There are people who pay off their leather lounge suite in hefty monthly installments, and there are people who know about hard rubbish.
Bikes, antiques, surfboards and even home cinema systems have been known to grace the streets of Melbourne on certain Sunday nights - often in perfectly good nick. In fact, whole houses have even been known to be furnished by the city's streets (though admittedly the residents of these aren't all that picky about matching interior pieces.)
Regardless of your taste in furniture, there's no denying that other people's hard rubbish deposits can be absolute treasure troves. (In fact, I believe there's an old saying along those lines.) Every municipal council in Victoria organises collection of bulky household waste: the trick is knowing when and where to look.
Not only can you access a list of hard rubbish locations and dates here, but there are also a few insider tips and handy links. Incidentally, the page also provides an excellent forum for boasting. "I found a shopping bag in Camberwell with $158 in siver coins," one user crows. "What's wrong with these people?" shrieks another.
Dumpster-diving is becoming increasingly popular, not just as a means of survival but as a social activity - just ask this guy. However it's treasure-hunting, or 'gleaning' as it's known in more serious circles, that's the big business. Keep an eye out for these hardcore hard rubbish professionals who hire vans especially for the occasion, and giant trailers for their loot to boot.
Scavengers should be warned that under many councils' local laws it is illegal to take other people's hard rubbish. For risk-free treasure hunting, why not check out freecycle or the sharehood? Both of these are recycling communities committed to reducing waste by swapping or sharing stuff that you might not need.