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Getting Started in Trash Hunting

Updated on March 3, 2012

How to get great things for Free

If you ever visit my home I will be glad to show you all the many things I have found in the trash which are now nicely displayed within. There is the antique wood china hutch in the dining room, the embroidered cream side chair in the living room, and the blue rug runner in the upstairs hall. Follow me into the kitchen and I will point out my toaster oven, folding stool, and several pots and pans that were all gotten for free. Upstairs in the kids room you will find toys, televisions, and dressers that were all hand picked by me at the curb of someone's home.

I love trash hunting. I do not use the nicer version of treasure hunting when describing my late night adventures. It is trash that I find, things other people no longer wanted. I am now the happy owner of all those things people got sick of, no longer needed, or couldn't find space for. When they "upgraded" some aspect of their lives for the fifth time in a year, I was the proud receiver of the perfectly good items they replaced. Did I tell you how much I love trash hunting?

I would love to tell you about all the things I found in the trash, but you probably would not believe me. I will suffice it to say that I routinely find things that can be resold or are valued at at least one hundred dollars, including authentic Coach key chains, appliances, and clothing. One of my biggest scores was a vintage electric guitar that sells for around three hundred dollars on ebay. Although I could easily go into detail about my many treasures I prefer to tell you how you too can find awesome things in the trash.

Before you begin to trash hunt let me advise you that in many places trash hunting is not allowed. If you care about those silly laws more than I do then you may want to check out the ordinances of the places you are going to be trash hunting in. Also keep in mind that while some people could care less who is digging in their trash at the curb, there are some people who get very angry if you do so. For that reason preparation and the ability to be low key are essential

I have plenty to say on the issue of trash hunting but for now I want to tell you what you will need to get started. The first thing you will need or may want to have is a trash hunting partner. I'm not really sure how you go about getting a trash hunting partner. I suppose you could post on craigslist or do some asking around. I'm pretty sure you are going to need a good pick up line to find the perfect partner. Of course if you have a spouse or kids it makes getting a partner super easy. Having a partner is not necessary but you will find it makes things a lot easier.

In addition to your partner you will need the following items: a sheet, flashlight, gloves, and if you are looking for metal to sell; cord cutters and a magnet. The sheet is to cover up the back of your car so it won't get dirty. A flashlight is necessary because you will be doing your trash hunting under the cover of night, and it can be difficult to see what's in the trash. Be careful when using a flashlight and use it selectively, as it can draw the attention of both homeowners and the police. Gloves, preferably thin plastic or latex will be necessary to keep your hands from getting dirty.

Finally, if you are trash hunting for the purpose of recycling the metal for money you will need a magnet. This will help you to know what kind of metal you are dealing with, because some are worth more than others. Cord cutters are useful for cutting cords from electronics. The cords can also be sold, but there will be more about that in another hub. If you wear glasses or contacts, do not leave home without them, because again it can be very difficult to see.

Do not think that you need a huge van or truck to find good things in the trash. Of course, if you have a tiny car you will be limited in what you can bring home, however, do not be discouraged by the size of your trunk. You would be amazed at how many things you can fit in a small car. I have a small mini wagon and have been known to squeeze dishwashers and washing machines into the back.

Trash hunting can be lots of fun. I will be writing more on this fun pastime in the future.

Some Things I Found in the Trash


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