Where Do You Take the Stuff

pauline13April 22, 2007

What do you do with the stuff you want to get rid of (garage sale not an option)? I'm not talking about clothes. I've got a handle on that. I'm talking about all that stuff in the shed--bicycle with bad tires, extra clay flower pots, little ceramic pots you've been gifted with over the years, partially used fertilizer that is too old to be good, old fungicide and insecticide, old lawn equipment that is no longer serviceable. How about hangers--jillions of swivel-necked clear plastic hangers or old books (libraries don't want them). I did join FreeCycle and got rid of 50 jigsaw puzzles. I've got an e-mail out now to rid myself of 25 glass flower vases. Some days I get so frustrated, I just walk around with an item wondering "how do I get rid of this." I live outside the city limits of a town with a population of about 100,000--not tiny, but not big enough to have all the facilities of a large city. What do the rest of you do to get rid of stuff?

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You could list on Freecycle pretty much everything that has some life left: the bicycle (if all it needs is tires and some TLC), the flower pots, etc. Ditto for the books -- someone may want them. For the stuff that's no longer usable (the fertilizer, the insecticide, the truly unrepairable lawn equipment), the only options left are recycling when possible and disposing of safely when it's not. There are a few locations around this metro area that collect poisons so they can be disposed of properly; they also may take some of the other stuff if there's enough metal to easily reclaim and recycle of it what can be recycled.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 9:36PM
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IF I had all that... it would be in the trash can and taken to the curb!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 10:12PM
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Sometimes it can take some hunting around. Garden club members would probably love extra clay pots. Maybe they know of people who take cut flowers to churches or nursing homes and could use the vases. Our dry cleaners will take the wire hangers, but maybe a thrift store would take the swivel necked kind?

A town of 100,000 most likely has a hazardous waste place. Check your phonebook or check with auto repair places who deal with toxic stuff like batteries. They frequently know where items can go for disposal. Your garden centers probably know where to dispose of old garden chemicals.

Do you have any type of recycling center? I've been looking into ours, and they are taking a great deal more than they did just a few years ago. They might take the vases for glass recycling.

Try listing the broken stuff on Freecycle. People often want parts. I gave away a broken mower to someone wanting the parts. Our local Salvation Army takes broken bikes and creates good bikes from the parts for low income kids. They would also take the vases. And the decorative pots. And the old books. Our thrift stores really take just about anything. Have you spoken with your local shops?

Who has book sales and could use the old books? Our Senior Center and library both have book sales. Boy Scout troops usually have garage sales to raise funds. You might give your local Scout Council a call and see if they are doing any fundraisers and could use some items.

When listing things you think are useless on Freecycle, try and think if they are good for kid's crafts. Put in hints in the listing. It might jog someone's mind for possible uses. I personally would put new tires on the old bike and find a child who could really use having a bike. Churches and local charities are often good sources for families who could really use an item which might only need a little fixing up. Try the old "free" sign at the edge of the driveway.

And for some items, just accept that you may have to pay to have them disposed of in the landfill. Your home is not a landfill, but when we allow items to pile up it can begin to feel like one. Try putting an item a day in your trash. It may not feel like you are throwing away that much.

When I first decluttered, I really did throw away many items because finding "homes" can be an effort in it's own right. The more you get rid of items, the more you will be on the lookout for places within your community.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 11:12PM
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Ditto the suggestions for hazardous waste.
Does your church (or another) have a rummage sale and accept donations?
At worst, could you put a few items at the end of your driveway with a "free" sign? Sometimes when things are put out with the trash, people are hesitant to take them. If you have a few things every trash day ( or better, the night before) set to one side with "free" , I bet they'd disappear fast!

Even though it will take effort and time on your part, loading up things to drop at hazardous waste site and then stopping by a thrift store, Goodwill, etc with the hangers will get a lot of clutter out of the way. Once you've done that, set stuff outside(?) in no time you'll be rid of all those things!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Even "truly unrepairable lawn equipment" might be taken by someone on freecycle - your broken stuff could be a treasure-trove of replacement parts for their broken stuff. You never know until you offer it up.

