My quest to find one of Stardew Valley's rarest items left me as a social outcast, but that won't stop my early-morning rummages

Character holding a bone next to a trash can
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

I pride myself on having a well-kept and cute Stardew Valley farm. With cobblestone paths, plants from the Flower Dance, and all the mods my PC can handle, maintaining Grove Farm takes a lot of effort. But after hearing about a way to ruin all of that, my heart was set on securing one of the new rare items in Stardew Valley: the Trash Catalogue.  

The 1.6 update brought us tons of new stuff to check out, like a new farm type and new mini-festivals, as well as a ridiculous list of updates and changes. I decided to start a new Meadowlands farm just so I could experience everything from the very beginning. Getting two new chickens straight away is great fun, and brilliant for the mayo drinkers among us, and I've had a lot of fun experiencing SquidFest for the first time and trying my hardest to earn the coveted Squid Hat. But one of the items introduced in 1.6, the Trash Catalogue, has to be one of the strangest things I've seen so far—other than Mr. Qi attacking cheaters at the Summit

The Trash Catalogue can be obtained after you dumpster dive in at least 50 garbage cans. After you do this, there's a 0.2% or 1 in 500 chance that a Trash Catalogue will fall out when searching through someone's rubbish. It's no Living Hat, which has a 0.001% chance of dropping by cutting weeds, but let me tell you, it's not easy to obtain. 

Every morning involves the same routine: I wake up, water the crops, fill up my cat's water bowl, collect the eggs and let the chickens out, and then run to town so I can rummage around everyone's bins like a desperate raccoon before anyone else wakes up. I can't tell you how many times I've been dumpster diving, but I'm currently at the end of Summer of year one, so it's roughly been 56 days of searching the same eight bins. And even after 500 trash checks I still haven't been able to find the much-coveted Trash Catalogue. 

A festival taking place in the town centre

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

There's also the imminent threat of being found out for the dumpster diver that I am. Both Sam, Shane, and Vincent have already spotted me rummaging through someone's bins and have loudly voiced their disgust. Every time I get spotted by a villager doing this, I lose 25 friendship points with the person. I spent so long trying to build rapport with everyone in Pelican Town and have given away too many of my precious gold star eggs to count, so to lose all my progress in the name of finding a Trash Catalogue has made me question exactly what my morals are. 

Especially because this item doesn't actually do too much. If I got the Trash Catalogue, all it would be useful for is to cover my house in rubbish, turning it into an aesthetically pleasing toxic waste dump. Having this item gives you access to all the trash you could ever want—I could cover my floor with broken televisions, plastic bags, six-pack rings, and more. 

If you've spent a long time perfecting your farmhouse aesthetic, then this is probably one of the worst rooms

So far, the only useful way I've seen this item used is to try and match Shane's awfully messy room. If you're the romancing type, you can date and eventually marry a few of the single NPCs in Stardew Valley, your partner will likely move into your farm house, and that means they'll have their own spouse room. Each villager has a pretty distinct style when it comes to home decor. Emily has the galaxy plastered on her walls and computers lying around on the floor, while Alex's room looks like the inside of a gym. Everyone's rooms are pretty well laid out and inhabitable, except for Shane's. It's covered in wrappers, spilled drinks, and muddy footprints—if you've spent a long time perfecting your farmhouse aesthetic, then this is probably one of the worst rooms you could have. 

Shane will only clean his act up after his 14-heart event, so you need to put in the work if you want to see your space cleared of trash and your spouse happy. But in the meantime, you could use Trash Catalogue to spread the rubbish out so Shane's room doesn't stick out like a sore thumb—you never know, it could help his self-esteem.

But Shane isn't really my type, plus he's already seen me dumpster diving on multiple occasions, so I'm sure he's not interested either. The main reason I want the Trash Catalogue is just because it's hard to find. I'd love to say I'd have some fun messing around with it in my home, covering everything in the trash, but I know that ultimately, having rubbish swamp my perfectly kept home would just be distressing. 

I'm just trying to find the Trash Catalogue for the same reason I chase after the Tea Set at every festival or the Living Hat when I'm cleaning up my farm: it's a challenge, and I like fixating on small tasks rather than the bigger picture—I love my farm too much to mess it up with smelly garbage, but I'd still like to have the option. 

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.