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Sources For Free "Everything"  RSS feed

 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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ok, maybe not "everything" .
just got really inspired by  a few recent threads,travis' boxes and the greenhouse thread to name 2.

since there seems to be a trend , i thought a  good idea might be for a catch-all thread regarding  gleaning,freecycling,freeganing .
basically where to find materials/food that can be taken out of the waste streem.
maybe also list its uses, other values if any(monetary,social,eco)

so first. an incomplete list of resources i've used for finding "stuff".
this could be a great document if everyone added to it adn we worked it into a spreadsheet..

friends/family/community (best!)
craigslist.org (free and barter sections) :
wastematch.org: l
freecycle.org
local landfill (salvage area):
town recycle night : not sure on the legality of it, but i've made major scores.


here are a few things i've "gleaned,freecycled,dumpster-dived"

wood pallets: industrial parks are the best spot i've found.
i've used for: lumber,compost bins,firewood(if untreated wood!) foundations for a shed floor(on blocks).cheap fence/trellis/wall. 1 company near me has huge ones. double wide and quadruple long.i want to use one or two for stacking wood slabs on for drying.

coffee grinds: starbucks,70-eleven,local cafes,dunkin doughnuts,.great for compost and acid loving plants(most acid is already brewed out into the coffee though so safe for compost)

fruit/veggie pulp and peels: Anyplace that makes juices.i go to:health stores,juice bars.gyms, Great nutrient rich compost.and ready super fast! wonder if places will give you spoiled fruit for compost,or if the laws prevent that...?

Wood chips/mulch,firewood,trees for milling lumber: local tree services ,craigslist and freecycle.people here have to PAY to dispose of it at the dump,and must be mulched first to boot!... i have a couple tree guys that call me when they take down Nice looking hardwoods, i just go mill it up on site(if/when i can) and take away that "waste" for free(or sometimes homeowner will pay me to!),saves them and homeowner time,money,labor,tool maintenance. everyone wins!.ive made $ selling the lumber back to the tree guy,homeowner,or other people.sometimes homeowner will have me make them something from their tree also.as a family heirloom.this is my humble little "treecycling" operation...today i milled some amaaaazing Tulip wood.pics tomorrow.

Poly barrels: this was a wastematch hookup. a local micro-brewery has a steady supply of 55gallon drums.
2 a month.were filled with sodium hydroxide(caustic soda)  but washed.(its safe in soil anyway) maybe this is typical of all breweries?,
i plan to make rain barrels and compost tumblers with them for myself.hopefully enough demand to sell a few(a lot?)
Car-Washes also have barrels,not always 55gallon but some 20-30 gal ones(handy sizes!).were filled with powdered soap. theyre happy to give them away usually.

i'll add more later.gotta get the tulip wood off my car now!
 
                            
Posts: 43
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Great thread! I have found several good resourses as well.
1- agriculture dealerships.
As with much factory farming the Ag industry has an incredible amount of waste. Often large shipping crates, often with 1/2inch ply wood, 1X4 and 2X4
an unbelievable amount of nuts and bolts if needed
just ask if you can glean scrap, I got a 300 gallon water tank last year I want to use to collect run off from town drainage dich behind my property.
2- Farmers themselves.
Many have sheds full of old odds and ends they just don't want to look at, although some want a good bit money for junk.
3- Garbage dumps
I have several retired friends who frequent local land fills and some of the thing people will through out would amaze you, and often it works or just needs a little tinkering.
4- Hardware stores for cull lumber old stock they wanting to clear out.
A lot can be found just by asking, those are my suggestions at the moment.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Theres a garden center here that I worked at last spring. They threw out a lot of plants, pots, and soil and I rescued as much as I could. The best finds were two blueberry plants, and a hardy kiwi vine.

So I highly suggest going to your local nurseries and asking them if they ever throw any of these things out, and if so, when this tends to happen
 
                            
Posts: 43
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Heres one I thought you may like, a friend and I were given a three legged cow. With a frozen foot it needed put down and we were able to get the meat which is hanging now and we will butcher tomorrow.
I thought this was a neat free find with will make great ground meat and jerky all at the cost of a couple hours of butchering.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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We have been getting great water tank out of a dumpster lately!!!  Apparently a water treatment (like water softeners) company has been reposessing and throwing away systems and the tanks are great 120 gallon tanks.  I've made two into rain water tanks and another one was cut in half to become two new worm bins.  I have another one standing by for my next project and hopefully get more soon.

