Footpath recycling takes over Dickson


As a person who walks for exercise around the local area, I get to observe the changes through the suburb.

One that has grown in popularity has caused humour for some of us and possibly has caused consternation for others.

It has been an informally established practice that residents have on occasions put out something they no longer required on their footpath area as items that they were happy for others to take away. In the past this usually meant that a small sign was placed alongside the items saying something simple as ‘FREE’.

I am not sure what is happening in other areas of Canberra, but the practice of putting stuff out has now become so commonplace that residents no longer bother with the sign. Got something to get rid of– plonk it on the verge outside your home, and good chance it will be gone in a day or to. Maybe.

At the moment this system of redistributing your stuff has become very common to the extent that many streets now have something out there. I am not sure who picks it up, but for most residents participating in this recycling of stuff–anything seems to go.




I have done my best to research online whether there are rules set down for such practices under the lease arrangements. But so far nothing definite.

There are the usual guides and talk of regulations about how residents should go about applying to the bureaucracy to do stuff such as plant things, change the surface etc, but as far as I can see the bureaucracy remains silent on this latest fad to recycle through plonking all manner of giveaways out there on the sidewalk.

I have asked around about what others think of all this, and the reactions have been mixed. Some laugh – as I do about this. Others are a bit more concerned about the visual pollution and that some of the stuff sits there come rain and shine and starts to fall apart.

Then there is the case at times when you are not sure what is out for the taking and what just happens to be parked or deposited on the verge for other reasons – possibly not meant to be taken away. The danger is that once it is accepted that things left are there for the taking–leaving anything there just for a moment could get tricky.

For instance, in the top photograph, there’s a dilapidated horse trailer along with the furniture – is that also yours to take?





We humans are wonderful at simply following the lead of others. In this case what was formerly a quiet practice seems now to have become very acceptable and one taken up by many as an easier option to having it carted away or to hitching up a trailer to the car.

I have included with this post just a selection of the many photographs taken over a couple of weeks while doing my walks through the local area – been mainly Dickson with occasional strays into the nearby suburbs.





And then there were these two unusual cases.

First a wheelbarrow appeared in amongst trees alongside the Dickson Drain for at least a week – then disappeared…


and this very small toy sat on the footpath for a couple of days. I still do not know whether it was meant to be taken or just left there. But in the climate of freebees for the taking – we will never know.


and finally about that top photograph with the horse trailer, things continued to develop. In the next days items kept appearing – till the whole sidewalk was full. I was not sure of the status of that car– as it had stuff on it, in front of it and behind it.


Happy pickings!

Please comment (silly stuff will be trashed)- and use this to make contact - personal contact messages will not appear publicily

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *