag and a plastic kitchen sized garbage bag that had never been used, and two paperback books. Thank goodness people don’t make a mess in the dumpster or these items could have been ruined.

Sitting next to the dumpster, we found this strange mushroom.  I couldn’t capture the beauty of this in the picture, but the center top is so gold it reflects in the sunlight. The gold is surrounded by white and the edges are so black and gooey it resembles tar that had been painted along the edges.

May have caught my eye, but there is no way I’m touching this one

My good deed has been done for the day and I feel good having saved several large items from cluttering up more of the earth. I’ll show  you pictures of the finished projects as they are completed.  But I’m also sad to lose a valued neighbor.

How is your weekend starting off for you?

14 thoughts on “Destined for a landfill?

  1. I love the idea of turning the large portion for a TV into a seating nook for a child. That would be so perfect for a little one. My kids always liked a small and private spot, sometimes under the kitchen table with a sheet thrown over it. You could staple on a little swag curtain to make that spot even more private.


    • My son and his wife want it for the kids. they will be storing toys and books on the one side, I’ll add a curtain for the seating area and since they have two children, each side is going to have chalkboard paint on it.


  2. Wow, well done you! You certainly did a good deed saving all that stuff, and even got some unexpected treasures out of it by the looks of things. I think in our ever busier lives, it’s generally a lack of time more than anything that stops people from doing this. Of course though, time can always be made. I expect you have many other things you could or should have been doing rather than re purposing these items, so it’s admirable that you’ve prioritised them!

    Also, I’d like to add that the day after I moved into my flat I was overjoyed to find someone down the road had put a perfectly good bookshelf and loads of books outside their garden with a ‘FREE sign. I didn’t have anything to store my many books on so me and my boyfriend lugged this bookshelf up our stairs with big smiles and happy wallets!


    • I love when that happens. My neighbor has a saying, He says “if you wait the good Lord will provide” If you wait long enough and keep your eyes open you will find what you need, in your case free. I hope you took the books too to see if there were any gems waiting to be found.

      I love interior decorating, but am physically limited by the jobs I can do now, so these finds keep my creativity going and keep me from searching for something creative to do, I have been known to redo my entire house in the past because I was bored and wanting to do something creative. For now, I found a way that allows me to be creative, help people who need something, and protect the earth just a little bit.


  3. A few years ago they took our dumpsters away and issued each house a separate trash can. I’ve been torn about this ever since.

    I fear this may have been partly my fault since I complained to the city that big trucks were always coming down the alley illegally dumping construction waste and other crap in our dumpsters – we’re just a few blocks from the city border and the next suburb over doesn’t have city-wide trash collection, so people would just drive their garbage over to us instead of paying for their own collections.

    In a way it’s SOOOO much better – the constant barrage of trucks has stopped, as well as the parade of homeless people sifting through the dumpsters. Plus, the recycling rate in our neighborhood tripled over night. I guess when you have limited garbage space there’s some incentive, and whey you have to wheel the thing out to the alley anyhow, it’s not such a big jump to remember to wheel out the recycling cart too.

    On the other hand, this meant that my days of dumpster diving came to an abrupt end. People do still put things out next to the cans on the large item collection days, but it’s much less than it used to be when people could just toss anything and everything in the dumpster. I guess this is good too, because people are setting things out for the Salvation Army trucks instead of just tossing stuff… but I do miss my dumpster dives!

    Congratulations on all of your treasures!


    • I would be just as torn as you are and will think of you when I’m out doing my dumpster diving. Yes, when you have to pay more for it you watch what you toss out. Years ago we were given an option of unlimited pick up for $36 a month or buying very large bags for $2 each. I was the only one in the neighborhood who choose to go the bag route. My two boys and I only ever had one bag per month to put out saving us $34 per month. When you add that up over a year or more that’s quite a savings.

      It’s nice having our dumpsters, they are in the back of the building so most people don’t know about them unless they live here, but lately friends of management have been coming here to dump things they don’t/can’t put out at their home. It frustrates me at times, but then again that’s how we got the 6 chairs for the Little Cove so I can’t complain too much.

      My finds weren’t done. I had books to return to the library and on the way home spotted furniture sitting out on the curb. The owners were out and said they didn’t think they were worth much and if I wanted them I could have them as they were for garbage pick up tomorrow. I begged to differ and brought everything home. I have two small tables for the kids to eat off of, 3 wood dining room chairs (all need refinished but are sturdy), a suitcase that I dropped off to the thrift store, and a large picture frame (not sure who needs this yet, but some one will).


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