The tree services are great.  Whenever you see one working in your neighborhood, let them know where they can dump chips for free at you place and they are generally happy not to have to drive to the dump and pay to unload the chips.

Garden web, if garden web has a garden forum for your state, it could be an easy way to trade plants.  At least here in Florida there are some members that have yearly partys or "swap-I-Q's" where a bunch of people come around and show off the garden and swap seedlings/cuttings etc.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Laws here state that produce hanging over the sidewalk is fair game for gleaning. I don't buy lemons as often now that I know that, and I've taken to planting climate-appropriate crops on the edges of vacant lots...I'm trying to focus on non-edibles, but perhaps I'll have things tested if there's a high yield of something.

Speaking of that: while it's usually not possible to claim neglected land as one's exclusive property, there are many ways to re-claim public land as usable public space. A local piece of land connected to a freeway overpass is being guerilla-gardened into something pleasant and productive, by myself and at least one person I haven't met. Actions have been taken that I see as wise and moderate even if they aren't focusing on the things I would, which is really exciting.

Just today, I learned how easy it is to pull a couple of 1x3's off of an abandoned box spring. They aren't sanitary, but there are uses for dirty wood...I'm thinking ornamental planters for a year or so.

And 'tis the season to take your neighbors' Christmas trees (from the curb).
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Plastic pop bottles can be a useful freebee. I'm going to use them for cloches, slug trap containers, and maybe as insulation for a cob wall some day.

You can often get garbage bags full of defective ones (without labels) from factories.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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I tend to send recyclable plastic off to be recycled but my county only recycles two types of plastic so I try and find other uses for anything not recycle able here.  They often get holes cut in them and become seedling pots or reusable snack food containers.
 
                            
Posts: 43
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Well after butchering the three legged cow we ended up with a couple of hundred pounds of free non GMO beef that would have been left for coyotes! Everything seems better free!
 
                    
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When I lived in a dorm, there was a "free box" in the lobby for girls to put cast off clothing and other stuff in.  Mostly clothing.  I still wear a couple of things I got out of the free box, a decade later, one in particular a beautiful and delicately thin organic wool sweater, I really could NOT figure out why it wasn't wanted by the original owner.  I mean, it had some ugly flowers on it, but scissors took care of them. 

I just read about a "free market" that's been organized a few times in Chico CA.  The biggest problem, according to the woman that's making it happen, is that people just can't believe things are really all the way free.  But it's gaining popularity. 

Joel - Is the fruit over the side walk thing a state law or specific to the bay area?  I took some lemons off a tree from a house with a rather battered 'for sale' sign out front the other week.  I really like to see guerilla gardening in urban places, if I still lived in a city I'd be doing things like that.  So cool to have unseen collaborators!  Do you focus on spreading soil remediation species? 

My former landlord in philly threw a fence up around a vacant lot, and declared it a community garden.  It's not uncommonly done, and it's wonderful 'free' space, but it usually results in the garden's destruction when the lot is finally developed, and that can be painful for those that participated in creating it and who get a lot of their food from it.  Some gardens in that city have been fought for and saved. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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marina phillips wrote:Is the fruit over the side walk thing a state law or specific to the bay area?

...

So cool to have unseen collaborators!  Do you focus on spreading soil remediation species? 

...

it usually results in the garden's destruction when the lot is finally developed


This plot isn't very well-suited to development. Putting in a foundation would undermine an underpass, and it's on the border of a neighborhood developers aren't fond of. Nothing is for certain, but it seems safe for now.

It's really cool! I am spreading soil-building annuals, someone else is digging up the spikier weeds, and that person or maybe another has planted a cherry tree.

My understanding was that it was CA law, but I've lost the link and of course, I am not a lawyer.
 
                            
Posts: 43
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It seems sad to me that laws exist that state if a person can or can't eat whats growing on a tree! Although I can see it for it would be tough to see someoe eat all the food you worked for. Thats why I want to have enough I won't miss it if someone needs it more than I do!
I know last year a lot of the neighbourhood enjoyed my apples, yes I had none to put away but that just tells me I need more trees!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Benny wrote:
It seems sad to me that laws exist that state if a person can or can't eat whats growing on a tree! Although I can see it for it would be tough to see someoe eat all the food you worked for. Thats why I want to have enough I won't miss it if someone needs it more than I do!
I know last year a lot of the neighbourhood enjoyed my apples, yes I had none to put away but that just tells me I need more trees!


