Hundreds arrived early at the Crane Mountain Landfill for a chance to lay claim to, well, garbage.

"When you see a lineup out to the highway at 7:30 in the morning, you know you're in for a fun day," said Marc MacLeod, the executive director of the Fundy Regional Service Commission.

MacLeod said about 500 vehicles entered the landfill within the first hour. The early surge meant about two-thirds of the stock set aside for sale was carried off in that time.

landfill sale haul

Marc MacLeod of the Fundy Regional Service Commission said cars were lined up to the highway thirty minutes before the sale began this morning. He said the sale was a pilot project and would likely happen again next year. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

​​Liability issues keep treasure hunters from sifting through piles of trash themselves. So for the past five weeks, staff at Crane Mountain have been searching for items with a little life still left in them.

Power tools, fertilizer, and furniture were among the 2,000 items for sale.

Trash turned to treasure

"We decided, might as well go up to the landfill and see what they have," said Sherry Day while carrying the cabinets she bought.

Day said she was surprised they ended up in the landfill, especially since they're in good enough shape for her basement renovation.

Landfill sale cabinets

Sherry Day said she was surprised the cabinets she bought ended up in the landfill. She's going to use them for a basement renovation. (Matthew Bingley/CBC )

"I'm sort of glad it landed here because I got it today," said Day.

Day said she had hoped to arrive in time to buy a wheelbarrow, but Lori Chapman bought the last one.

"When they said they had a thousand items, I couldn't imagine what they might have," Chapman said.

By the time she was done, Chapman was using her new wheelbarrow to ferry gardening decorations to her car. "It's really good that they've picked these things out, because they're not going to make it into the landfill," she said.

Bargains, not broken stuff

12-year-old Carter Losier thought the morning was going to be a bust when his mother took him to the landfill.

"I just thought it would be like a whole bunch of broken stuff," he said. Instead Losier ended up with new street hockey gear and a fishing rod.

Carter Losier

12-year-old Carter Losier found a new fishing rod, hockey pads, and a helmet. Not bad for an outing he thought would be full of broken junk. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Kelly Lebreton managed to scoop up three pieces of exercise equipment, including an elliptical trainer, for 10 bucks. She said the sale was excellent with its stock of "a lot of stuff that I never dreamed would even be here."

This sale coincided with Waste Reduction Week, and was a pilot project for the landfill, but MacLeod said the large turnout was likely enough to ensure it will happen again next year.