One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure | North Jackson Press (2024)

October 22, 2021|0 comments

Category: Opinions

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By Bill King

There is an old proverb that says, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasures.” That certainly seems to be true in my neighborhood. The trash is put out at the curb for pickup on Thursdays, but the treasures are put out for pickup the day before. On Thursdays, the city picks up our household garbage. It really is trash. On Wednesdays, they pick up the big stuff, which is sometimes the good stuff. This pile, which is too big to put in a can, may consist of limbs collected from the yard, lumber from a deck or building that’s been torn down, an old piece of worn-out furniture, or a broken-down piece of equipment. In the Works of Thomas Brown, dating back to early 18th Century London, he said, “One man’s oversight is another man’s gane.”
One of my neighbors and I share a designated spot where we put our Wednesday pickup stuff. Early on, I noticed something magical about that spot.
Often, when I put things out there, they quickly disappeared before the city picked them up. One day, literally minutes after I had put out a large piece of exercise equipment, I saw a man loading it on the back of his truck.
When I walked out there, he asked, “You don’t mind if I take this, do you?” I replied, “Oh certainly not, if you will come help me carry a swing frame to the street.” When we got to the street with the frame, he said, “Just put it on my truck, and I’ll haul it off for you.” I’ve seen his same red truck out there many times since then. I’ve gladly watched my old broken-down television, pressure washer, push mower, weed eater, and other items disappear. I’m glad someone can use them.
Lately, I’ve been the one picking up another man’s trash. One of my hobbies is woodworking. I love to build and even rebuild furniture. With the price of wood these days, this has become an expensive hobby, but I have realized that people throw out some good wood and building material. A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors put an old lawn bench out for pickup. I must admit, it looked like it had seen its better days. Most of its dark-gray paint had peeled or worn off. The wood on the armrests had rotted, as well as some of the bracing underneath the seat. It had a lift-up table in the middle of the seat, which still worked, but the seat slats on each side of it had fallen in on one end. When I saw it, I thought, “There’s enough left here to work with.”
I cut out new armrests and new bracing for underneath. I reattached the seat slates to the new wood. I wiped off all the dirt and grit, sanded it down to bare wood, and gave it a couple of fresh coats of midnight blue enamel. It looks almost as good as new. If you would like to see, there are start to finish pictures on my Facebook page.
I just hope my neighbor doesn’t ask for it back! I would hate to sell him his own bench!
That old bench, and other trash-to-treasure projects, remind me of myself, as well as many other people. There was a time in my life when I was a mess. I was spotted and soiled by the sins in my life and probably looked like something some people might say was trash. They might have said I wasn’t redeemable and could never be repaired, but thank God; he wasn’t willing to throw me out like trash.

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One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure | North Jackson Press (2024)


What is the quote "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? ›

“One man's trash is another man's treasure.” This is a proverb that I live by, the idea that value is subjective, and what one person may perceive as worthless, another person may view as a treasure.

What does the quote one man's trash mean? ›

The proverb, 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' means: What is useless to one person is valuable to another. The meaning is not literal. It actually conveys that there is no judging for taste. Something, which one person may think is worthless, could be cherished by another.

What does another man's trash is another man's treasure? ›

Proverb. What is useless to one person is valuable to another.

Where in the Bible does it say one man's trash is another man's treasure? ›

Christian Memes | “One man's trash is another man's treasure” - Philippians 89:50 | Instagram.

What is a quote similar to one man's trash is another man's treasure? ›

The more common idiom having the equivalent meaning is - 'One man's food is another man'a poison'. Similar idioms are - 'To each his or her own' or 'Not my cup of tea! '

Who created the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure"? ›

The phrase "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is often attributed to the 19th-century social reformer and writer, Ferdinand August Bebel. However, the origin of this saying is not precisely documented, and similar expressions have been used in various forms by different people over time.

What does your trash is my treasure mean? ›

It means that something that you consider worthless may be considered valuable by someone else. There is no judging for taste — what one person may think is worthless may be cherished by another.

What is trash to one is treasure to another? ›

Meaning: What is useless to one person might be valuable to another.

What is the trash bin metaphor? ›

The garbage can metaphor! Now, that's a really reassuring metaphor. It means either save this or destroy it. If you put a file into the wastebasket, you destroy it, but if you put a disk into the wastebasket, you are saving it.

What is the meaning of trash to treasure? ›

Trash to Treasure was created to assist with finding environmentally preferred solutions to everyday unwanted household objects. In the guide, you will find alternatives to buying brand new, mail-in recycling programs, and an A-Z guide of resources where you can repair, donate (reuse), or recycle your materials.

What does one man's loss is another man's gain mean? ›

said when someone gets an advantage from someone else's bad luck. Balance and imbalance. accord with something.

What is that saying one man's junk? ›

There are not many things I enjoy more than perusing around a garage sale. The old adage, “One man's junk is another man's treasure” certainly rings true for me, and many times I find myself with more treasures than space!

What is an example of one man's trash is another man's treasure? ›

20+ Things That Were One Man's Trash, but Became Another Man's Treasure
  • “I found this shirt for $2 in a gigantic pile of used clothes in Barcelona. ...
  • “I bought this clutch bag for $1.50, while they usually cost more than $250 in ordinary shops. ...
  • “I bought a set of 1893 antique silver cutlery for $24.

What is God's hidden treasure? ›

Thus, God likens hidden treasure to a collection of interwoven things: Understanding, wisdom, the fear of God, knowledge of God, and God's Word, all of which are positive and powerful factors in living God's way of life. These are all things God must give, and they are hidden until He gives them.

What does God say about hidden treasure? ›

Isaiah 45:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

What is the meaning of one man's junk is another man's treasure? ›

Meaning: What is useless to one person might be valuable to another.

What is a quote about trash and treasure? ›

One man's trash is another man's treasure.” It you're not using it, release it graciously to someone else – and make some money at the same time.” “One man's trash is another man's treasure.” It you're not using it, release it graciously to someone else – and make some money at the same time.”

What is the garbage quote in friends? ›

Ross : You know how you throw your jacket on a chair at the end of the day? Ross : Well, like that, only that instead of a chair it's a pile of garbage. And instead of a jacket it's a pile of garbage. And instead of the end of the day it's the end of time, and garbage is all that has survived.


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