'Curb Mining' And 'Stooping': What Crosses The Line? [Block Talk]

ACROSS AMERICA — It’s the prime season for “stooping” or “curb mining” as Americans clear out spare rooms, basements and attics in a burst of spring cleaning.

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For anyone unfamiliar with the terms, they describe the act of salvaging still-useful items from other people’s cast-offs. Curb mining is most likely to take place in neighborhoods, while its urban cousin is known as stooping.

This form of freecycling has been around for decades but in earlier practice was sometimes looked down upon. The reasons for a surge in popularity vary. For many, curb mining and stooping are key strategies when furnishing an apartment or house on a budget; for others, it’s a desire to rescue still-usable furniture from the landfill and shrink their environmental and consumerism footprints.

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What’s the etiquette of curb mining and stooping? For Block Talk, help us sort out what’s OK and what crosses a line when it comes to putting furniture and other household items at the curb.

Just fill out the form below and tell us what you think. Don’t worry — we won’t collect your email address.

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About Block Talk

Block Talk is a regular Patch feature offering real-world advice from readers on how to resolve everyday neighborhood problems. If you have a neighborhood etiquette question or problem you’d like for us to consider, email beth.dalbey@patch.com, with Block Talk as the subject line.

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