Imagine all of the worst items you see in a garage sale: ugly furniture, broken electronics, dirty rugs. Instead of people trying to sell this stuff, however, the entire city just sets their junk out along the curb on the same day, causing all of the sidewalks in your neighborhood to look like this:

This is actually a special kind of garbage day that is held in Germany once every other month, which is known as Sperrmüll (bulk garbage).

Scrappers drive around in their trucks grabbing all of the metal they can find. Students and families may occasionally grab a piece of furniture if they find something worthwhile. Otherwise, garbage trucks come around to collect the leftovers.

Wednesday was Sperrmüll day where I live, so on Tuesday afternoon, everyone began setting out their garbage. I went out for a walk that evening and happened to find something that I quite liked.

The German boyfriend and I had been wanting a small table for the balcony, and the color of this table caught my eye. I called up Marco immediately. Since he is not a big fan of taking furniture from Sperrmüll, however, he was a little weary.
“I can’t come right now, so you are going to have to carry whatever you find,” he said.
Challenge accepted. It is a pretty small table, and I was only about a 10-minute walk from my apartment. 
And although it is definitely used and a little rickety, I really like it. Surprisingly enough, Marco does too! So, no more having to search for a table for the balcony! Thanks, Sperrmüll!


If you live in Germany, have you ever gotten something from the Sperrmüll? 

Or for my American friends, have you ever found a treasure in someone else’s garbage?