I think some of these laws are based on older traditions, where a king could kill a starving peasant for taking the deer he would've killed for sport.

Then again, I do want to respect people's sense of their home. I think "if it extends into public space" is a good criterion, even if it isn't binding legislation.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
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places that manufacture or sell large ac units. appliances and the like often destroy their shipping crates. they are great for scrap wood projects.

you can get paid to take good stuff out of foreclosed homes or homes with evicted renters!

manure for compost is usally free for the taking around these parts.



 
                            
Posts: 9
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I've lived in several states if a tree grew over your property, you could cut those limbs or harvest from that part that overgrew your property.  Check with the local authorities on it.

In this area we have some very large dairy farms that will go long distances and spread liquefied manure on your property for free.  When the tanks are full they need them emptied.

Those that raise chickens, rabbits, horses, and cattle will most always allow the free removal of manure in smaller quantities.  I no longer have them here, but I also have lots of neighbors that will load my truck or trailer full for free.  I then use what I need and deliver for friends that can't haul it.

Check with others on seed.  I harvest a lot of seed every year and give it away.  I also start plants indoors and give the extras away.  I myself have given away hundreds of plants in the spring and I have a group of people that depend on me every year.  I also give away that part of my harvest I don't need.  Sometimes it gets so bad that people avoid me when they see me carrying vegetables.
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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one i didnt mention earlier, since i didnt think it useful to anyone else,and i have concerns about using myself now, but been making me good money, is phenolic.

a manufacturer near my old office produces Lots of phenolic resin panel cut-offs in large sizes. i've used it for making jigs and fixtures etc in my workshop.
i had so much left i started selling it ,over $2,000 worth in the past couple years.
in stores its generally $15-25 a square foot.did best selling it in  standard sizes for table-saw inserts,router table plates etc...may try it on ebay.shipping has been problematic with bigger pieces...not worth the hassle.

for those who dont know, Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to many layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic resin. These layers of laminations are usually of cellulose paper, cotton fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, glass fabrics or unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the layers, a chemical reaction (polymerization) transforms the layers into a high-pressure thermosetting industrial laminated plastic.
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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When buying this farm, we had many, many items to throw away-actual trash. On the flip side, there were buildings torn down and left,  high tensile wire fences laid down, cement blocks, wood fences, etc. to salvage and reuse.

The local county government had yielded much in salvageable items: wood from judges and juries boxes and the platform they sat on, pallets, office equipment that just needed "tweeking" old medical equipment, etc. Often take items don't need to a local  domestic abuse center.

Pick up bags of leaves and other goodies on the side of the road-after asking home owner first. The local transfer station shreds wood and get much of my bedding for the animals there. Get calls to dig up trees, bushes and plants when people are remodeling/building and need them gone-mostly fruit bearing.

Do load manure from local friends that have cleaned out pens/barns and have no place to put it. Many are older and we visit and often do some trading or sharing after I'm done.
 
Wyatt Smith
Posts: 111
Location: Midwest zone 6
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I grew up near a college.  It was a tradition to go dumpster diving the day after people moved out from the dorms.  You could get fans, lamps,... anything.  They also have a scrap metal pile (mostly steel) which they allow free cycling for a good cause.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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great idea for the thread...around here you cant get things like woodchips even for a price..well for a high price..cause the biomass plants burn them for energy and the cogen plant 20 miles from here  uses wood producets including sawdust and woodchips to make steam..the biomass plants may also start burning all garbage and refuse soon, so if they do nothing will be available i guess..

I'm kinda against the biomass and cogen plants as they destroyed a lot of the forest around here cutting it down to feed those plants, and sending the deer and bear into our yards begging for food and looking for shelter..woods were clear cut and then replanted...but the deer and bear can't live in a woods only 1 ' tall.
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Thank you for that info Brenda,
    So far we have been able to stop a biomass plant from being built in our high mountain valley- atmospheric inversion being an issue here. That and not enough people trusted the people trying to pull together the biomass plant to obligate themselves over a long term contract for cutting.

