Short Version:

  • Absolutely no bedding, pillows, towels,  clothes, jackets socks or shoes!!!
  • Absolutely no leaving anything outside the building unless it is IN the dumpster.
  • No boxes or cans of food unless unopened and not past the expiry date!!!
  • No garbage bags full of anything!!! Either leave it in a box so it can easily be seen or heave it in the dumpster!!!
  • All items not taken by noon the next day at the latest must be removed by you!!!
  • Paint and electronics are fine to leave but remember the rule above as these cannot go into the dumpster!!!
  • Absolutely no mattresses left ever for any reason or any length of time!!!
  • No very large stuff unless you have checked with me first.
  • Remember good stuff will be gone within three to five minutes.... junk will be gone in an hour, disgusting crap will still be there the next morning!!!
  • You try you buy!!! Once you pack something away you cannot return it without taking responsibility for it from then on.
  • Don't let your being lazy ruin the area for the rest of the tenants here!!!
  • Read the rest below here in case you find something really cool and think someone would have never left something that good...

The Tedious and Long Winded Version

Attention ARC Shoppers.... The ARC's recycle area was started sometime just after the building opened back around 1995. Anyone living in the building who had something they no longer wanted could leave it at the back door for others to take. This area is one of the coolest parts of the ARC and has played a very big role in it's history. Almost everyone who has ever lived here has stories of the coolest things they have found there. It is pretty amazing what artists have that they end up giving away. Everything from materials to art supplies and antiques to the unbelievable.

     At the same time though as fun as this area can be for some it does have some drawbacks. The biggest one being is it often looks like hell out there. Junk piled up for days because the building manager is too lazy to take your garbage out for you! This really is not the fault of your neighbors as I have never put in the writing the protocol for using this area... up until now that is. Thus the rules etc for this area are now written below.

Of course following these rules will be vital as not doing so is a violation of your lease and could end up getting you "terminated"... at least your lease anyway!!

     The reason for this harshness is the recycle area often looks like the disposal bin at some Salvation Army. Now even though we are not "Yale Townish" here (yet) a lot of tenants, often those with higher incomes prefer to see the place looking more like an designer artist building and not a Salvation Army dumpster.  With the rents we pay here you can easily understand why. 

Why Do We Have a Recycling Area?

     The main reason is the fact that recycling is a big thing these days. Governments need us to recycle and conserve everything we can so they can afford to fly around the world in Jumbo jets to have lunch. Realistically though it just makes good sense. Why should stuff go to the landfill and take up space there when it could likely still be used by someone. It saves the landfill and sometimes saves the finder a lot of money if what they found was something they really needed.

     As tenants here we have to understand that not everyone here has high incomes that allow them to afford everything they want or would like to have. If they find things they need in the free section then it not only saves them money but can enhance their lives. This means the giver gets to get rid of their junk in good conscience and the finder gets to enjoy what the giver gave away. It is pretty well a win win situation for everyone.

     Though when someone leaves creepy junk no one wants and it stays there for days this area quickly turns into a lose lose situation. So in order to avoid this the following rules will help clarify what can and cannot be done in this area. Reading and understanding these rules will be vital if you want to stay living at the ARC and use this option.




1. Absolutely NO... clothing, bedding, pillows, towels, jackets, socks or shoes! These need to be taken to the Salvation Army or Thrift store up the street. Any of these items will be immediately thrown in the dumpster and a "one of one" warning letter will be sent to you.

2. No leaving opened boxes or cans of food. No half used ketchup bottles or half bags of flour etc. If you do leave anything food related make sure it is new and in it's original sealed containers and not past expiry!! This includes spices and things like toothpaste!! If it ain't new and in a sealed container show some respect and heave it in the dumpster!! Stop trying to play Santa Claus by giving away disgusting crap that no one wants!

3. No leaving mystery garbage bags full of crap! The stuff you leave should be easy to access and see. If it is a lot of small stuff then put it in a card board box so it does not end up all over the floor!



     Regarding cans of paint I don't care if you leave them but once again if they don't go by the next morning you need to deal with them as they can't go in the dumpster and they can't stay there. Just to note the dumpster trucks apparently have cameras so they can watch out for dead bodies and other undesirable items not suitable for the land fill.

     You also cannot leave large things that block off the hallways etc. Or if you lack common sense no boards with nails, absolutely no gyproc either, or spillable containers of strange liquids.

     It is good to remember that what you might consider junk could very well be another tenants gold. Don't let your judgement step on their creativity. The worse thing that can happen if you don't make someones day is you have to finish packing the junk to the dumpster. The only way that will kill you is if you don't!!



Otherwise you will be  in violation of your lease.


     If you are a newcomer to dropping off free stuff here is how it works. If you have something other than what is listed above just place it inside the back door. For larger things leave them in front of the large painting near the freight elevator. If the stuff you left is good it will be gone in three to ten minutes. If this happens then great,  you have made someone happy. If the stuff is still there two hours later it is likely pure junk. Thus if it is still there the next morning then you really know it is JUNK!!! and no one wants the crap!!! I don't care how great or valuable you think it is. This is when you have to make sure you throw it in the dumpster yourself!!!


