In the area I live, (near The Empress State Building), folks often leave high quality items out on the street for collection by the bin-men.

However, as I live in a fairly basically-furnished student flat, I steal them whenever possible. Some recent successes include:

Wooden planks: These were just left out by someone's front fence, So I took them and used them to shore up my somewhat wobbly bed.

A sofa: Our existing sofa was a nightmare, manky and horrible. One afternoon, my room-mate arrives in describing one he saw on his way home, once again, left outside someone's house. "Let's go get it." So we did. Pausing first to try it out, then to try to find out if it's owner really didn't want it, we then carried it home, and man-handled it into the sitting room.

A video cabinet: Our VCR and TV once stood on a broken chair. Not anymore. They now stand resplendant on a very solid and neat cabinet, curtesty of an unwitting waster between my flat and the high street. I collected it on the way back from the shops.

A lawn mower: This device required some repair, and a new plug, but was otherwise fine. Now our fledgling lawn in the backyard has faint stripes!

A bisley filing cabinet: Potentially our only mistake so far. Unconfortably heavy, awkward and with a funny smell, it now sits in the backyard waiting to be cleaned out.

A grill pan: Yesterday, I spotted a gas oven sat outside a hotel. Could it contain a grill pan? Would we no longer have to grill our potato waffles directly on the oven shelf? You bet-ya.

You too can live a better life through pinching stuff left out for the trash!

Update! We now have a delightful little three-legged, leather-topped table. Perfect for chips and dips. Once again, lying on the street. Admittedly, some assembly (five minutes with a leatherman and some glue seemed to do it) was needed.