People Share Their Best 'One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure' Experiences
Image by Egle P. from Pixabay

You may not always see the inherent value in something, but someone else might.

Life is all about perspective, and what you see in a particular item could be worth a lot more than what someone else thought before they threw it away.
Or, that is, almost threw it away, before you were there to catch it. Making trash in to treasure might take some work, but so long as you can see the value something has, you'll live a much happier, and economically sound, life.

Reddit user, ChamikaIth40, wanted to know how you made something out of nothing when they asked:

What is the best example of "One man's trash is another man's treasure"?

The thing with "trash to treasure" is the first part of that statement. "Trash." Odds are the thing you just found is broken, maybe a little loved, but still in fairly decent condition. Spend a little time, a little sweat on it, and you have something that will make you happy for years.

Anyone Else's Still Work?

"Back in the day my dad was going to get rid of his original PS2 and I asked for it, and he said if I could get it to work I could have it. All I did was clean it out and ran without issues for years."


Just A Little Bit Of Love And New Wires

"Reminds me of my turntable. My dad wanted to throw it away and go full digital. I still enjoy it, playing vinyl records is strangely relaxing."


"Reminds me of when I thought mine was broken. Started researching new ones but I really didn't want to buy another one. Turns out it just needed to be taken apart slightly to have the ribbon adjusted and also to have the needle replaced. Much cheaper and good as new."


...Dr. Frankenstein?

"Last winter I was going for a bike ride and I came across a dumpster at the local college filled with old electronic equipment and I rescued an analog oscilloscope, a frequency generator from the early 50s, two working monitors, various electronic components including a ton of vacuum tubes and resistor, a transformer, an analog volt meter and 10 large high voltage capacitors. There was also a bunch of old lab equipment but I didn't save any of it because it was beyond repair."


Your Own Personal Streaming Database

"Whenever I see old computers in the trash I pull the hard drive and add it to my giant JBOD array. I've got 11 disks hooked up between 750GB (that I needed an IDE to SATA adapter for) to 4TB from the trash, and a couple bigger ones but I bought those."

"For my library of TV shows and movies all in the highest res available."


That's A New Table, Right There

"Scrap metal. As a certified welder, I look at a scrap metal junkyard with the same eyes I assume Picasso looked at a canvas. I'm not an artistic welder btw either. I just see my company throw away a bunch of scrap metal. And I'm like "give me two of those old tire racks, and I'd make some coffee tables or work benches".


Whatever Gets You That "A"

"My engineering professor told us to visit junkyards and dumpster dive for parts to build a robot from for our final project (build a robot that does something useful in 20-60 seconds autonomously). So I guess I'm living the quote"


On the other side are these treasures, once considered trash, but now in a wanted home. You don't always have to fix something up to make it worthwhile. Sometimes the inherent worth was already there.

That's Ten To Twelve Dollars, Right There

"I used to haul scrap metal so...literally trash. Steel is 6-10 cents a pound, aluminum around 50 cents a pound, copper about 3 cents a pound, etc. So that broken washing machine on the curb will get you 8-$12. A few bucks more if you pullout the motor before scrapping. Old lawn furniture is often aluminum etc. Literally anything metal is easy to sell at a scrap yard. I would drive around nicer neighborhoods rhe night before trash day and fill up the back of my truck. Even better on bulk pickup days."


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Boom. Roasted.

"My ex-wife remarried."


"Thank you I needed a good laugh."


If You Know The Value Of Green Gold, You'll Be All Set

"Not one but 2 people in the last month were throwing out perfectly good - gorgeous house plants"

  1. pair of regular peace lillies
  2. pair of elephant plants, potted fern, large mix variety of tropical plants $75 dollars at Lowe's

Neighborhood Bin, Clear For Everyone

"We literally found a miniature car collection on the neighbourhood recycling bin the other day. Half were to scale miniatures, half were toy cars. We gave the toys to someone with kids and kept the miniatures. BTW they were found inside of a bag, clean and disinfected."


We'll Be Crash Test Dummies Big!

"My neighbor had these soft plastic faces she used for Halloween decor for decades. Came over one day and said she was throwing stuff out and asked if I wanted them. I ended up with 11 of these things, and they sat in my garage for years."

"Turns out, they were the faces for vintage crash test dummies, and worth quite a lot since they rarely made it out of the testing facilities."



Eat It, Walt Kiesling!

"Johnny Unitas"

"The Steelers released him during his rookie training camp. Four years later, with the Colts, he had won back-to-back league championships, was selected the league's MVP, and became the blueprint for all future NFL quarterbacks. After retirement, he made the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility."


Make Money Off What You Love

"I make fire pits out of old granite countertops. The granite store literally gives it to us for free because they don't have to pay to have scrap granite removed and I turn around and sell the fire pit for over $300 from material I don't pay for."


When You Know What Something Is Worth

"Went to the local dump to dispose of some construction trash when I saw a drill press in the dumpster - floor standing cast iron Craftsman model from the 1960's."

"Took it home, stripped it down, replaced some parts, removed rust, new paint, and a rebuilt motor and it works flawlessly."

"A separate trip to the auto junk yard netted me almost a dozen cabinets for the garage - the local electric company had junked their old work vans, so I spent a day pulling cabinets and parts trays. Even found a set of keys so they all lock too. $20 ea cabinet, which probably cost several hundred dollars each new."


Furry Little Treasures

"The fair few cats and dogs we have rescued. Each and every one of them brought immeasurable joy"


Right Place, Right Time

"You wouldn't believe what the rich people in those Manhattan luxury residential skyscrapers just throw out. I worked as a concierge/porter/doorman for a while, and here's some of what I got:"

-They threw out a nice set of hard drives, unused, because the faceplate was cracked. Disks are still running 6y later without issue.

-Various old LCD TVs or computer monitors whenever they get a new or bigger one.

-Kitchen appliances, really nice microwaves, cookers, etc... I don't have a clue why they were trashed.

-They seem to buy new luggage for every trip. So high end luggage without a scuff on it was always around.

-A very nice Dell 48U server rack with UPS and 1U server (those giant cabinets you see in datacenters, the rack alone I sold for $600 used).

-A commercial large format printer, worked fine. Also regular desktop printers of all sorts.

-Various older computers/laptops when they upgrade.

-All sorts of furniture other guys made good money selling.

"It's f-cking unbelievable. Imagine having so much money it's not even worth it to sell stuff like that so you just toss it in the trash. But we certainly appreciated it, only made $15/hr (6-7y ago before that was nyc min)."


Keep an eye on the neighborhood recycling bins, is the lesson best learned from all this.

And yard sales. Always stop for yard sales.

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