I am a scrounger. always have been. but I am still amazed at the amount of things I can find on craigslist and thru other ads. I think in addition to some of the more standard recyling that people are encouraged to do there needs to be more encouragement to use things that are already in exhistence rather than promote more manufacturing of new products. one of the silver linings of the current economic woes is that it might stimulatd people to be a bit more concerned with re-using and fixing items rather than purchasing them new. one of the not so silver linings is that there will likely be less things for ME to scrounge
I'm totally on board with re-using stuff. "Planned obsolescence" of cars, all things digital, and countless other things, just drives me crazy! Then there's the cost to repair something.
We've had the shop-vac for years now. It's a big one, runs great, but over the years it's lost a caster, the hose & some of the tools need replacing. I was at a home improvement store, pricing replacement parts & geeze, by the time you total up the cost, it's equal to a new (but smaller) shop vac. It's really ridiculous. It's become such a -throw-away-and-buy-a-new-one-society. I'd like to see that change, but doubt it ever will. So kudo's to all you scroungers out there, I'm with you!
It kills me to see things dumped alongside the road as I drive my crews: perfectly good plant pots, gallon and larger (criminal!), split firewood (probably an accident), lumber, bags of insulation, sheetrock (slightly damaged).
FreeCycle and its variations: people ask for AND GET all kinds of things: canoes, camping equipment, washers and dryers, stoves, clothing, carpeting, windows, building materials, furniture, craft materials... it's endless.
And I am the Queen of Never Use It for Its Intended Use!
Some dumps and transfer stations have an area where people can leave useful stuff, but rarely where I live. They WANT it all dumped into the pit! Pots, intact windows, rolls of roofing felt, shingles (new), metal roofing... WASTE!
Oh sue I go crazy at the dump! some things of course have a place there. ours has a sign that says something to the effect of "no scrounging" (I can't remember the exact wording). we took some old stuff there and i watched the guy next to us throw off a perfectly good extra large dog house. those things cost at least 100$!!!well to hell with no scrounging I picked it up and put it on my trailer. fooey on them. if I see something useful and within easy reach (I don't plan on getting squished by the big machines runnin around) then I'm taking it!!!
freecycle is how I found my current project simply by asking. I got a shed that needed alittle shoring up that will become a chicken coop. around 6 6x6's numerous 2x4's and 2x6's for free. and paid .50/foot for 122 feet of sheet metal i pulled off the destroyed barn. normally would have been 240$ brand new I paid 60$. my husband is even getting into the swing of it. he told me the other day he is trying to get some of the old in ground gas tanks (huge) for me to cut in quarters and use as goat houses. yipeeeeeeeeeee! my reluctant sweetie
they are plasticy not metal! so no torch, i will just use a circular saw. gasoline evaporates pretty quickly to so there shouldn't be any boom......I hope I don't know if it is even in use now. I don't know the details but as enviromental regulations change service stations have x amount of time to comply and this is probably one of those deals. prob not up to code and is being replaced. I know he talks about how it is required now (or will be) to have double walled tanks. Access to good scrounging stuff might be one of the perks of his new job....well for me anyway. he still has some sample stuff from his old job that seem so darn useful.......i just don't know what for yet....there is some kind of parts for an emmission recovery vaccuum thingy (something like that ) that I'm sure i will find a use for at some point.......feeder?....rocket stove?......I dunno.
Where are the restorable classics of our days - who will restore any car , tractor , grinder , stove , etc? Anything made today - who would even bother. No teenager in 2025 is going to look back at any car made in 1995 and take it shop class and make it into a hotrod. They don't even teach shop anymore. To get into shop class in todays high schools you have to get busted with pot or beat up the janitor . Then you get sent to the tech-school. The only ones that will be able to fix anything in 2025 are the hoodlums. I bought 2 small window air conditioners 2 years ago and they already have run out of freon and cost less to buy than the service call to replace the freon. Its hard not to be a conspirary theorist .
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