Beg or Borrow but Don't Steal, Gardening on a Budget, Going Green

Not so slim pickings

Has anyone seen American Pickers? I don’t watch much reality TV, but voyeuristic bargain-hunting and junk-scavenging never fails to perk me up on a Wednesday night.

Inspired by the show’s Mike and Frank, I’ve been doing some pickin’ of my own in Boroondara. Yep, it’s hard rubbish week once more in the affluent inner east, and whenever I drive through its streets, a fifteen-minute trip turns into a forty-five-minute detour. Continue reading

Beg or Borrow but Don't Steal, Going Green

Hard Rubbish: To Scavenge or Not To Scavenge?

The other day, I found a man disembowelling an abandoned stereo on the nature strip. He was snipping cables when I startled him. His head whipped up; he froze briefly like wildlife caught in the beams of an oncoming truck, before shoving the cables into a faded green shopping bag and moving on.

Yep. It’s hard rubbish week in my suburb, and the scavengers are on the prowl. My man fit the stereotype: middling and furtive with his pliers, green bag and non-ironic nineties parachute jacket. Nevertheless it’s surprising to discover how run-of-the-mill hard rubbish scavenging is. According to researchers, ‘while four out of five householders contribute to hard rubbish at least every two years, two in five make a withdrawal. Parents with young children are…the worst offenders’ Continue reading