New Brunswick

This N.B. 'dumpster saver' is turning unwanted treasures into an at-home museum

The shelves of Colin Richard’s garage loft at his Fredericton-area home are filled with a treasure trove of collectibles, from hockey memorabilia and vintage signage to antique shoes.

Colin Richard’s collection of dumpster finds is drawing attention on Instagram

Colin RIchard has gathered a large collection of memorabilia once destined for the landfill. (Mike Heenan/CBC)

The shelves of Colin Richard's garage loft are filled with a treasure trove of collectibles, from hockey memorabilia and vintage signage to antique shoes. 

All of it was once destined for the landfill.

"Everyone kind of jokes that it's organized chaos up here," said Richard, who lives in Hanwell, near Fredericton. 

The self-described "dumpster saver" started his varied collection after venturing into the trash disposable business, and his finds are capturing attention with the help of a hit Instagram account.

'Dumpster diver' dedicated to conservation

1 year ago
Duration 2:58
Hanwell’s Colin Richard puts the fun in dumpster runs while focusing on art and sustainability.

Richard started with mowing lawns and now owns a dumpster rental company. Some of the items being tossed or set aside for the trash stood out.

"Once I started realizing what people were throwing out and the odd thing would catch my eye, I didn't have my own place like this to display stuff," he said.

"But I would store it or tuck it away in the shed."

Some of the top finds come from estate clean-outs, after the clients have gone through the items and selected what they'd like to keep.

That's when Richard can sift through to find additions before they hit the dumpster and face the elements.

Colin Richard's collection includes a display of vintage model cars and trucks. (Mike Heenan/CBC)

The saves include a vintage illustrated poster of Fredericton from 1979, wooden carvings, antiques and other findings that invoke local nostalgia.

While the collection might vary widely, the displays are arranged neatly on the walls.

Sometimes it takes a bit of digging.

"You've got a good feeling about a dumpster that someone's rented, you just kind of rummage through it and find specific things that you'd like to keep," Richard said.

Richard said he looks for hockey memorabilia to add to his growing collection. (Mike Heenan/CBC)

The finds have gradually accumulated in Richard's home.

"I'm a big believer that we do live in too much of a consumer culture these days, and we buy a lot of things for the joy, and once the joy is gone it just gets thrown out," he said.

"I get joy out of it."

With files from Mike Heenan