Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Council Cleanup

Twice a year, each council in Sydney organises a clean-up for its suburbs. It is a chance for people to get rid of all that oversized "junk" that won't fit in regular wheelie-bins such a fridges, washing machines, broken doors etc. It's also a chance to do a good clean out of your "stuff", see what you may not need anymore, haven't used in ages etc.

Council clean-up is a virtual treasure trove for thrifters. Amongst all the broken appliances, old paint tins and bags of damp grotty magazines are some real treasures. It's a win-win situation for all involved, people get rid of unwanted stuff, others find treasures in that junk and the council avoid rubbish being thrown out onto the kerbs haphazardly throughout the year (mostly).

Some seekers get straight in there, rummaging through bags, lifting wardrobes to see what's underneath. I'm not that much of a heavy-weight, I have a quick look as I pass by and see if there's anything of interest. There is a sense of fun to the whole thing, the rule is that you are supposed to leave it until the day before the clean-up to put out your junk, although people generally start a couple of weeks beforehand. But with the bulk being left out the evening before, you can spot people out with their flashlights, piling up their utes. Everyone's idea of treasure differs, some people are looking for bikes, some for wood, computer parts, glass etc for building projects, some for toys...

This system sure beats Ireland for example, where there is no such thing as a council cleanup (or wasn't when I lived there). Instead, if you need to get rid of big junk you have to hire a skip (at the cost of a couple of hundred euro). You hear shuffling and banging noises during the night and wake up to find your skip has been filled with the whole neighbourhood's junk!!! This is much more fun!! The council generally leave it till late afternoon/evening to collect so everyone has a good chance to look, it works out better for them too as it means less for them to collect.

Here's what I found this year, all on my own street:

Yet another typewriter, an Adler Gabriele 35 for anyone who's interested in such things. As an aside, I have seen an Olympia typewriter the same as the one I found a while back, sell for $220 on eBay and have also seen it retail for $495 on specialist vintage typewriter websites. Not that I'll be selling mine as I LOVE it, but interesting...

I found this stash of cafe-ware outside an apartment block last week. There were boxes of cups and saucers, loads of huge pots and cook-books, I think it must have been from a cafe that was updating or maybe closing down.

I needed a good scales, I have a vintage-style one in our kitchen that is very temperamental, a bag of mince could weigh 500 grams one minute, 350 grams the next. So I was delighted to find this nice big one.

I love this chalkboard, I thought it would be fun to write up a weekly menu-plan on it, but a certain little blond cupcake has other plans for it :-)

And the 3 pans are Chef-inox professional, they are the 20cm wide, 4.5 cm deep one (again for anyone interested) which retail new for between $59 and $79 EACH!!!

Our local playgroup did a clean-out to coincide with the council cleanup, we spent a few hours clearing out broken toys and old furniture, I couldn't believe it when these 2 gorgeous vintage kiddie chairs when into the pile, SCORE!!! Aren't they sweet?

And lastly a couple of wire baskets, perfect for storing crayons, foam shapes etc for the boys.

Not a bad haul at all!


Super Sarah said...

We have loads of things thrifted from council cleanup. Unfortunately our area isn't the most affluent but my mother-in-law calls me when she gets her notice from the council and we are over there like a shot for the better pickings!

Jenifir said...

We don't have anything so organized here. I still find good things at he curb. I like your haul! -especially the typewriter and scales!

Kate said...

Wow - you are GOOD! The saucepans alone are a great find - well done, you!

Missa said...

That is so great, I wish they did this where I live! Nice haul, especially love the old scales and the darling chairs :)

Anonymous said...

And which suburb do you live??(only joking..kinda:)Good finds. Love the council pickup

kurrabikid said...

Good for you - it's a very VERY eco-friendly way to be. You've inspired me to be more alert. We've picked up a few good bits and pieces over the years but it's something we should be on the lookout for a lot more.