​Hard rubbish is easy to pick up

Hard rubbish collections must have been dreamed up by a hoarder, right? One of those people who can't go past a garage sale without stopping for "just a look" and whose own garage is so full of chairs (which only need a splash of varnish and a screw for them to be as good as new) that they can't park their car.

They just wanted a legitimate reason for people to clutter up the streets with their possessions, so as any passing free-loading nosey-parker could pick over them.

Well, I'm not a hoarder - I swear - but I've got two words to say to whoever popularised this council service, and that's "thank you!"

No, really, thank you. Thank you for the very comfortable desk chair, the two garden chairs, the small cabinet I've used for two decades, the bright yellow hall stand and the engraved, wooden picture frame.

In fact, there's very little in my house that's not pre-loved, and some of it is scavenged from the side of the road.

Admittedly, I've got very low standards, and rely on the ability of paint to cover over the cracks. But in the age of Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, I'm still amazed by what people put out on the street.

Of course, there are variations, suburb to suburb.

The best suburbs are the ones with a high real estate turnover (moving house is good for clear-outs), and a middle-aged demographic (older people are too careful with their possessions; younger people aren't in a position to upgrade).

Mind you, no one's going to mistake my place for a luxury furniture showroom. But, I'm pleased and proud to say, neither does it look like a student doss house.

Which goes to show - just because someone doesn't need a piece of furniture anymore (and is too lazy to take a photo of it and list it on a website) doesn't mean it's second-best. It may well be exactly what someone else needs.

Michelle Haines Thomas