As a college student, our Sigma Chi fraternity house at Syracuse University was filled with shady furniture picked up along the side of the road.

No one knew what adventures a couch left alone on a curb could tell about its life. No one would want to know the adventures that same couch could share after being moved into the fraternity house, but those are stories best left for a different time.

The point is, sometimes decent stuff is left on the side of the road for others to take.

As an adult, precious toys served our kids well but were outgrown. Many of those toys still had some mileage left on them, so instead of tossing them away, we would put them out on the curb with a "free" sign for anyone to take.


We've done the same with furniture or anything we thought might genuinely interest other people.

Our new neighborhood has an unofficial spot for these types of things. It's at the corner of the entrance to our development. Unfortunately, everyone is not on-board, and for good reason.

Sometimes people leave rather unusual items. For example, a toilet was recently placed there. Really? Someone actually thought another person would want to pick up and install a used toilet in their home?

In my mind, one of the unwritten rules of this practice should include a time limit. If the item is not re-homed within 24-48 hours, it is time for the original owner to reclaim it. If you put something out on a Saturday morning and it's still sitting there by the end of the day on Sunday, go get it.

Maggie Robinson via Facebook
Maggie Robinson via Facebook

Rochester resident Maggie Robinson agrees. She called Michael and Maddie Wednesday to talk about the freezer chest (pictured above)  sitting at the corner of Ryder Road as I type this.

"It's super-frustrating when this happens because it becomes the responsibility of the neighbors or the town's highway department for removing items that the neighbors can't pick up," she said. "It really shouldn't fall on anyone.

"If you have a refrigerator that you want to get rid of, it's your responsibility to do that. Someone has to pay to dispose of it."

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