Call your trash company and ask them about disposing of the garden chemicals. They should have a place you can take it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 2:43PM
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Just a suggestion about the vases. Your church might appreciate them. We use bud vases with a single rose for deaths in the congregation and for new babies. We've run out of vases this year, and had to hit the garage sales for more!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Thanks to all of you who provided suggestions. Gloria, you have given me a lot of options to think about. When I lived in the city, a lot more went into the trash but, since moving to a smaller town and outside the city limits, our trash pickup is only 1 day a week. They are pretty fussy about what they will take. However, I know that where there is a will, there is a way. Now, if I could only get my husband to stop bringing it in faster than I can get it out. In reality, I can only control me. At least that takes care of half the problem.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:11PM
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I have two large boxes of furniture that we tried to put together and decided in the end we didn't want them. They weren't very expensive. All the parts are not in these boxes so I can't give them away. But I do need to get rid of them. Must I figure out how to take them to a dump? I've never done that before and would much rather have someone pick them up. Is that even possible? We don't have a once a year pick up of anything. And if we even leave a book box next to the trash can, we get charged $5.00 for it. I will call them to see how much it will cost to pick these up but I don't think they will do it. When I wanted to leave newspapers for recycling, they wouldn't even take that.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:11PM
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marie, I don't know about the size of your community, but we have a section in our Sunday paper where people will advertise to take things to the dump for a fee (over the dump fee.) You might try listing it on Freecycle. Especially if you can post a link to the item if it were put together. Someone might be willing to pick up a few parts or even just use the wood or laminate for a different purpose.

Last, but not least, is the use of a small sledgehammer. You can get 2-4 pound ones at a hardware store and just smash that baby up into small pieces which you can put in your trash a few pieces at a time. We don't have large pick-up service either. I ended up with some concrete left behind from a tiling job. We just broke it up into fist sized chunks and put a couple of pieces in each bag until it was gone. It was not very fast, but within a month, it was all gone.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 1:15AM
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I called the local trash place this morning. If they pick up the 2 boxes, it will cost $32.00 and since my landlord gets billed for the weekly trash pickup (he adds it to our bill), I'd have to clear it with him and he'd have to call them. Way to much trouble since he's hard to get hold of.

I then found out that I can take the boxes myself to the dump and it should, if my calculations are correct, be $16.00 for the 2 boxes. It's $16.00 for 3 x 3 x 3 cubic yards. I'll take them there next week since it's on my way into town and I have a trip planned.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 12:14PM
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I wish I had actually looked at the 2 boxes before I wrote my question. In my mind, they were huge boxes. They are not that wide or thick. I put one in my trash can for next week's pickup. It barely fit in there and there's not that much room left over for trash so other organizing "trash" projects will have to be held until there is room. I'm hoping that the second box will fit in there next week.

My only concern is that the box will not slide out easily. Then they won't take it. There have been numerous times when they leave stuff in the trash can because it didn't slide out on the first try. Our can is owned by the garbage company and is large but odd sized (narrower in the bottom, then 1/3 up, it starts being wider).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Marie, I'd take the stuff out of the box and put in the can. Then break down the box into small pieces of cardboard. That should slide out easier.

We had an article in the newspaper a couple of years ago where the trash people were talking about why their liked their job (one was an RN, but preferred to do the trash job.) They hated bags of dog poop. They rip open and land all over the person. They also hated pizza boxes. They said people stuff them in the can and then they don't slide out. I don't know why that stuck in my memory box of trivia, but there you have it. Just manipulate that stuff until it will slide out.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 2:01AM
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I have two large boxes of furniture that we tried to put together and decided in the end we didn't want them... I do need to get rid of them.

We had luck repurposing the MDF pieces that were intended for an IKEA microwave stand into shelving for the basement. This would also be okay for closets/garages etc.

And Craigslist ROCKS! (At least around here). You can get better than garage sale prices for useful things, and find a broader market for give-aways.

Good luck everyone with Spring Purging!


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:47AM
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I put stuff out by the curb for a pickup the next day and people come by and take it. with books and magazines I leave them at hospitals and at the jury room at court. I also leave stuff in the halls at court. People are happy to have anything to read. I have left magazines in the airport, on a plane. I just put a sticky on the front that says "free--I'm thru with it"
What is so strange is that I had bought a Home & garden magazine in France and put a note on the front page--and
left it at my health club. 6 months later I am at the car wash and there's my magazine with a bunch of comments on the front page, from the different readers.
REI is currently have a bike parts collection. Any parts of bikes or old ones they collect and give you a gift certificate.
Jury rooms will take puzzles or games. Some courthouses have a room for children and they are delighted to get stuffed animals, games, crayons, paper, etc.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:10PM
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The garbage collectors took everything from the first box. The second one is now in the trash can for next week's pick-up.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 3:27PM
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