This week is bulk trash week at my house. That means it is the one week a month when the city will come by and pick up trash that is too big to fit into the wheelie bin that we use for normal trash. That means things like limbs (tree limbs), old furniture, bags of leaves, etc. To put something out on bulk trash week you just put the trash on the curb and the city will come by some time during the week and pick it up.
We put out our old portable TV this morning. In reality it’s small enough to fit into the wheelie bin, but the scavengers know the bulk trash schedule and if you put out anything in decent shape they’ll come by and pick it up before the trash guys come by. The TV seemed to just have a broken power switch so we figured if somebody wanted knew what they were doing they could probably repair it fairly easily. We put the TV out complete with the remote so that anybody who wanted it could take it. The odds that it would sit out on the curb for several days until the trash guy came by seemed pretty remote.
But what actually happened took us by surprise. A TV is a pretty nice item to find sitting out for the trash man so I thought it would be out there less than an hour before somebody came and picked it up. Sure enough, just 30 minutes after we put it out somebody drove up in a pickup with a bunch of junk in the back and started looking at it. Then he pulled out a pair of wire cutters and cut the power cord off and threw the cord and the remote into his truck and drove off, leaving the TV on the curb. The TV is still there an hour later. It may still get picked up by somebody, but now they’re going to have to replace the cord or splice a new one on the stump in addition to fixing the power switch and then they’re going to have to change the channel by hand.
Why are a power cord and a remote so valuable? The cord I can sort of see, but wouldn’t you need to have the same model TV or at least the same brand to us the remote? Is there some part that you find in remotes that is valuable for use in something else?
Just as I finished writing the post somebody walked up to the TV and looked at it in a puzzled manner. She lifted it up and looked at it (it’s a small TV) and then poked at the stump of the power cord. Then she put it back down on the curb and walked off.
One time I put my old Next Colorstation out on the curb and my next door neighbor took it within a few minutes. I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t a regular computer but his English isn’t very good and I don’t think he understood what I was trying to tell him.