Here's some trash-picking inspiration - the pendant lights of South African artist Heath Nash. They are all made from die-cut pieces of plastic bottles. He used to use the flat parts of the bottles and throw out the necks and handles. Then he found beauty in the necks and handles. His newest pendant light is made entirely from the trash he used to throw out from the trash he collected. See the last photo via Craft via Moco Loco. (Although I must confess to preferring his plain white pendants.)
On his web site, Nash explains that he developed all of his sculpting tricks during a year of playing around with nothing but card stock, tape and staples and learned the importance of limitation.
"I imposed very strict and simple 'rules' on myself - to ONLY use card, staples and tape. Within this tight framework I was totally free to explore the very bounds of space and structure. Awesome."
This gives me hope since three-fourths of my projects seem to involve those very materials. It's not trash-grubbing laziness - it's a design philosophy!