They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.
Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.
Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.
Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:
And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.
Like Refrigerator Bigjust ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."
"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."
"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr
Immigrants In ActionDog Brazil GIFGiphy
"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."
"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."
"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas
With A NoteTelevision Bunny GIFGiphy
"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."
"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf
Life Hack!studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk HistoryGiphy
"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"
"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."
"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."
"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."
"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."
"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."
"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow
Literal Gold Treasurevalley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic ChannelGiphy
"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."
"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."
"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."
"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."
"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch
The Best Day Of My LifeWill Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVEGiphy
"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."
"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."
"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."
"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."
"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."
"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."
"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief
Who Throws Away Money?spongebob squarepants money GIFGiphy
"A jar full of quarters."
"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."
"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."
"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."
"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980
Filing FeverFiles Workload GIFGiphy
"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."
"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"
"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."
"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."
"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz
Foreigners Explain Which Parts Of American Culture Seem Strange | George Takei’s Oh MyyyAmerica, land of the free... and oversized portions and cars. That's how the saying goes, right? There are some baffling quirks about the United States. That...
This Sucks - In A Good Way!mrs doubtfire vacuum GIFGiphy
"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."
"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."
"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs
Tiffany's TrashAudrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."
"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink
Sitting In It Right NowLike A Boss Rap GIF by MorphinGiphy
"About 9 years ago, at a previous job, they were renovating some office space, and were going to throw away a room full of broken down cubical panels, old chairs, etc."
"In the middle of all of it, like a diamond in the rough, was an $800 (at the time) Herman Miller Aeron chair. It was in perfect condition, clean, nothing wrong with it whatsoever, it was just getting replaced."
"I verified with multiple people on the project that it was bound for the dump, so that no one would think I was stealing. I'm sitting in it as I type this right now." - kickfacemouth
The Drug Kingpinal pacino drugs GIFGiphy
"I purchased a farm and it had about 20 broken down cars on it - some junk, some nice classics as well."
"I started dismantling them to restore them and in car hidden inside the door panels was weed and 50k in cash. The drugs had water damage and were obviously very old."
"I contacted police and they arrived real fast! After a nervous conversation they had a team there looking for finger prints or other evidence, I don't know."
"They came back and told me the story of the original owner, who was an old drug kingpin with ties to a lot of groups. They kept the money for a while then I got it handed back to me in new notes since those were flagged numbers on the money."
"It helped with the restoration projects and made some good money from selling them. I also got to keep the car which I restored and will keep for many years." - Kenworth117
Grandpa's Gold TurtleFeeling Old Season 8 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"24 karat solid gold turtle given to my grandpa by the wealthy owner of a chain of Chinese restaurants."
"It was palm sized and probably weighed the better part of a pound. My understanding is it's a traditional way to wish someone prosperity. Grandpa treated the restaurant owner as if she were his daughter and her son as one of his grandchildren."
"This meant the world to her as both of her parents passed when she was younger and the boy's father wasn't in the picture for whatever reason."
"Grandpa was a hoarder. Once a year a family member would take him on vacation for a week while the rest of the family rented a dumpster and cleaned out grandpa's house."
"Whoever found the turtle thought it was a cheap trinket or a child's art project and threw it away."
"It was like 3 months later, Grandpa calls my dad in a dead panic because he couldn't find the gold turtle. Once we figured out what happened grandpa didn't speak to any of his children for over a month."
"Grandpa has been gone for over a decade and we still don't know which sibling threw it out. I suspect the siblings will take that secret to their graves." - throwawayspank1017
Traveling On Wendy's Tab
"About 20 years ago Wendys had a promo with Airtrain Airlines... If you collect so many of these cut out squares from cups u can redeem for a free round trip flight. There was no limit."
"I spent several times jumping in the dumpster and must have gotten 15 free round trip flights for me.. my kids and family and friends...Granted a crappy airlines... but it allowed my Fla kids to see Colorado snow and ski for the first time." - godfather6545
Only The Super RichMoney Fancy GIF by Adult SwimGiphy
"I live in a mountain town in western US. I build and remodel houses for a living."
"Basically, only the super rich can buy and build houses around here. Just last week I started on a project where the new owner is tearing down the existing house and we're going to build a new in its place."
"They want to get rid of everything. All appliances, furniture, fixtures, etc."
"Got myself a new dryer (looked like it was maybe used a couple times). 5 star gas stove and hood vent, stand up deep freezer, new washer, a stackable washer/dryer, claw feet cast iron tubs (2 in perfect condition), dishwashers, microwaves, just to make a few. Freakin crazy." - smushedsloshie
Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!
