Somebody Wants Your Junk!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Yes, we’ve all heard the old adage, but what does it mean for you today? How can your old junk create a win-win scenario? The answer is two-fold: recycling reduces landfill overload, and it gives someone a break who might actually use your old junk which was destined for the city dump.

Consider this: once the landfill fills up, they have to open another one, and another, and another… And while your trash is bio-degrading, over 10,000 toxic gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Seriously. In addition, liquid garbage leaches down into the ground to contaminate groundwater. And none of this is good for YOU. So why not recycle your old junk, especially when it’s so EASY?

You already know that your junk isn’t sellable at a garage sale, otherwise you wouldn’t even be considering the garbage bin. If the item is something that you’d be embarrassed to slap a price tag on at a yard sale, then why not just give it away for free instead of adding to the growing problem of dump sites filling up?

Here are some of the things that we’ve personally given away, for free, through and

  • Couch: with a broken frame, small tears in the cushions, and worn places
  • Used peanut oil: from our turkey fryer, seven gallons worth
  • Packing peanuts: that arrive with items we order online
  • Window blinds: with a few bent slats, and in need of a good cleaning
  • Computer printer: stopped printing
  • Digital camera: held together by a rubber band
  • Hoover Floormate: no longer squirted water out
  • End table or nightstand: broken door hinge
  • Loveseat: the arms were worn but otherwise in solid condition
  • Two shelf units: not nice enough to be used indoors, but good enough for a garage or storage area
  • Vinyl flooring: 15 feet by 4 feet, never used, a remnant that sat in the garage for several years

The couch could still be used in a teenager’s fort, or in a garage. It was usable. You couldn’t see the broken frame, but one side sat much lower than the other for it.

I can’t remember what the man wanted the peanut oil for, but I think it was related to alternative fuel for his car.

Packing peanuts can be reused by small businesses who might be struggling in a rough economy, if you’ve kept them clean, free of debris and insects, and stored indoors in a box until giving them away. I always wait until I have at least a big box full or two.

The broken printer could still be used as a scanner, or for parts at a repair shop, and it included the ink cartridges, installation CD, original user manual, and original box, although not the USB cable.

The camera had been functional when we last used it, but we hadn’t used it in awhile so we didn’t know if it still worked. We gave it away with no accessories or cables, and somebody did indeed want it.

Although the Hoover Floormate had stopped squirting out water, it still sucked up liquid. I think I posted in the ad that you could make due with a hand-held squirt bottle to distribute cleaning solution or water, and then use the Floormate to spread it around and suck it up. A lady from an animal rescue group was grateful to have it.

Every one of these items found a new home. When the new owner was ready to come and pick them up, we put them out on the front porch or in the driveway. They pulled up, took the item, and left. We did not open the front door or meet with them in person, though we did watch them out the window.

They waved — we waved. They smiled — we smiled. Everybody was happy. It was a win-win.

You do need to be careful where outdoors you put the freebie, and make sure to be explicit so that they don’t inadvertently take other things like your flower planters.

If you aren’t comfortable giving out your home address and the item is small enough, you can meet with people in the parking lots of many police stations. Several of our local police stations have set up safe zones for this very purpose. Our local cop shop marked the parking slots so that we’d know which ones to use, just the same as one would for handicapped parking spots. We love our men in blue!

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