February 2016, By Nicole Langelier
Hard rubbish as it is known here in Australia, is when people put their large household ‘waste’ onto the nature strip (or sidewalk as we Yanks call it) for the council to collect and discard of appropriately. Often you will find furniture, appliances, plants, you name it – and quite often, depending on the neighbourhood, it will be in perfect, new and/or working condition – quite a treasure trove indeed let me assure you.
There has been some debate about the legality of ‘reclaiming’ that which has been discarded – even some (idiotic) arrests in the past – but the verdict is that these Aussie sidewalk scores are in fact legal and ripe for the picking.
You may think it disgusting to dig through other people’s trash for used bits of ‘whatever’, but there is no digging necessary – just keen eyes peeled on the curb and an empty car boot (or trunk for my fellow Yanks) ready for action.
The wealthier the neighbourhood, the better the loot. I have a dear friend that scored a brand new Dyson vacuum cleaner – complete with warranty – in perfect near new condition! If you have ever used a Dyson you know full well that that was a serious curb side score.
Personally, as a fan of original vintage, I like to troll the suburb of Caulfield, as it is a Mecca for modernist houses. Where there are modernist houses there are also ‘seniors’ downsizing, moving into assisted living or moving to the other side – all the while putting their former treasures right there on the sidewalk for you to snap up. Some of my favourite Caulfield collectables include a set of 1950’s iron chairs, a 1960’s vinyl upholstered foot-stool and a round 1970’s mustard coloured shag pile rug.
My sister in law lives in Healesville in the Yarra Valley and she shares my enthusiasm for curb side shopping. Together we have scored some great country delights – some of which she has sold on eBay for a tidy profit.
They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and personally based on the experience of myself and others, I couldn’t agree more. So get out there and get trashy!