All my life there has been the ritual of the council clean-up. In earlier times it was every quarter, then as councils cut budgets, every six months everyone would put their old junk on the nature strip for collection during the week. The weekend before clean-up there would be a bit of a last minute clean out, sacrificial pruning of overgrown bushes and an endless parade of cars, vans and utes looking for scrap metal. The clean-up was a fantastic recycler, the kids once did all their "Christmas shopping" kerbside and for a while we had a great verandah sofa courtesy of some neighbour. The cot used by me and my siblings all those years ago was salvaged by a thrifty acquaintance of my parents and many times we put out small items of furniture or electrical goods only to have some forager almost take them from our hands. I have heard of gardeners coming across a coveted plant on someone else's rubbish, too.
About two years ago my local authority cancelled clean-ups. We can still phone to book rubbish removal but as it's no longer common to everybody the foragers dont know when or where to look. I have here a foam sofa/mattress thing that charities wont take because even though it's as new it's too similar to a mattress. Put on a clean-up it would be an absolute treasure. There's a rice cooker and who knows what else, all with no possibilty of a new home.
Today I saw a barbecue standing all lonely on the edge of the road with a sign saying "FREE. I work." The thing is, nobody takes anything with a "FREE" sign, do they?
I can't quite understand the economics of cancelling clean-ups, maybe the hope is we'll all hang onto our clutter until we have to pay for a skip and get it removed ourselves?
Anyhow, for myself and my community, I sure do miss them.