Thursday, July 15, 2010

The hunt will continue

In a new town once again and time to discover my new route.

I decided to first explore the downtown core to see what the local little guys were discarding. I was not surprised to find most were either guarded by lock or had little to nothing to offer.

Next it was off to the larger stores located on... you guessed it, on the outskirts of town. Often larger grocery stores make use of industrial trash compactors due to the sheer volume of waste they deal with. Compactors are usually sealed up quite tight from the outside and if they aren't, the risk of climbing in is a strong deterrent, not to mention most items are squashed beyond use.

Some of the very large stores will often have a separate bin to handle larger object such as bicycles, old racks and shelving, pallets and all the returned electronics, clothes, appliances and so on. These bins are great, I've even encountered cases of fruit and vegetables thrown out due to too much stock. These are goldmines especially around x-mas.

As with the downtown core the larger grocery outlets and department stores came up dry. I did discover that the large dollar store and the business supply store had open bins, though they were mostly empty at this time and thus unfruitful.

Lumber yards and hardware stores usually have their bins locked up within the yard making them inaccessible. There is a lumber yard in town that has a "Firewood" area where you can come in during the day and pick up all their discarded stock. Just the other day I managed a load of 1x4 fence boards. There were two full pallets available, I took what I needed and hardly made a dent in the pile.

By this time I was feeling pretty down about my empty trunk and was ready to head home when I decided to take a quick look through the industrial area on the far side of town. What I discovered was a lot of oil field related businesses, a few manufacturing plants with chain link fences and commercial shops. On a bright note I stumbled upon a grocery wholesale outlet with a large open bin, empty again but surely not for long, and a cabinet shop with a bin hosting slightly damaged doors, hardware, sand paper and remnants from production. I didn't need any of this but I'm glad I discovered it just the same.

So it was a bust and I came home empty handed. I did however learn a lot about my city and know where to look in the days to come, when the bins have a fresh load. I am going to give some thought to approaching the produce managers directly and ask for their wilted produce, if asked why I could claim to want it to feed my animals, (a.k.a. the family). With the treasure locked up in a compactor I have nothing to lose.

The hunt will continue and the treasure will be unearthed.


Damn The Broccoli said...

Good to see you back!

I loved reading your blog, but you had stopped writing before I caught up (maybe even before I discovered it!)

It's much harder to do this sort of thing in the UK. Over stringent health and safety laws mean most bins are locked when no one is around and it's near impossible to get onto the dumps for the same reasons.

I do keep my eye out for 'Kerb Shops' though and anything I see discarded that will use I try and get. I made a nice little cloche from a broken umbrella!

Can't wait to find out what happens as you keep exploring!

Vegbee said...

Yay! I love reading your stuff, please keep writing :)