Good riddance to Good rubbish

Portland has this awesome way of reusing and repurposing.  So many things end up in landfills when it could be used in someone else’s house.

I had a roommate move in last year who was new to Portland. We went to home depot one day so I could buy a new gas grill. Upon arriving home, he asked what I would do with the old one. I said we are going to put it out on the curb. He was stunned and really thought I was nuts. I assured him it would be on its way to a new home in mere minutes.  Sure enough, it was getting loaded into the back of a pickup in under 15 minutes.  It still worked, not great, but someone would get more good use out of it. In fact I had been the second owner and had gotten way more use out of it than anyone ever expected.

I am the beneficiary of my father’s shopping spree for new kitchen appliances.  I’m not getting the new ones, I’m getting the old fridge, which really isn’t that old. Everyone needs a backup fridge for beverages and party preparation.  I’ve known for some time where it was going but had to actually move some things to make the actual spot.  Now that sweet Eliot has moved on, I can get rid of his corner.

I used to work for a company that did a lot of shipping to and from Asia. I had seen someone’s idea (kinda like this) of making a hutch or cabinet into a litter box hide-a-way, so I made my own out of a wooden shipping crate. I hinged the lid on and cut a small square for Mr E to get in and out of. It was perfect because it kept his food just high enough off the ground that Coe couldn’t get to it and it kept him agile jumping up.

When I got home from work, I moved the box out of the corner and onto the curb with a note explaining what I had used it for. I thought a caveat was appropriate.  It didn’t vanish with the speed of the grill, but I was delighted it was gone when I went for my walk at 5:15 the next morning.

My neighborhood doesn’t net some of the awesome things others do. Kristin found an incredible Le Cruset lasagna pan that I was the proud recipient of. She ventures through loads more neighborhoods than I do, so she has netted lots more cool stuff. One of the most awesome finds I’ve heard of though is Domaphile who snagged a loom. Talk about a score!

So, the next time you are going to toss it in the trash or load it in your car to drive to Goodwill, try taking it to the curb and let someone experience the joy of a found treasure.

Published by Lula Harp

I'm a mad scientist trying to find my tools.

10 thoughts on “Good riddance to Good rubbish

  1. It is so much fun to discover things like this!
    The only reason I haven’t bought a new gas grill is what to do with the old one.

    Nice to know yours got picked up quickly. I hate tossing things that would still be useful to someone else. I prefer to pass things along to new homes.


    1. Craigslist has a free section where you can post stuff. Also look for freecycle in your area. Here they have a yahoo group and you post what part of town your in and people email you. So there’s no giving out you home address to a bulletin board of strangers.

      But stumbling on something on the curb is always fun! I have no doubt your grill will find a fabulous new home.


  2. I have to say, I find you totally entertaining Lula dearest. Truth be known, I don’t read posts much longer than a paragraph, just skim, but not yours. If that means anything to you, LOL! Margie


  3. Back when I was still agile and free to do whatever I wanted I decided I wanted to be one of those trash to treasure furniture designers. I remember driving around for an entire summer picking up random discarded objects such as doors, broken furniture, etc. If it looked at all usable into the back of my car it went. Once we got it home we’d carry it up to my apartment on the second floor. I managed to repurpose a couple of chairs but the best was when I turned an old door into a planting table (which we stationed on our balcony and proceeded to cover with vegetables and flowers) and a room divider of three very large doors. I painted them black, streaked so the white undercoat showed, giving it a shabby chic finish and kept all of the vintage locking mechanisms and crystal doorknobs in place.I ultimately decided it would make a better headboard and it looked fantastic. I wish more people would curbside recycle – I’d love to furnish my new place this way!


    1. Thanks for stopping by. I love what we can do when we open our minds outside of what something is “supposed to be”. I love shopping in a store when the clerk asks what are you going to use this for and you just blow their mind when you tell them.


  4. I don’t know why I’m such a scavenger, but I love the hunt or the unexpected surprise of thrifting and curbside shopping. We’re thinking about building a small training studio in our back yard and I plan to recycle, upcycle building materials, decor, etc. as much as possible. . . . now that’ll be a fun thing to blog about!


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