My Trash Picking Route Demographics

In a previous post (, I brushed on my theories as to why some areas/neighborhoods/routes yield more finds, or even specific types of finds.  This illustrates how developed my experience with trash picking is…. or just how much I think about it.  Following, is what I’ve discovered that applies to where I pick:

Friday Route – I always find lots of great vintage furniture, decor & accessories.  Additionally, good for yard & garden stuff.  Demographic – suburban middle-class neighborhood with lots about 1/2 an acre or less & no cookie cutter housing; established in the late 50’s-70’s, Retiree’s now looking to sell & move to their retirement destination or a smaller place; closer to retirement residents finally making use of kids rooms now that they’re all moved out.  Every few months find a major house clean-out with boxes of attic & basement stuff.

Thursday Route – Great for general household, newer items & kid room decor & toys.  Developments with houses picked from a book kind of plan but one with more options on where porches & garages were put, types of materials used, brickwork, etc. Houses on smaller lots (1/4 acre tops), but developed with taste. established in the late 90’s; has a center of the loop with a lake, playground and even a few of the original trees(!).  Mix of semi-retired & slightly upper middle-class families with kids looking to have a place with minimum maintenance, yet can still garden.  Close to all schools & athletic fields.

Wednesday Route – If I get out in time, by far, the BEST route for just the sheer volume & variety of finds.  A lot of cookie-cutter housing developments established in late 90’s; middle-class neighborhoods established in the 50’s-70’s with various sized lots; a few upper-middle class developments established in the 80’s & early 2000.  This route could easily have me making a few trips home to unload if I gave myself the option.  This route is worth taking a day off after Christmas or a three/four day weekend just to pick (well, at least for me, but I have a decent amount of ‘vacation’ days banked…).  In 1/2 an hour (lately, my average available time before work), I easily cover four cookie-cutter developments; one each of the 80s-00 est. developments; two 50-70s developed; and two general neighborhoods with generous sized lots. That’s ten total…

Tuesday Route – I rarely hit this one just because it’s in the opposite direction of work (all of about three miles), but demographically, very similar to Wednesday route, just not as big & the neighborhoods are spaced further apart.  I will hit this if I haven’t picked in awhile & find it Tuesday morning, I have off, or if there were an abundance of yard sales the weekend prior to trash day.

Monday Route – Same town as Friday route, except this side includes a few cookie-cutter McMansion-type developments & a few more ‘starter’ homes, so there’s more kid stuff – which I rarely pick.  Not as great as Friday route, but still worth it.

How about you?  Do you have a ‘route’, or favorite area?  Do you have a strategy when you pick?  To what extent?

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2 Responses to My Trash Picking Route Demographics

  1. Pingback: Trashfinds

  2. jenna says:

    I just wait for “big trash day” in my upper mid. class neighborhood and then go out the night before pickup. It’s a little harder in the dark, but if I wait till morning, even if I get up really early, there are already pros out there beating me to it, people with trucks, flea market types. My neighborhood is huge, so this once a month event keeps me pretty busy. It is the only one I focus in on or plan on…the rest of my picking is random. Like my most recent items were just on the side of the road I was on, that happens a lot.

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