CHS Pics | Meet the curb collector of 15th Ave


CHS photographer met “Joe” near Volunteer Park on Saturday after taking pictures of 2014 Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day.

I saw this guy and his buddy rolling a shopping cart down 15th, balancing a huge couch, rolled up carpets, speakers, and all sorts of odds and ends. I stopped to talk to them for a minute. I asked if he had to been to a garage sale today. He said “No, I do this everyday for a living.” Apparently he picks up stuff on the curb, takes it home, cleans it, fixes it, refurbishes, and then sells again. He said he “gives things a second chance at life.”

Leaving junk stuff on the curb is a peculiar part of Capitol Hill and city life. We have mixed feelings telling you about Joe. On the one hand, dumping crappy futons is gross. On the other, it’s good to know that somebody is out there taking advantage of the waste.

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4 thoughts on “CHS Pics | Meet the curb collector of 15th Ave

  1. Yeah I know it’s sometimes weird/creepy to see people taking things out of your dumpster, but seriously, people on the Hill routinely throw out a lot of usable/valuable stuff. Dare I say, if apartments had a 4th bin for donations we could save a lot of landfill space and actually create resources for neighborhoods with less disposable income.

    Though since that won’t happen any time soon… I’m glad someone like Joe is there to upcycle things on our behalf.

  2. I love that people sort out usable items and repurpose them. I always get a kick of sitting an item that is no longer wanted by my waste bins and seeing it picked up and reused rather than me having to dump it.

    Once i placed a coffee table at the curb, went upstairs, looked down and it was already gone!

  3. Guys like Joe, who are often seen sorting through dumpsters, provide a service by recycling useable items. I just wish they would be a little more careful as they go about their business….often, they scatter stuff on the ground as they are sorting, and leave it for someone else to pick up.

    I also wish that people would be more selective in what they put out on the curb. A lot of it is just junk, or things that are too large/cumbersome for others to deal with, like sofas and mattresses. Some people put stuff like this out because they are too lazy/cheap to make a run to the dump. Fortunately, the City has an “illegal dumping” hotline where one can report items, and they will be picked up within a week or so.

    • Yes, please don’t dump your mattress (no one wants it) or upholstered furniture (no one wants that either!). Doing so is disrespectful.