The US is represented in the majority of some of the biggest films recognized worldwide–from iconic movies like American Grafitti to The Color Purple, to recent critically-acclaimed films like Minari and Moonlight.
Even classic American sitcoms like Friends are known the world over as the ultimate example of American comedy.
But there are plenty of misconceptions about American culture seen in some of these entertainment offerings that foreign audiences seem to miss, and it's time to set the record straight.
For starters, an apartment in New York City is not at all spacious like the one that was inhabited by Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler. So there's that.
Curious to hear more examples of what our friends across the Atlantic could stand to learn, Redditor Jazzlike_Fondant_518 asked:
"Americans, what’s something Europeans need to hear?"
American Redditors had a thing or two to say about how we roll here in the States.
"Free, clean, omnipresent public restrooms are indeed possible."
Vouching For The Myth
"As a British person who now lives in the US I would say public toilets is something the US does really well. They are everywhere, accessible and usually very clean. Europe definitely needs to catch up on this."
Driving In Circles
"We have roundabouts here. They exist. Stop claiming we don't."
Preconceived notions can be bye-bye.
Nothing Cool About This
"The flavor of America is not cool ranch."
Maintaining Best Indoor Air Quality
"Invest in hvac and soon cause it won't get cheaper or cooler."
"A large portion of Americans are rational and moderate people, and what you see on the television isn't indicative of every American you meet."
"America isn't the only country with racial issues."
Europeans, take note.
"It’s past time you take James Corden back."
It's A Big Problem
"Europe is getting fat too."
Kernel Of Truth
"Putting corn on pizza doesn't make it 'American pizza'. It just makes it disgusting."
"A good looking guy smoking a cigarette is not a movie."
Despite everything in the news happening in the States creating division and leaving people feeling dejected, a good majority of US citizens are not jerks.
There are loads of kind, considerate, empathetic, and well-behaved people living here.
Europeans often don't get to hear this since much of the media focuses on iniquitous behavior.
Humanity is still intact here.
At least that's what I still believe.
I admit, and this might as well be heresy to lots of people, that I just don't like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
I know ya'll love it, but there's very little about it that I feel accurately captures the feeling of magic and whimsy that I experienced while I read Road Dahl's stellar book.
Before you get on my case, I'll emphatically deny liking Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... because it's also terrible.
You just can't please some people (namely me), right?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Dame87 asked the online community,
"What is a film that gets a huge amount of praise but you think is awful?"
Paranormal Activity (2007)
"Paranormal Activity. I've seen scarier crap in a public toilet."
When it came out it was pretty freaky and I still wasn't in love with it. It's the definition of average.
The Notebook (2004)
"The Notebook. Both leads are so unlikeable and horrible to each other it's not even enjoyable in a 'so bad it's good' way."
"Especially when she actually breaks up with him, gets in a stable relationship with another guy who's not awful...and then ditches that guy to get back with the main love interest because respectful relationships are sooo boring, everyone real love requires being unable to be in the same room without coming to literal screaming matches."
Honestly, aside from some very good acting, the script of this film is pretty terrible.
But it's Nicholas Sparks, we're talking about.
The Blind Side (2009)
"The Blind Side. They turned an interesting real life story into Hollywood crap."
Even the film's subject dislikes it.
Sandra Bullock beating her competition for THAT? She was much better in Gravity.
"Frozen. I hate it too much, but I can’t help it. People kept saying how it was the best Disney movie ever and it wasn’t even top ten."
Disney really did this film a disservice by shoving it down everyone's throats for much of the last decade.
Les Miserables (2012)
"I know Les Misérables was super acclaimed and all that, but it was really nothing like the book. It made me sad."
It wasn't meant to be an adaptation of the book, it was meant to be an adaptation of the musical (which a lot of people don't like because it condenses many of the elements from the book).
That said, I can't stand this film either. It's horribly directed.
"Crash won Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing awards. Received six Academy Award nominations. I thought it sucked."
You mean the film in which Sandra Bullock is cured of her racism after she falls down the stairs?
"Grease. I HATED it. I can appreciate the choreography, but the storyline is awful, cheesy (not to mention misogynistic, which at my first viewing I didn’t know what that was). Couldn’t stand Stockard Channing’s character. Really bad acting too."
It's just a bit too hokey for my taste – it makes it difficult to enjoy.
I did see a stage production years ago that was a lot more fun.
Black Panther (2018)
"It has a nice looking setting, and it was good to see a movie featuring a majority black cast with a positive/comic book storyline rather than the stereotypical urban/hang setting. So to that end it read a good movie."
