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Salvaging Unwanted Treasure

Updated on December 9, 2011

Always Look Down!

You’ve heard the old saying, "Someone else’s trash is your treasure," and who hasn’t picked up a penny lying helplessly on the ground. Well for me, finding objects that are cast off by others whether intentionally or accidentally is like finding treasure and that’s why my motto is "Always Look Down!"

I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with picking up objects that clearly do not belong to any specific person like things that are lying on the road. In fact, it is a way of cleaning up litter that in some cases can be hazardous like screws and knives. Yes, I said knives. In all of my years of looking down, I’ve found two pocket knives in perfectly good condition. And picking up screws could very well save someone a flat tire down the road. So, I see it as a civic duty, recycling, a way to clean up and cash in.

Of course, I’m not talking about things that have been carelessly left out, unguarded in someone’s yard, wallets with ID inside, or items that could have an owner attached to it although it may not be all that obvious but you know better. And, I’m not talking about dumpster diving as in many places, trash is considered property of the trash removal company even if all they are going to do with it is to pile it in to a landfill for eternity. I’m strictly talking about things that can in no way be linked to any owner.

Things I have found in my many years of always looking down include folding knives, working lighters, toys, jewelry, pens, a bicycle light, sunglasses, tools, screws, bolts and nuts, hardware, usable clothes, a cell phone, candy dropped by kids after Halloween, DVDs which I sold on Ebay, and miscellaneous items. I’ve even found a gas engine weed trimmer. And let’s not forget all of the coins and cash. I typically find coins but have found up to $25 at one time and my mother recently found $200 in an envelope. She tried to track down an owner but surprisingly no one claimed it. All of these things I have of course used for one thing or another whether it was to just sell it or keep it with all my other possessions. I’ve saved money and made money.

Let’s face it, in these hard economic times why not pick this stuff up? Nothing’s too small even the pennies and there’s no reason to be too proud. Even if you have no use for it, someone you know might be able to, or you can just donate it to a charity. But the bottom line is to get it off the road, get it to a more suitable place, do a little litter clean up and recycling in the process.

So, the next time you are walking your dog or strolling in a public place, just keep in mind that there could be treasure beneath your feet and remember to always look down.



Submit a Comment

  • mpurcell10 profile image


    8 years ago from Arkansas

    I have been know to pick up a thing or two and not to proud to say it. I have also put out a few and glad when someone picks them up.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I put things out sometimes and love when someone picks them up. I would give to the salvation army more but don't like that they charge almost new price for items that they got for free. When I put it out I feel good that someone didn't get robbed.

  • fishtiger58 profile image


    8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

    My husband loves to pick stuff from people's trash. My kids and hubby have new fancy bikes. Mine is picked from someone's trash and I wouldn't part with it for the world. My hubby is always trying to get me to buy a new one but I love the one he garbage picked.


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