You wouldn't believe the things people throw in the trash! When I used to work in that line of business, I'd get all the Home Depot weedwackers, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, etc etc that nobody wanted to pay for to fix. Stuff only a couple years old too. Was Worcester, after all - not very many people there can hold a screwdriver the correct direction!
I;ve probably sold 6 trimmers this year that have been cluttering up the barn for years.
One mower I got from Worcester had the gas tank full to the brim .... with MOTOR OIL!
Was all in the primer, and all through the carburetor, engine, and exhaust too! Looked like someone put the oil in the wrong hole, and tried to start it. I fogged the whole neighborhood up when that puppy roared to life after a complete fuel system flush.
I've got friends still in the business that throw mowers and lawn tractors my way for free when they find them. The one I remember the most was a 2 year old push mower from a house cleanout - probably a foreclosure. After I washed it, it looked SHOWROOM NEW!! I put fresh gas in it, blew the oil out of the air filter, and she started 2nd pull and ran perfect! Made a few bucks off that one! I was happy.
Got a Murray lawn tractor for free off someone's lawn - had been sitting outside for years, from the looks of it. Carb had black swamp water in the bowl!
Flushed the fuel system out, and that thing runs better than my '05 J/D! Had to split the transaxle to replace 2 worn out shift forks - was giving me whiplash in 6th gear! I threw some tubes in the tires, and gave it to my elderly neighbor to help him get around. Been running it all summer. Only threw a belt once.