Rag and bone work used to be quite popular years ago, The British television 'Steptoe and Son' was a classic example of what this business was all about. If you're too young to remember, rag and bone men, (never women) used to go house to house on a horse and cart shouting out, "Any old Iron!' Women, who in those days worked as housewives, heard this. Unwanted items they didn't want would be turned out into the street and this would be collected, put on the Rag and Bone cart and taken away. I used to hear my mother saying to me when I was young, "I will give me away to the Rag and Bone men if you aren't good!"
History explained, and now that picture well out of fashion, rag and bone is now has reinvented itself and making money out of other people's rubbish is big business without the horse and cart emblem attached.
If I went to house to house asking whether they had any unwanted goods to give away, or even better, mailshot with pamphlets that unwanted goods will be collected for nothing on a certain day, you will gets lots of stuff. I'd go further and say that many of the goods are just out of fashion and would be in reasonable condition, especially in wealthier residential areas.
Yes it is a pain going door to door and you will get some rude people, but the good you collect can give substantial rewards. You will find that many people will be glad of your service and go on to refer you to others they know and more unwanted goods due your way.
The next stage is to get money for these goods and that's where the Internet comes into play, you sell them online, eBay or other auction sites are a great way or just use free ads which are scattered all over the net. There are barter sites where yo can exchange one items for another. Then there is are the recycling scrap metal merchants who will buy metal if you have enough with many providing a collection service as part of the deal. Even setting up your own car boot sales is a good idea, they are all over the country and does take more time that Internet selling, but you already have the transport so why not?
To set this up you need nothing other than some form of transport, a van or bigger car with a decent roof rack would be good enough. Then at home a Internet connected computer and printer for mails shots and a place to store things like a garage or a covered area in the garden for bigger items. With many smaller items a spare room with a tiered shelving system is a good idea.
Let's be honest, everything can be sold or bartered for even for little money, the buyer always pays for the postage or travel expenses. you really are on money for nothing but a bit of time and effort. some things you may even want to keep yourself!
So if you have a bit of get up and go, just make out some ads, post and follow up. This can be done for a couple of hours a week and move up to full time if things go well. You are your own boss and the overheads are low,
Finally, with this new age rag and bone business, losses are minimal if you suddenly want to give it up, so there is nothing to lose and you can always start again at another time.