We walk through our neighborhood nearly every night from April-October (if it isn't raining). There are several occasions we have seen something we could use in someone's trash pile.
~Computer chair. Perfectly good condition.
~China hutch* (I get SO many compliments on it!)~a tarp. We needed one for our little guy's sandbox. It was enormous and my husband just cleaned it and cut it down into smaller pieces.
~a giant abacus. my husband loves math (engineers!) and so our toddler can learn to count. and learn his colors. I was told this educational toy would normally cost $99.
*The china hutch smelled like smoke. We tried everything to get the scent out (baking soda, vinegar, coffee, Murphy's Oil Soap) and finally had to strip it and refinish it. It looks great, though! And it was completely FREE. I would not have anywhere to keep my grandmother's china if we had not been willing to ask the homeowners if they really intended to throw it away and then lug it home! It is huge so it was a giant task to lug it home. Lucky for me, I found it before the summer I was pregnant so I could not only help my husband drag it home but also use the strong chemicals necessary to strip and refinish it.