Attention pickers: Yard sale at the dump, items 'priced to sell'

Want a snowblower, a bike, a hockey stick or an antique radio? Get over to the Crane Mountain Landfill on Oct. 21

One person’s trash really is another person's treasure

Plenty of perfectly good items can be found at dumps like the one pictured in Bethel, Alaska. On Saturday at the Crane Mountain Landfill, folks can take some of them home for bargain-basement prices. (Ann Capela/City of Bethel via AP)

OK, it's officially "the landfill" these days.

Whatever you want to call it, no one's allowed to scavenge for old lumber, truck parts, or gently used appliances there anymore.

Liability concerns have forced a clampdown on dump-scavenging, once a common weekend activity among certain thrifty Saint John circles.

"We still have requests to this day for people to come in and scavenge items," said Marc MacLeod, executive director of the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission. "But we don't do that."

Those nostalgic for the golden age of garbage-picking will have a chance to glean some treasures from the Crane Mountain Landfill. Want a snowblower, a bike, a hockey stick or an antique radio? Get over to the Crane Mountain Landfill on Saturday, Oct. 21

1,000-plus Canadian Pickers-style finds

The landfill is holding a yard sale as part of Waste Reduction Week, "showing people that there are still things going into the garbage that could have another life," said MacLeod. 

For months, landfill workers have been talking to people as they drop off their unwanted items, recovering ones that could be reused.

"A lot of us have watched [cable reality series] Canadian Pickers," MacLeod said. "Some [items] are really obvious. We had a bike come in that if it's been used twice, I'd be surprised. That one was easy. But other items, maybe it's a bit dated and maybe we're way off. I guess we'll find out."

Other impressive finds include a snow-blower that "started up on the first touch," composite hockey sticks priced new at $150 apiece, "tools, little antique items like radios from the 1940s or 1950s that still work, antique wooden golf clubs," MacLeod said.

The crew acquired more than 1,000 items, which will be "priced to sell."

"There are a lot of things which could be exciting for some people," MacLeod said.

Just don't expect to see clothing — too hard to clean — or items such as bike helmets, which could pose a safety concern.

The sale takes place rain or shine at the interpretative centre at the Crane Mountain Landfill from 8 a.m. to noon.

"Come early, if you like," MacLeod said. "If everything doesn't sell we'll have an 11th-hour sale starting at 11 a.m., where everything is really marked down — that is, if it's not gone."

A radio from the 1950s, which still works, and an antique wooden golf club, were both taken to the Crane Mountain Landfill. These and more than 1,000 other items will be for sale on Saturday. (Julia Wright / CBC)

Cash or debit will be accepted but not credit.

"We're not going to make a ton of money on it. It might be a money-losing venture. But as an educational investment it's worthwhile."

Any money raised will go "right back into the coffers," he said.

One person's trash

MacLeod said there's no telling why so many useful things get thrown away.

"In our area, we have ReStore, Salvation Army, Community Living. We have personal options like yard sales, Kijiji. At the end of the day I think it comes down to education and waste awareness."

Saturday's big sale is "another opportunity to educate people," he said.

"The dilemma is trying to identify why people throw things out. 

"I don't think we've ever solved that."


  • An earlier version of this story said the landfill yard sale would take place this Saturday. In fact, it is Saturday, Oct. 21.
    Oct 11, 2017 12:37 PM AT

About the Author

Julia Wright

Julia Wright is a reporter based in Saint John. She has been with the CBC since 2016.

With files from Information Morning Saint John