• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Chinese Bottle Ladies

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Just as long as they stay away from them discarded textbooks. They have their territory, I have mine.

(Btw, obviously I do have real-experience stories of this . Of one of these urban scavenger types rummaging through a dumpster looking for bottle empties around September 1st, and in the meantime there's a box of discarded academic books lying there right next to it. I cautiously approach (because some of these types are seriously mentally ill), and point and say "I just want the books. You can have whatever bottles and cans there". And they're like, "uh uh. ok". They don't care about the books, and that's great, because I scoop up all the books there, come home, run the ISBN numbers on the McGill site, and realize I just added another 80$ to my book pot. That guy probably scored around 2$ in bottle empties. And yes, there's some strange sleight of hand misdirection here. You're looking at the wrong thing, guy.
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
Or, like what happened in the 3rd week of August, 2015. I'm going around on my bike on a textbook search run on garbage collection day, and as I pass the alley on the corner of rue Jeanne Mance, what do I notice? Some discarded books? Yes, but that was the lead-in. Because what I also noticed from some black garbage bags that were already ripped open was.... Vinyl. LOTS of it. I start feeling around these bags and it's like "Holy shit. It's ALL Vinyl, like 10 garbage bags worth of Vinyl. And what was it? Absolutely everything from The Clash, Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac (even the early stuff), The Police, etc. And a shit-ton of Jazz - Thelonious Monk, Miles, everything. Classics.
And so I went about my sorting, and when I already had a pile of Vinyl that was stacked up 10 feet high, another urban scavenger came around, whom I recognize because I see him around all the time. He's the somewhat twitchy, mildly schizo bald guy with the blue IKEA bags, who's still somewhat cognitive and not totally wacked. He comes up, and I had to shoo him away, as in "Hey, I got here 1st, and I'm not done yet! You can check those bags, cuz I'm already done with them, but these ones over here. Still, ALL MINE".
Likesaid. Territorial.
And he was like, "You know where to sell this". And I'm like, "Yes". And he went, "eh", and rode away on his bike. He probably thought I would get a quarter per album, but with this quality of stock, that was most certainly not the case. Anyways, after fully loading myself and my bags with the absolute limits of what I could physically carry and transport 5 blocks (which is around 200 lbs, apparently), I sorted out and cleaned up my vinyl stock and did the rounds of selling over the next 3 days. I made 486$, and also sent off a big box of jazz vinyl to my brother for his birthday, because he loves jazz, and he's a vinyl audiophile. He was super happy with that gift!

Also of note that, it was physically impossible to source all the discarded Vinyl at this location (without a car), and I had to leave around 2/3rds of it behind, and immediately as I was leaving, a residential woman came out of her condo, probably on her way to work, and stopped and noticed and said "OMG, is that VINYL"? And I said, "Yes, and there's some great stuff in there". And I noticed she rummaged around and grabbed this and that and also took a big pile back to her condo.

Anyways, I passed back to this location around two hours later and it was all gone. Not by the garbage collectors, mind you. The emptied black bags were still there.

See. Now THAT'S ^^^ an urban scavenger story