Saying you forgot is not an excuse you will be able to use to avoid a warning letter.

      If it is something that can't fit in the dumpster then call the disposal guys to pick it up and let me know you have done that. 

NOTE: If I have to waste time doing a camera search it is not going to be good for your longevity as an ARC tenant. Thus before leaving ANYTHING at the back door you may want to post a reminder note on your door so you make sure to remember to check if your charity donation was taken or not by the next morning. You don't want to be one of the "example" tenants I will be looking for who gets evicted over a small pile of abandoned junk.

     When you leave stuff at the back door make sure you are giving it away... with no unspoken strings attached.

     Also when getting rid of your stuff a nice political move is to leave it on your floor so your constituent's can get first crack at it. This is great if you are looking for votes, likes, or status on your floor but this makes the whole building look like hell. Instead make sure you pack it to the back door... half way to the dumpster. If that is too much work for you then phone me and I will see if I can get your Mom to come by and do it for you.


     When you find something at the back door, especially if seems too good to be true, you want to check out the back door to make sure someone has not just left it there while they went back for another load. If after a few short minutes no one shows up then feel free to grab the gem. BUT!!! before you go selling it on craigslist or giving it to your starving grandmother or painting it yellow wait a few days to see that no one puts up a post that it is missing and they left it there by accident. If you don't see a posting or an email from me after four or five days then do what you want with it.

     Remember if you think it is "too good to be true" and leave it the next guy wanting it might be an outsider and the item is gone. This is not a big deal if it was for free, other than you missed and they got it but if it was accidentally left then you also missed the chance to save the day and bank up a little "hero" status. Taking the item is really just looking out for your neighbor. The more we do that here the better it is for all of us. There have been tons of "Saved the Day" stories involving stuff people left by accident in the recycle area which was picked up by tenants who already knew about this rule.


Oh!!! and just so you know... possession is nine tenths of the law. Once you drag it away from the back door area to your studio it is now YOURS!!! "You try you buy" so to speak. No taking stuff and then bringing it back thinking it is still the previous persons issue  as it is now YOUR issue. 


     In the event you accidentally lose something by the back door because you forgot it or something then what you need to do is email me and/or post something on the bulletin board by the mail boxes that you accidentally left whatever it was. If good fortune was on your side and someone from the building took it you are in luck and owe them some big time gratitude. Like I said if someone from outside of the building were to grab it you would be SOL!!! This is often likely the case as there are a lot of visitors that come through the building daily and a lot of them are aware of the "free" section. Which of course is why you should never assume that stuff is safe just because it is inside the building. YOU SHOULD ALSO NEVER ASSUME THAT SOME TENANT "STOLE" YOUR STUFF!!! THE CROWD HERE NOW IS TOO COOL FOR CRAP LIKE THAT. Odds are hugely in favor of some visitor grabbed it.

     Oh... and no... the crap you left was NOT "too good to be true!!!!" The reason I say this is because over the last 18 years I have seem some incredibly valuable things left at that back door that were intended give away's! Likely way more valuable than the crap you left! So don't go getting all self righteous on everyone!!  Nothing surprises me anymore. You may think the crap you left was special but highly unlikely it was worth more than some of the good stuff I have seen left there.  On top of that if you leave something at the back door unattended for longer than a few minutes you deserve to lose it!! (exception to all those who just moved here from Mosquito Flats up in Northern Saskatchewan... they don't know what crime is up there) 

     This all boils down to if you do lose something you have to hope it was one of our incredible tenants here that grabbed it and not some outsider. Like I keep saying the crowd in this building right now is the best it has ever been. You won't find this type of crowd anywhere else in a building this large these days. No one here would steal your stuff but they would grab it if they thought it was being recycled.

     So if they see your posting and let you know they have it make sure you show a little gratitude andthank them!!!


     OK... one thing I have learned managing this building is we need to keep it light. You have to remember I hear all the excuses and stories. Some are plain legitimate and some are not. Fortunately I don't waste your time relaying all these stories to you guys so you can decide whether you should be mad or not. On top of that we all don't want to turn into crybaby drama queens playing another "somebody done somebody wrong song" every time we see an injustice. The world has enough country song writers already!!!

     With the back door sometimes shit happens and the person moving out has some kind of issue that makes sense. In fact it is very rarely here that someone is doing something purely out of spite or disregard for others. A lot of the time it is because they just didn't think. This is a popular one these days mostly because who has time to think in this rat race. The blue couch is a prime example. I was on the person to get it moved and then looked out and it was gone. I told the parolee that it had been taken. They cancelled their help. Later I noticed that it had returned... Fortunately the oversize garbage removal guy came the next day to take it but in the meantime it did cause some tenants discomfort. 

     If we acted more like serious artists and less like politicians we could avoid being the starting point of world war III. If we were all just a little more tolerant things would go a lot smoother. Especially now that we have the guidelines for the recycle center. Once a few violators get evicted for leaving their disgusting unwanted junk, the recycle center will be a great addition to our community here.

Apparently Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder...

obviously this beholder had something in their eye...