So, my parents' house got flooded in last weekend's deluge. A bit of water, bit of sewage. Mucho nasty.
Having been through this back in the 90's we had an idea of what to do: get stuff out of there FAST. A group of us emptied out the basement including the carpet and flooring. The adjuster came, said "yup, that's poo", then gave us some instruction about what steps to take and what we should just get rid of unless we had a huge attachment to it and were willing to get professionally cleaned.
Over the next couple of days stuff got dumped in the back yard for sorting and a lot of it ended up in the pile that would make its way to the front curb for garbage pickup. As we began the chore of hauling the nastiness to the front we noticed that stuff would go missing after an hour or so ! No one came to ask what's up, what that 'organic' smell (or cloud of flies) was due to, or if the inch or two brownish water stain at the bottom of every item was, indeed, water. They just took it !
My Mom was outside yesterday and a woman driving past stopped to ask "are you moving ?", seemingly oblivious to the fact that three houses in the same block had substantial piles of drywall bits, skirting board, carpet pieces, couches etc. piled up in the driveway. My Mom said "no, it's there for the city to come pick up tonight" and went back into the house. The lady opened the back of her car and started loading stuff in ! My Mom started back out of the house as the lady was getting back into her car to tell her that maybe she didn't want that stuff and probably not a good idea to wipe her eyes or eat a sandwich until she cleaned her hands. The lady called out that her and her husband would come back later with a mini-van for more !
How she didn't tweak to the fact that this stuff really stinks, considering it just spent a couple of extra days in the back yard stewing in a pile of fouled carpet, I have no idea. Thankfully, before she and her husband returned with the mini-van, the city's special garbage pick up came to clear the driveways on the block.
A bit of advice: if you are hitting the garage sales over the next couple of weekends be reeealllly careful about what you're buying and be on the safe side: bleach the hell whatever you pick up even if it looks fine !