I ran the numbers back then and a contractor would be hard pressed to break even. Made sure the locals who  were considering contracting saw my numbers. Wasn't going to see our valley's air quality go in the dump over "corporate" accounting as presented by the bio mass people.

That and they misrepresented what their smoke stacks would be putting out.  Had more than a few experts who deal first hand with smoke residues as expert witnesses and made sure the appropriate state people knew of the expert testimony.
 
                    
Posts: 63
Location: N.W. Arkansas
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Fruit stands: often they have alot of produce that they can not use.  It is a good addition to your compost pile.  And sometimes there are even plants that they will play, "let's make a deal" with.  One fruit stand gave us truck loads of watermelons, they had slight damage.  And no mold, no rotten fruits nothing, just not pretty enough to sell, my goats loved them, and the fruit stand was glad to get rid of them..  We ate alot of them too, they may not have looked great, but didn't hurt their taste!

The local laundromat has a give and take box.  You put in what you don't want and take what you do want.  If you have nothing to give, you can still take, and nothing of interest, you can still give!  Even books are included in this give and take.

Lots of folks have yard sales, and at the conclusion, they set boxes out, and put free to anyone signs on them.  I have seen food, appliances, toys, furniture, and produce in these!

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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we dug up a lot of lilacs where an expressway was going to be built..and as for the fruit hanging over the sidewalk..not so much..as my sister's property the only place to put her garden was along the alley way behind her house and people stole nearly all of her garden, including all the raspberries..she finally dug them up and got rid of them and can't garden there any more..
 
                            
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Brenda Groth wrote:
we dug up a lot of lilacs where an expressway was going to be built..and as for the fruit hanging over the sidewalk..not so much..as my sister's property the only place to put her garden was along the alley way behind her house and people stole nearly all of her garden, including all the raspberries..she finally dug them up and got rid of them and can't garden there any more..



People are like that everywhere I've ever been. I had two gardens in my back yard when I lived in Washington State (Tacoma) and my neighbors would come over at night and take what they wanted. I'm back in Michigan for now and live in the country on a small farm. I had neighbors raiding my garden at night. I hoe and cultivate my gardens and leave no tracks in it. When I see tracks in my garden in the morning and fruits and vegetables missing I know what happened. I grow extra and give it away, just ask and I have no problem with giving a bunch away.

I also built Rabbitat on about four acres here and within two years people destroyed it. I never stopped anyone from hunting it and I guess I should have. I also had a neighbor fence off part of the property so their cows cold get to a pond and drink. Not just once, but three times until I cut the fence in pieces and let his cattle out. Why would anyone think they have the right to do this even after they were told NO?!!!
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Guess I'm far enough off the beaten track such thefts haven't happened yet, but then of course with 5 large LGD's...

Had to go to redoing my fence and putting in hot wire this winter to keep the next door rancher's cattle out of my grass(about 12 acres worth). Am doing some serious work in that area to help reestablish the grass density. Don't need cows on that to "help". Will be using the goats and sheep to help though-sparingly!

Am just finishing up a multi tier terrace next to the barn to take advantage of the  dew, frost, rain when it pours off that edge. The cement blocks came from a salvage situation down the road. Had the county enforcement officer's permission and made sure he saw I was using what he had ok'd me to take. Will be sure to share some early tomatoes off that terrace with him.

Some the things being transplanted onto that terrace are things I have dug up elsewhere and brought here, then spread over the last few years. Many came from friends that were moving or needed to thin out their own populations of overly dense plantings.

The mint came from a little "western town" not far from here. Just a thing the fella that owns it did, but he decided for some strange reason the mint had to go. That mint tastes great in cold or hot tea! )

The daylilies and  walking onions came from another friend that needed to thin her patches out a bit. That and had brought her a truckload of well aged compost, something she had mentioned needing a few days before. Both are absolutely yummy. The parsley I have came from old seed she had given me the first year and now it's reseeding itself. So a bit of that is being transplanted also.
 
Marcella Rose
Posts: 95
Location: Central Texas, it is dry here.
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I didn't see this link listed so I will...I am a reader...I LOVE to read and constantly need new books.  Here is a great link to trade in your old books and swap for new titles you have not read yet:

www.paperbackswap.com

 
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