Trash Night Can Be a Treasure Night

Have you ever seen something in someone else’s trash on garbage day that you could have used in some way or wanted for something? Well, it’s not wrong to make use of something that someone else has thrown away; I’ve found picture frames, a new runner rug for my hallway, chairs, and even flower pots that were all next to brand new in the past few weeks since people have done their spring cleaning and are heading toward the summertime garage-cleaning frenzy. Here are a few rules to go by in case you are not sure that it is right or socially unacceptable to take an item from the trash.

Items thrown out to the curb on garbage night or the day before are definitely items that are no longer wanted or needed around that household. Instead of going to the trouble and discomfort of sitting around outside in the heat of summer having a garage sale, most people would rather or donate their unwanted items to local shelters, or throw them in the garbage never to be used again. If you have bought something at a garage sale it is basically the same thing as rescuing it from a trash pile before the garbage truck comes. The only way this practice would be unacceptable is if you bring home knowingly dirty items or items you know that you cannot or will not use. Bringing home items like this will only create more of a clutter for you and your family, so only select items you know that you can use.

Always bring or wear a pair of gloves (I use latex) so that you won’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty or possibly in some sort of harmful chemical – you never know what other people throw out in their trash, so be careful and come prepared. Do not go through garbage cans or garbage bags because they can contain potentially harmful items like glass or syringes. If you don’t see something sitting out that you can make use of, chances are that there is nothing but normal household garbage in the trash cans. If you feel you must go through the trash cans, it is polite and courteous to ask permission from the homeowner if they are available. Always pile things up neatly when you are finished, don’t leave things thrown around, put them back like they were when you found them or better; it’s common courtesy.

Carpeting and carpet padding are supposed to be rolled up and taped when being disposed of on garbage day. Inspect carpet rolls before touching them in case of any nails, staples, or tacks. Make sure that the carpet or padding is clean and sanitary and not covered in anything nasty like mold or animal waste. It can be easy to see if furniture is too broken to repair or bother with, but sometimes problems like termites or cockroaches normally won’t be noticed until they have made their presence known and have infiltrated your living quarters. Old couches and arm chair should be avoided no matter how clean they appear, except on occasion when you know the previous owner. Parasites such as pubic and body lice and fleas can live in fabric with no host for up to two weeks.

There can be many different kinds of treasures found laying on the curb on garbage day, just be careful you know what all you are bringing home with you.

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