When David Krawczyk, an industrial design student at the Pratt Institute in New York, started filling his apartment with discarded furniture and appliances he found on the streets of Brooklyn, his roommate was none too pleased. But then Krawczyk started repairing the stuff he collected. He kept some items to furnish the apartment for free and sold others to help pay for rent and groceries. Now he's a finalist for Apartments.com's Roommate of the Year contest. He was also interviewed on the local news station in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia.
Collecting, repairing, and selling these hastily-discarded items allowed Krawczyk to make some extra money, get to know his neighborhood, and learn how things work. We don't all have to follow his example (some people wouldn't have the time or such accommodating roommates) but it's certainly a creative way of solving a handful of problems at once.
Via Core 77