Two-bit Guru | Salvaged Goods | Photo of silt fencing and a wooden box received from a neighbor

How would you like to have a neighbor who actually delivers salvaged goods to your door from numerous sources? If you’re a trash picker like me I’m sure you’d answer with an enthusiastic Yes! Please contain your envy because I enjoy such a situation.

My trash-purveying neighbor is a landscaper and he comes across all kinds of useful stuff. Being a fellow accumulator of things-that-might-come-in-handy-for-something-someday, he has quite a collection of salvaged junk himself. He often has something useful for me that he doesn’t need, or has in excess, or that he has acquired specifically for me.

He’s given me:

  • Many, many buckets of unwanted lava rocks that I may use in a planned hydroponics system so I can grow greens indoors over the winter.
  • Many, many containers, including a couple of urns, numerous jars, boxes, and flower pots.
  • Silt fencing, hundreds of feet of it, that I use to keep the weeds down in the garden paths. The plan is to cover the silt guard with wood chips (which also happen to be free from our village).
  • Aged wooden picket fencing that is perfect for defining, and hiding, storage spaces in the back yard.
  • Cabinets, among them a 6-foot length of a kitchen counter unit that is now in my basement shop, a weathered teak chest that I use for hose storage outdoors, and a little wooden cabinet modeled after an old-fashioned ice chest that might-come-in-handy-for-something-someday.
  • Grass clippings from pesticide-free lawns, hundreds of pounds of pumpkins left over from charitable Halloween sales, and windfall apples, all good as compost/worm food.

And more.

He and I have a couple of things in common. One of them is obvious, we like things that might-come-in-handy-for-something-someday. A less obvious common ground is that it pains each of us to see something that could be reused, rebuilt, or upcycled go into the landfill. Without ever having said it, we cooperate in doing our small part to minimize the insult done to the earth by an irresponsible throw-away society.