Treasure or Trash is a Matter of Perspective

The other day I rescued a lovely wooden hutch from next to a dumpster in my neighborhood.

Now to be 100 percent clear the hutch was outside of the dumpster so no “dumpster diving” was involved in the recovery of the item.

In fact the dumpsters in my neighborhood are often a place where people will place items that they hope will find another home.

There are often bookshelves, aquariums, televisions, couches, chairs, washers, dryers, etc. placed next to the dumpsters for the taking.

While many of these items are not reclaimed and end up on the one way trip to the landfill occasionally someone like myself will drive by and determine that the items still have some useable life in them.

This wooden hutch was given new life or at least new purpose when I saved it from a trip to the local landfill the other day.  Photo R. Anderson

This wooden hutch was given new life or at least new purpose when I saved it from a trip to the local landfill the other day.
Photo R. Anderson

I first noticed the hutch when I was returning from the store. After a couple of drive by inspections I decided that it was worth a closer inspection so I got out of my car for a hands on inspection.

Much as I thought the hutch was solid wood and in fairly good shape.

I stood over the hutch for a few minutes trying to decide if it was worth claiming as my own to give it another chance at usefulness.

As I was trying to secure the item in the back of my Jeep someone else walked by and seemed to be checking out the hutch.

Such is the case of dumpster treasure recon. Some days you get the prize and some days you watch it get loaded into someone else’s Jeep.

Speaking of Jeeps is it just me or do they really not offer a lot of room in terms of storage space?

With the hutch hanging out of the back of my Jeep secured by bungee cords I slowly drove home with my treasure still not sure how best to utilize it but proud of the results of my exploration.

Over the years I have recovered several items from near dumpsters. I have also fell short of items that either needed an extra hand to load or items that I waited too long to decide that I needed.

There was a homemade work bench that I missed out on a few years ago that still haunts me to this day.

Of course my love of looking for treasures beside the trash is nothing new.

In college I recovered a huge foam Marvin the Martian head that was a central theme in my living room décor until I decided to place him near the dumpster for someone else to enjoy.

A few years back I rescued this multimedia spinner from alongside a dumpster. Since then it has served my DVD collection well. Photo R. Anderson

A few years back I rescued this multimedia spinner from alongside a dumpster. Since then it has served my DVD collection well.
Photo R. Anderson

I also recovered a DVD carousal that is still part of my décor today.

For the most part I tend to gravitate towards solid wood items or has cousin Eddie would say, “good quality items.”

Couches, chairs and items that have clearly already seen their best days are things that I pass up on. But a solid wood item that is well crafted is something that deserves to be spared from a landfill burial.

I am not yet sure what I will do with the latest acquisition but it was determined to nice to pass up.

The “upcycling” of the hutch got me thinking about the similiarity between what I was doing and the waiver wire in baseball which is also a second chance of sorts for players.

Teams place players on waivers and they can either be claimed by others teams and continue their careers or in many cases they find that there are no longer any suitors for their services and they are forced to go in another direction with their life and career.

Sometimes a team will find a gem on the waiver wire that could be the missing piece that brings them to the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Rays are a team that has made a name for themselves by finding players that other teams have discarded and finding a little extra something in them that has put the Rays in playoff contention year after year.

Other teams have not been as successful with their waiver claims and often find themselves giving the players back at the end of the year after finding that they were not a good fit after all.

Just like with a piece of furniture found at the side of a dumpster, one does not really know how well a player will fit until they get them inside the organization.

Scouts can run all of the reports they want but every situation is different. Just look at All-Star caliber players who have fizzled after being traded to a new team.  Players are not plug and play and every team dynamic is different.

With spring training approaching teams will soon have their sights set once again on finding those players let go by other teams that will fit their dynamic and help the playoff runs instead of hindering them.

Of course chemistry is built over time which is also why players are added and subtracted from rosters throughout the season.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to see what other treasures I can rescue from certain demise.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson

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