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Stop Spending Money...Go Dumpster Diving Instead!

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posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 02:26 AM

Dumpster diving provides insight into widespread waste

Dumpster Diving is a Privilege

Hidden in plain view all around us are marvelous boxes filled with mountains of free, fun stuff. Dumpsters.

Some of us sift through these piles of "trash" to find usable goods, and we're called dumpster divers.

First, when you see how easy it is to pull crates of food, clothing or furniture out of a dumpster, think about what that says about our culture of appalling consumption and needless waste.

Second, while dumpster diving can benefit both society and the individual, it should be a choice. We would be naïve to forget that the destitute sometimes have to subsist off others' waste. For these people, dumpster diving is a way of survival. For the rest of us, recreational dumpster diving is a privilege.

The truth is that we don't appreciate what we have. We carelessly discard food instead of taking the time to donate to the needy. We don't use self-restraint to keep from purchasing what we don't need in the first place. This ties in to very real social, economic and environmental problems.

A college campus is a notable exception to the rule that you can find better trash at retail than at residential locations. College students often cannot hold on to large items when they move across the country at the end of a semester and do not hesitate to throw out nearly-new furniture and other such items by the truckload. These usable goods are not often enough salvaged by dumpster divers but ultimately go to a landfill.

It should be noted, however, that college dumpsters are much more likely to contain appliances than retrievable food. For food dumpstering, you'll probably find more success off campus. Dumpster diving is a place to start for those interested in reducing our harmful landslide of waste, or in promoting a society that thinks twice before it throws out tons of edible food. So many still go hungry. It might also save you a few dollars, and can be a fun conversation starter.

Well then, is the term "dumpster diving" somewhat misleading to the average person? Of course it is! I mean, who hasn't done this activity before?

There is a saying that one man's junk is another man's treasure. I can say a long, long time ago when my parents took some items to the dump, I was luck enough when I snooped around to find a couple original paintings of Paris, and I still have them to this day!

While going through others' trash has been deemed legal in the United States by Supreme Court case California v. Greenwood, it can look suspicious to many segments of the population. Some cities may pass ordinances against it. In the unlikely event that there is a run-in with authority, the best course of action is to be compliant and straightforward about what you are doing.

So anyways, we should be ashamed of ourselves for wasting perfectly good items. At least our laws should make it legal for those who need items to be able to find refuge in our dumpsters around the corner.

posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 02:56 AM
Actually when I was in collage me and my buddies would do this alot. We were able to find nicer things that took minimal effort to clean and or repair and then sell to buy food and other things a collage student needs. I remember trading a couch for a bass guitar lol

posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 03:05 AM
reply to post by Topsy_Cret

Hahaha, that's awesome! I am just wrapping up my last semester at university and I tell you the best thing I ever discovered in post secondary was used binders...these things are gold! Totally saved me money especially how expensive they are nowadays!

posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 03:09 AM
Dumpster diving can yield some very interesting things. A friend of mine once found a huge carbon fiber golf umbrella that was perfect. Nothing was wrong with it. I actually scoped out a dumpster behind a grocery store. Turns out it was a trash compressor. If people start dumpster diving more then certain place may opt for a compressor instead of a dumpster. A couple years ago the mall I work at transferred to trash compressor. So be careful that you don't get compressed. It would make for a bad day.

posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 03:26 AM
When I was younger, I used to pull working video game systems and even a Gibson acoustic guitar (with case!) out of dumpsters. It worked and no one wanted it, so I gave it a home.

I still have some of these items to this day.

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