Extraordinary item

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Income statements report revenues, expenses, gains, and losses occurring in the normal course of business. But unique or rare incomes or expenses outside of the purpose of the business are reported as extraordinary items. These are infrequent, and unusual.

For the period of September 2013 to August 2014, I want to report on the some extraordinary items I found dumpster diving. I go through a lot of rubbish piles, bins, skips: what Americans lump together as “dumpsters”. Seeing a skip like the one above makes my heart skip a beat.

From a University Comp Sci dumpster

15″ dell monitor
17″ dell monitor
5 keyboards
3 mice
2 optical drives
UK kettle leads

I used the monitors in the PC, and made birthday cards out of the keyboards. The drives were fucked, but I used them for parts and modelling. Maybe €50 worth total?


From hotel/restaurant dumpsters

8 milkcrates
A2 Whiteboard with a stand (€60 new, cleaned, and repaired stand)
Ironing board
Expensive brand saucepan (€110 new, cleaned, and repaired handle)

I used the crates on the back of the bike to hold groceries. The rest were things I needed to buy, but didn’t have to. Probably saved me about €60.

Found while cycling
€30 lock, found with key (needed unsticking)
€20 pump (lost)
€30 scarf, found in bag with receipt on windy December day.
3 cheap backpacks
pair sunglasses
About €40 lost notes and coins
2 reflective vests
gloves
shemagh

A good haul – particularly as I’d otherwise have to buy these things. Being able to see these things and stop to pick them up is a reason to cycle in the city. I’m sure if I had a car, I’d have picked up other, heavier shit from the roadside, and gone to proper recycling centers. I’d value it about €50, and then add the €40 cash.

Sub total: €210

Then the extraordinary losses that came out of the blue:

Kids threw a bottle of water at me when it was pissing rain, and we were soaked.
Lost about €20 cash.
Bungee cords off bike (nicked, so €.50)
Losing the veneer of normality early November with colleagues when I spotted the A2 whiteboard and doubled back to grab it before anyone else did.

I’d value all those losses about €30.

Total: €180 income/savings from just picking shit up off the ground, and rooting through some selected dumpsters. That’s 75% of my gym membership. That hunting/gathering feeling is paleo as fuck too, and is guaranteed to put 20lbs on your totals. Expect to see these tips on T-Nation soon.

Any cool shit you guys have found?

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13 thoughts on “Extraordinary item

  1. Nice work, I think one of the T-Nation diet gurus used to live in a dumpster back before he was famous. You could share tips.

    I don’t go dumpster diving, but where I live people will just leave things they want to get rid of by the sidewalk. Picked up a couple decent items of furniture that way. Also in our building there’s a trash chute and a recycling bin room on every floor, and unwanted items are often left there. We got a bunch of pots and pans that way, even some of our plates (I think) come from the same source. So yeah, garbage FTW.

  2. One time cycling through galway I saw a 20 on the road, I swung around the ‘block’ as quickly as possible, it was still there so I pulled in asap and grabbed it off the tarmac. That was probably my most exciting find although I found 50e on the bathroom floor in college during the ‘good times’ when there was lots of money around.

  3. recently found a mid level Giant Road bike in my friend’s apartment dumpster. Just had to replace a QR skewer and slap on some pedals + minor repairs. bike = $800+ value. My roommate rides the bike to work everyday, because he is a jerk.

      1. if you are even moderately mechanical, fixing bikes is pretty intuitive. often new cables and routing is all that you need. maybe some brake pads too. Never expect a used bike, or a cheep bike to run perfectly though. derailleurs and rims and other components are finicky as hell. But 80 to 90% perfect, sure.

    1. I found some Continental 27 1 1/4 road tires, new with tags, in an apartment complex dumpster. They have wire, high pressure tires. I’m debating on my road bike whether if I should buy new wheels in 700c or just get 27 1 1/4 wheels and use those tires.

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