"At the same time, it was also just yet another unmemorable marvel movie - I know I have seen it, but I have no memory of what actually happened in it. Remove the political/seeing element of it and it gets completely lost in the crowd."
Considering that Marvel films do absolutely nothing for me, I was not surprised by Black Panther or the fact that it was more of the same.
Meet the Parents (2000)
"Meet the Parents. It’s just two hours of being vicariously stressed out and embarrassed for Ben Stiller."
Something tells me this movie likely has not aged well. It would not surprise me at all if this turned out to be the case.
"Avatar. It's just Pocahontas in space, God dammit."
I prefer Dances with Wolves in space myself.
I rewatched this earlier during lockdown and dropped my DVD off at a local community center afterward. And who the hell asked for three more sequels?
We all have our tastes, sorry to disappoint. Besides, we're certain that you have a film or two you dislike in your arsenal.
Have thoughts about other films that are not included here? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Even though many of us have interesting events in our lives to share at a get-together, there is always someone who can top your story with a life event that can be a little too zany to be believed.
"What’s your wildest story that sounds too far-fetched to be true?"
Redditors' interactions with animals were either empowering or terrifying.
A Chihuahua's Hero
"Mine is when I was in high school I lived out in the countryside of Central Texas. I was just kind of bumbling around on the property and my mom's little chihuahua was tagging along. I heard a bird, saw a fast moving shadow, and threw my arm out, slapping a hawk out of the sky as it tried to get my mom's chihuahua."
"Cut my arm pretty good, but saved that little rat of a dog. The chihuahua went on to pass away at a smooth 19 years old."
Brush With An Owl
"I worked nights in college. I'd always take my two dogs out to pee when I got home and one late night an owl tried to snatch my Chihuahua but thankfully missed. My golden retriever ran back inside like the owl was going to somehow take his 60lb a** but my chi stood his ground like he could take it on. I got him inside and was much more careful after that. He, too, passed at 19. I miss him."
"I was almost drowned by a pod of dolphins while surfing at Salt Creek, Orange County, CA. I got up on a wave and one of them knocked me over, 2 wave pin down on a 5-7 ft day."
These could be plot points in a movie.
"I was surfing in Santa Barbara County when I was a kid, maybe 14 or 15. When I would come in from a surf, I had the habit of undoing my leash from my leg while I was walking in the shallow water. Unbeknownst to me, the other side of the leash that connects to the board had come off. I lost my leash. I searched around the tidal zone but no luck. I was bummed but I just moved on."
"Three weeks later, I was surfing in Ventura county, and as I was walking in from the surf, a piece of kelp wrapped around my leg. I reached down to pull it off. It wasn’t kelp, it was my leash I’d lost a dozen miles north a few weeks back. It had algae and stuff growing on it, but no mistaking it was absolutely my leash."
The Origin Of Love
"When my dad and step-mom met, my dad swore he’d met her before, but couldn’t remember when or where. Eventually, he decided he’d seen her in Cody, Wyoming, the town where he grew up. She swore she’d never even been to Wyoming (she’s from Oregon and that’s where they met)."
"Several years later, after they’d been married a while, step-mom mentions to her mom that my dad swears he met her in Cody, but she’s never been there. Her mom says 'Yes, you have,' and pulls out a photograph from 1956 of her, age 9, riding on a mechanical horse (a kid one) and in the background, standing around in the crowd, is my dad and his two brothers, ages 8, 10, and 11."
"She submitted the story to a local magazine for a Valentine’s Day contest one year and won a trip to a resort."
"Some honorable mentions: By the time I was 20, I was 1 degree of separation away from 5 different people who’d been murdered by 3 different serial killers (gotta love the PNW), and I almost hit Bob Dylan with my car once."
"First time I ever smoked pot a police helicopter hovered above me and my friend and hit us with the spotlight. They were looking for someone else apparently because they immediately moved on. Nonetheless…"
"I took my VW to the dealer to get some work done. The service rep at the counter was so hung over (possibly still intoxicated) that he couldn’t handle completing the paper work. He told the tech that I was a VIP, specifically 'Britni Spears’s brother' and that he owed me a favor, so the work was on the house and they just never did any paperwork, didn’t charge me a dime, did the work, handed me the keys, and away I drove."
These Redditors couldn't believe their luck.
"I won a two week cruise vacation for two in a contest."
"I never entered the contest."
"I was convinced I was being scammed."
"Even from the beaches of the Caribbean, I still wasn't convinced."
The Generous Friend
"Was in Vegas for a work thing. I was not happy about being there because it was a tough time in my life, money was really tight and Vegas is the last place you want to be when money is tight."
