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Let trash remain trash [Opinion]

You’ve heard the adage that one man’s trash is another person’s treasure.

By definition, an adage expresses a general truth. It doesn’t mean, for instance, that everything put out on the curb for the trash trucks to pick up contains gold or silver.

Take it from me. In my neighborhood, especially in the early spring when people are cleaning out their garages and basements, you’ll find a trove of purported treasure.

Lawn equipment, bicycles, furniture, barbecuing grills and so on.

I’m not embarrassed to admit I’ve succumbed to the temptation to trash pick or dumpster dive, whichever term you prefer. With horrendous results.

It’s hard to go by an apparently intact mower without kicking the tires. Sometimes the owner has attached a handwritten sign: FREE.

As if the signs are needed. Do turkey vultures need an invitation to dive into roadkill?

Once you put something out on the curb, it becomes trash for anyone to grab. You can’t steal abandoned property. That’s what police tell residents who complain that someone has removed lawn chairs they placed on the street to protect their shoveled parking spaces.

From my experience, there is nearly always a flaw in discarded property that is hidden in the dusk light.

I’ve trash-picked two mountain bikes that were pretty banged up but had solid bones. I scrapped the first one after finding the second one, which needed only a new fork.

Or so it seemed.

I would later discover the gear-shifters were all messed up and the brake cables and adjusters were all worn out. It sat in my garage for several years.

Once I took on the reclamation project, it became obvious that I lacked the mechanical know-how and skills to restore the bike to rideability. Defeated, I took it to a bike repair shop.

I got a call a day or two later telling me the bike was totaled – the cost of repair would have approached the cost of a new bike.

There are other sorry examples. When I salvaged a battery-powered weed trimmer, I thought I had found a diamond that just needed polishing. The homeowner was kind enough to put out the charger protected by a plastic bag.

I charged the battery and returned it to the machine and turned on the power button. Success!

All it needed was a new nylon spool for the trimmer head, which I got at a hardware store.

I trimmed about 6 feet of fence line before it died. No problem. Bad battery; I’ll buy a new one.

As it turned out, the manufacturer no longer makes that size battery, which is why probably the reason the trimmer was in the trash.

Don’t ask me about the self-propelled mower I found with the blade missing.

If there’s a silver lining, I’ve made about $10 by taking the trash where it should have gone in the first place.

The scrapyard.

 


Source: Berkshire mont

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