I had to post part of this article because I so wish that we had an actual program like this. I totally suggest heading over to The Onion if you have several hours to spend and need a good laugh.
Dept. Of Sanitation Asks Public To Separate Perfectly Good Stuff From Garbage
WASHINGTON—Nearly 20 years after launching its first nationwide recycling program, the Department of Sanitation unveiled a new environmental initiative Monday that urges citizens to separate perfectly good stuff, such as old toasters and empty picture frames, from the rest of their weekly trash.
"For far too long, Americans have been throwing out working lamps, expensive coasters, and those nice wooden shelves along with their regular trash," Sanitation Secretary Frank DiPietro told reporters at a press conference. "This wasteful practice not only threatens our environment, but it also forces certain individuals who, say, need a new ottoman to rummage through piles and piles of dirty garbage."
"Just look at this coffee table, for instance," added DiPietro. "It's not even all that cracked."
"Each and every person can make a difference when it comes to helping the environment," said Shelley Manning, a sanitation operations coordinator. "Especially if that person has one of those Dustbuster machines they're going to throw away—you know, the kind that picks up bread crumbs and then you can empty the canister when it gets full? Oh, and some sturdy sconces. If somebody has those, they would also be helping out the environment a ton."
An internal study conducted by the department suggests that the new program may reduce landfills by 25 percent, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent, and lessen the chances of having to go out and buy an overpriced mattress by nearly 60 percent. In addition, the report—which was published on the back of some perfectly fine dot-matrix printer paper found next to a Dumpster—reveals that for every dented filing cabinet claimed by the new program, an estimated $45 in nonrenewable cash is saved.
Just so you know I'm not kidding about how much I'd love this program, here's a picture of some 'not even all that cracked' stuff that I've found. The sheets were from the thrift store (and later turned into fabric grocery bags), but the cubbies were pure curbside, baby.
I just realized that this is the perfect post to mention Trash Pickins, a fantastic group on Flickr (which I found via Soule Mama, I think). They've got some great stuff over there. This one, in particular, is unbelievable.