When I lived in Manhattan in the 1970s, Thursday evenings were the times when big stuff went out on the curb to be picked up by the DSNY. I would never take anything upholstered but would consider things that could easily be washed or cleaned up. I got a nice table that way, some decent dishes, and pair of lamps that only needed a simple rewiring to be perfectly functional.
On Thursday evenings half the people I knew would be doing a bit of urban picking. Toward the end of the month, when people would be cleaning out apartments and preparing to move, the lode was particularly rich.
We weren't cheap. We were thrifty and, if you had a use for something that was being thrown away, it was almost considered a crime not to take it.
Sometimes, we'd make deals with each other. 'If you help me get this up the stairs to the third floor, I'll treat you to a drink at the Red Blazer'. You could meet some interesting potential dates on