Saturday, July 25, 2009

One Man's Trash

I'm a big fan of freecycle and donating used stuff to charities, and otherwise passing along functional items we no longer need instead of trashing them.

But sometimes we have something that is so beat up, so disgusting, that I'd be embarrassed to even offer it to someone for free. Basically, it's trash.

I thought we had a piece of trash the other day. It was a grill that the previous owners had annoyingly left when we bought our house. SEVEN years ago. It was beat up and disgusting when we moved in, and we've just had it sitting outside, partially under our deck (though not really protected from the elements) for the past seven years. Time hasn't improved it. It was rusty, and dirty, and all around gross. So we put it out for the trash this week.

Thirty minutes later, someone took it! Honestly, I was so glad. I'm glad that someone thinks they can find a use for it, and I hope they're able to fix it up, or repurpose it, or melt it down for scrap, or turn it into art, or whatever. I hope they don't leave it under their deck for the next seven years, like some kind of barbecue cicada.

So what's your view on attempting to freecycling things that you clearly think are trash? Do you think it's okay as long as you're VERY clear in your description? I mean, I'd hate to drag someone out to my house for the promise of a free grill, only to have them get here and find out it's the most disgusting, rusted out piece of unusable junk ever!

I think from now on I'll try to freecycle big items like this, even if I think it's junk. You just never know what someone else is looking for!


I should add that I rarely see things that sound really junky on our local freecycle. Though I do have to say that someone once listed opened and partially used cosmetics...I was pretty grossed out at the thought of using someone else's eye makeup and face creams! But sure enough, next time I got a freecycle update, it was listed as TAKEN. So who knows!


Jan said...

My dad used to say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure". Dad was pretty smart.

ElizabethE said...

We have done the "leave by the curb" trick a number of times and are always surprised by what gets taken.

jongirl said...

We recently hauled our old rusty grill out to the trash. We've had it at least 10 years and kept it only as a "back up to keep things warm". Forty million bees moved into it and it became unusable. Anyway, it lasted at the curb for about 20 minutes before some guy hauled it away. Couldn't believe it. Jan's dad is right "one man's trash is another man's treasure".

Jeanne said...

There are a couple of people who come through my neighborhood every Trash Day Eve and collect up all the metal for scrap.

I'm guessing it was their counterparts, rather than freecyclers, who took your grill.

Susan said...

I agree with Jan above. It is amazing what I think is complete junk but yet someone else see's a mighty use for it. I do what some have said already, but it by the curb. Very rarely does something I put by the curb (not your normal trash of course) not get picked up before trash day. Amazing. And I have to admit, I have picked a few things up myself over the years =)