I think it is twice a year that each selected neighborhood in New Zealand puts out their trash that is too big to be recycled or thrown away, and at the end of the week a truck comes by and picks it all up. The rules are basically nothing bigger than what two man can carry and a few other stipulations like no building supplies. (you can read more at the government site if you want more details)So you drive through different neighborhoods and you see streets that look like this. Sometimes there are big mounds with sofas, carpets, & bookshelves and sometimes they are more mediocre baskets and cardboard. You can see at the bottom of the picture above, that Graeme and I put out a microwave that someone took in less than a day, but left the top cover.
For us more resourceful people... or cheap people... It is like shopping heaven! You see people wander and digging through other people's lost treasures or junk only to find just what they need. They see potential and purpose in something that had lost this for someone else. Really interesting.
I found a desk stool that lifts up and down with the lever for my room.(below)
I don't know how correct or unfair it is, but i have been told that one stereotype is that whenever inorganics comes around, you are bound to see islanders in vans and trailers jumping out and picking things up. I am not sure how much i would go with the islander thing, but i did see plenty of full vans and trailers perusing our neighborhood this labor day holiday weekend.
The things i noticed:
- Common things thrown out included: Printers, carpet, couches, broken chairs, computer screens, & other misc.
- Reactions from Kiwi people varied EXTREMELY from: it's an embarrassment, it's disgusting, it's a disgrace, i hate the utter chaos VS. it is quite good, quite ingenious really, it's fun shopping, and it serves a purpose.
- It is amazing what people throw out. Things that could originally cost hundreds of dollars are just chucked outside onto the rainy roadside with little care.
- The saying, "one man's junk is another man's treasure" was so true hear!
- I am cheap and take no shame in using secondhand possessions that just need a little loving.