I dumpster dove exactly once for food when I was 14. We found a box of candy bars -- WOW!!
Just as we were about to make off with the booty, the store manager came out to yell at us.
She informed us the candy bars had been recalled b/c they were contaminate with worms.
Sometimes things are in the trash for a reason, but I do support diverting edible food from the waster stream, just maybe trash as food might have drawbacks if it is contaminated and not known by the consumer.
You see, going around Facebook has been this rather inane thing - list 10 or 20 concerts you've been to, but one of them is a lie. Your "friends" are supposed to pick which is the lie.
Then, a rather brilliant guy posted this, instead:
10 best things I've dumpster dove... One is a lie
1. Fresh deer head w/10 pt rack
2. Silver coins
3. Venison summer sausage
4. Prostetic leg
5. 4 cases of bananas
6. Antler handled knife
7. 7 bags of onions @ 50 lbs each
8. Brand new backpack still with tags
9. A glass eye
10. 5 car batteries that went directly to the scrap dealer and went for $25
I love it!!
Personally, I've been too chicken to dumpster dive, (except for once when someone left an awesome cast iron skillet and other cool dishes in a box next to the dumpster!), though I certainly understand and respect the practice of putting to use serviceable, edible and usable things.
*wombling - hat tip to Burra for this British term.
I scored about 30 rolls of 3 feet wide, 6 inch thick, backed fiberglass insulation batting from a industrial manufacturing facility that they were going to throw on the dump. They over-ordered it for a job, but as the maintenance guy explained, it had no value, just costs.
By the time they paid employees to move it to a storage place, where it would take up space, then require more labor to take out of storage at some point in the future, and put into another construction job, it was just cheaper to throw out and then buy new insulation when they needed it the next time. No labor involved, no storage costs, no storage requirements. I can sadly see their point.
Me, I am super frugal so while they can't justify it, I certainly could not justify heat going through my attic and now have even more insulation in my super-insulated home.
Big Business: They are so efficient they are inefficient!
To the person who found the box of candy bars: I doubt the manager told you the truth. When an item is recalled, stores are required to ship the item back to the manufacturer. I think she was snowing you to keep you out of her dumpster.
Got a holding it and found it enlightening.
I realized I was a natural diver,with food being the only exception,and the book got me past that.
My 8 year old knows dumpster diving is for grownups,due to the hazards involded, but she is enthused every time we stop - she wants to see in and we talk about why we keep some things and leave others.
I favor hospital and college dumpsters. They are constantly remodeling and building out where I live, offering furnishing and building supplies.
Produce stands and bakeries are my favorite food suppliers.
We did dumpster dive a few times with some success. I would drop my husband off at the dumpster and park at the fast food restaurant next door. On our last dive, the restaurant employees were taking turns watching the dude in the dumpster and we figured the cops were going to show up. Of course we are not shy about helping ourselves to curbside garbage either. I always score a supply of plastic pots and seedling trays every year. A few years ago we found two fairly new push mowers with minor problems. My husband fixed them, sold one, used the other one for a year and sold it too! Of course my favorite road side find was a week ago, when we found four huge hanging baskets of petunias just in time for Mother's Day. There's a greenhouse near the spot where we found them and we assume that they fell off their truck negotiating a sharp curve.
There have been other times, at dumpsters that were provided for locals to dump their household trash, that lots of signage cautioned against diving. Some sites even had surveillance cameras installed to deter divers. I guess this all has to do with liability.
I try to play by the rules, for the most part, but I am sure that the scales of justice don't tilt in my favor. However, I feel like I miss many opportunities in trying to play by the rules. For instance, the days of clean up in town, where people can pile whatever junk curbside and the town will haul it off, I see many people helping themselves. I don't think it's legal and I feel like I would be sure to get busted if I "stole" items.
This goes for leaves piled up on the curb for town removal too. I'd love to help myself to leaves already in nice tall piles. The problem is that the town collects the leaves and then sells them after they have composted them. If I am taking something that they could make money off of, I'm sure it would not go unnoticed.
This has always baffled me. If town officials are truly in favor of recycling and reduced waste, then why is dumpster diving illegal?
Now the story. My husband and I were dating. We'd both driven to church in our own cars and then left from there to drive to his apartment. I'm following behind him in my car. All of a sudden, he pulls off to the side of the road. I pull over, too. "Did you see that!?!" He exclaimed.
"The sign for the park?" I respond, as I'd just seen a sign for a park, and I didn't know there was a park there.
"No, the dumpster!"
I'm very perplexed and respond with something like "huh?" or "what dumpster?"
We then get in our cars and turn around and he parks a a house with a big dumpster in front of it. I hadn't even SEEN it when driving (it's amazing how much our brains ignore certain things that we subconiously don't think are important). We park and he goes digging through it merrily. And that was the first time I went dumpster diving!
My husband still loves dumpster diving. One Easter, he, his mom, and I were all driving back from church together. As we drove, we spotted two or three big dumpsters in the parking lot of a catholic church/school. So, of course we pull over! Either my husband or his mom then deemed those dumpsters our "Easter Baskets." We found an awesome wooden rocking horse and two other cool things. We kept that rocking horse in storage for 5 years until we finally had my son. He loves riding it!
William Bronson wrote:
I favor hospital and college dumpsters.
My husband works at hospital, and they ARE always tossing perfectly good stuff in there. He's brought home a tricycle, various chairs, shelving units, giant metal buckets, and antique urinal, and a lot more that I can't remember. He passes up a lot of good stuff just because we have no room to store it!
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