Too Good To Throw Away

firstjoisSeptember 12, 2005

The county "sanitary landfill" here has a place (a large three-sided covered shed) for items you consider "Too Good To Throw Away" and it has everything from old children's books to desks and lamps and old old record players - name it. Things get picked up pretty quickly and so many people are interested in these items that the county has had to limit time spent at the shed to 20 minutes!

If you county or city or town doesn't do this then you should nag, nag, nag until they do. Send letters to the editor and to the selectmen, town council or what ever you elect where you live.

I've been looking for one-off chairs to put in bedrooms and everytime I get one fixed up someone in the family "has to" have it and I have to start looking all over.

Since these are bedroom chairs and not subject to hard every day kitchen kind of use, I clean them up with soap and water and test the finish with alcohol (if the finish comes off or shines up it is laquer or shellac, if nothing it is probably varnish) then I decide if I can leave the finish as is. If I decide to change the finish I sand the chair all over to rough up whatever is left of the old finish and then paint it with an interior (usually flat) wall paint of good quality.

After that dries I either sponge paint on another slightly darker shade of interior (usually flat) wall paint and then let it dry. I check for rough spots with a very fine sandpaper or piece of brown paper bag.

Then finally two coats of water polycrylic.

If I paint the chair black I use the flat black acrylic paint that you can buy from any craft store and the apply two coats of water polycrylic (or is that polyacrylic? I can't spell for beans!)

They need to set for a week or more to harden completely.


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That is really nice that the landfill has a section for "too good to throw away." Nothing like that here. They won't let you take anything...of course, it is all mixed up with household garbage, so pretty nasty. Lots of good things are thrown away all the time. I am not at all hesitant to stop and pick up something off the curb or even snatch something out of a dumpster. Often people will sit out good, useable items to the side of the dumpster, or put it out the day before trash pickup. I got a nice french door, an antique trunk, a couple of side tables and old wooden shutters not too long ago. I couldn't believe they were throwing it away, so I went to the door and knocked...and the lady said they cleaned out the garage, and she was glad I was going to take it. I gave the trunk and one table and shutters to my friend, and kept the french door and one of the side tables. Going to use the door in the house. It had all the hardware and everything. Perfect condition.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Not sure, but I think one of our dump sites has that. I'm going to check now that you've mentioned it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 6:53PM
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Our dump doesn't do it,but it's a great idea. Our large trash pickup is twice a year. I cruise the "richer" part of town the night before pickup, have found great things:
Garden fence, outdoor chairs, Christmas decorations, planters, etc.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 9:17AM
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Some say that you get some good stuff from some houses in the "rich" part of town - but that many throw little out.

Take outdated stuff to the cottage, give it to (sometimes underpaid) staff, acquaintances, etc. Not keen on throwing stuff out that still has unused value!

That's part of the reason, anyway, that they're rich.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 2:37PM
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