"I was telling my buddy about it and he says, 'Im going to pay pal you $150. Go play the poker tournament at the Venetian at night. You can drink for free and hopefully you last long. If you win anything, pay me back, if not, no worries.'"
"So I did. Won the tournament! $3200."
"The second night, I went off to play some craps alone one night because I did not like the work people and did not want to hang with them."
"Started with $200. 45 minuted later I 7’d out and had $37,000. Cashed out and told no one!"
"On the drive back (I lived in Phoenix) I called my buddy and told him (only) about it. I sent him $2500."
"The one time I went to Vegas at the proper age of 21, I won $2000 on my first spin on the 25c slot machine. I didn't gamble the rest of the time and enjoyed the fact that my trip paid for itself. Came home with all the money I left with and an extra $800. Didn't tell my bf I was with at the time either; he would have tried to spend my money."
Given A Second Chance
"I went jogging one night and came across a lady laid out face first. No heart beat. Started doing cpr. Never saw another person was able to call 911 while doing cpr. Kept at it twenty Minutes till FD got there. She made a full recovery. They said cpr that long has a 95% fail rate."
A friend back in high school told me he was a vampire when he dropped me off from band practice.
This was at a time when Anne Rice was super popular and everyone was reading the Lestat books.
Being an impressionable 15-year-old at the time, I believed him, because he warned me that if I ever revealed his identity to anyone, "I will find you."
A couple of years ago, I reunited with a mutual friend and I joked about how I believed so-and-so was a creature of the night. We nervously laughed.
Whether my blood-thirsty friend was weighing on my conscience or not, I've been visited by him in COUNTLESS dreams ever since I told my friend about him.
Call it what you want–paranoia or self-fulfilling prophecy–but there are some things in this realm I will never be able to explain.
I'm just glad I'm still here to talk about it now that I let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
When you're younger, you might think you come from a great family. But as a kid, you miss out on a lot of nuance. You do not see all the drama the adults around you are involved in. And when you do eventually notice it, you start to realize that maybe few—if any—of your family members actually like each other. So why put up with all those tense family holiday dinners?
This isn't to say that all families are like this. Absolutely not. There are some very happy and wonderful families out there. But seeing families hurt each other is enough to teach you that maybe that age old tradition of getting together for Christmas dinner might not be in everyone's best interest.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor captrober157 asked the online community,
"What family tradition ends with you?"
"Being an alcoholic."
"Being an alcoholic. My dad is an alcoholic. Both my grandfathers were alcoholics, which is what killed them. One of my grandmothers used to be an alcoholic and the other one still is. I could go on and on."
Be strong and bold man, don't let the family pressure get to you!
"200 years of living in London and my kids will never be able to afford to rent or buy here."
200 years of living anywhere, it seems. It's insane.
"My dad interrupting dinner..."
"My dad interrupting dinner, so we can CALL LONG DISTANCE to relatives who couldn’t travel to the event. Then we’d have to pass the phone around the table for brief, superficial greetings as our food went cold. Yikes."
Ummm... what? No, thank you. There's no way!
"Expecting the oldest child..."
"Expecting the oldest child to parent the younger one and getting pissed off when the oldest ends up acting like a parent. My younger brother is eight years younger than me. I stopped being a kid by the age of 8.5."
Very frustrating and sadly the case for many families out there, especially those of more limited means.
"Expecting my son..."
"Expecting my son to join the military. Almost every male family member on my father's side have fought in every conflict since WW1. I did two tours in Afghanistan and I never want him to experience anything like that."
War is traumatic and ideally, no one should ever have to experience it.
"Being hush hush..."
"Being hush hush about mental health related topics and untrusting of medicine in general."
It's great to see the younger generation be so open about mental health and fighting the stigma!
"Telling the boys..."
"Telling the boys to not cry. To push it down. Going to let my kid cry and talk about his feelings as much as he damn well pleases."
This is so important — young boys need to grow up knowing that their feelings are valid.
"Arranged marriage. Should have ended that tradition myself but was too much of a coward."
The best time was for yourself. The second best will be for your kids.
"Massive extended family gatherings. Not practical. Besides, grandma kicked the bucket 10 years ago."
Often, families splinter once a matriarch or patriarch dies and people realize that they were the glue keeping everyone together.
"I'm the first..."
"Living below the poverty line. I'm the first member of my family to be middle class."
Fantastic! Break the cycle!
It takes a lot of courage to break from your family, especially if they've always done things a certain way. A lot of respect to people who decide to and are able to create new lives for themselves!
What does breaking the cycle mean to you? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!