The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has issued a tender for for heavy garbage pickup, which normally costs about $250,000.
The collection is usually held in May, but was delayed this year because of COVID-19.
A rite of spring in CBRM, heavy garbage pickup is accompanied by the ritual of "picking," where pickers scrutinize piles of discarded household items placed at the curb for pickup, pulling out items they might be able to sell, fix or restore for themselves.
Francis Campbell, CBRM's solid waste manager, said more than 3,000 tonnes of large and heavy household items are typically collected.
The date for this year's pickup will be chosen and announced shortly after the contract is awarded Sept. 10.
As the collection date nears, mounds of unsightly trash spring up around the municipality.
"We would like people to hold off and not put material out until then," said Francis Campbell.
The collection process takes about two weeks to complete.
What might be trash for some is treasure for others.
Charlotte Campbell, a Sydney crafter, has transformed old suitcases, chairs, bureaus and other things she's found on the curb and sold them at craft fairs.
"The things they put out are not necessarily junk," she said. "You gotta be able to see beyond what's there, that's what I look for, me and my daughter."
Charlotte Campbell said heavy garbage pickup is important because it cuts down on the amount of trash dumped in the woods.
"This gives them the option to put it at the curb and it gives us a chance to go find treasure. I'm like a crow, if anything sparkles, I see it," she said.
Some people started putting heavy garbage out in June.
Richard Aboud of Sydney picked up an old chair he found.
"I just sanded it down and restored it for my neighbour, painted it and it came out like a new one. Now she won't give it back to me," said Aboud.
Items spotted during past pickups
Aboud said he has seen many strange things in the heavy garbage piles.
"Car parts, fenders, hoods, you name it, some people put out half a car if they can get away with it, but they normally don't pick that stuff up," he said.
Some items are prohibited from collection, including tires and electronics.
Roschell Clarke, the municipality's solid waste education co-ordinator, cautioned people not to place items near the heavy garbage piles that they don't want thrown away, such as hockey nets or bicycles, because they've been collected in the past by mistake.
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