Your first thought, probably (like most of us) is: eeew! Your second thought? I’m not quite at the homeless door. Ah, kids, it’s a much more developed and intricate movement than that. Yes, I said movement. Both dumpster diving and Freeganism are political/lifestyle movements. Before I get into that, let’s just stomp out those preconceived notions.
They don’t actually ‘dive’ into dumpsters filled with rotten, steaming refuse to pull out a green steak or a coveted hole-filled sock, waving it around in manic glee. Some of them prefer the term ‘dippers’ to divers, since that describes more closely what they do. They frown on scavengers in disdain. Dumpster diving is a hobby, a belief- and it can be profitable. From the blogs I read, it was interesting to find out that they can find: perfectly healthy food in abundance; designer clothing and furniture; supplies for unique artwork and items they can then sell on eBay. According to dumpster rental Lakeland, FL, there are several nice and still usable things on dumpsters. From healthy food to different items like furniture, design and so many more, you will have a lot of options. Dumpster diving is not a dirty activity. It is actually a meaningful hobby where you can get a lot of useful items.
Yep, that cute little whats-it you bid for relentlessly might have come from a garbage can. You, in fact, paid for real-life garbage. What’s that old saying, one man’s trash…? I forget. Another myth surrounding the dumpster dabblers, is that they must be unemployed and desperate if they do it. There are people of all ages, all walks of life, that meet up and share findings. Businessmen, teens, the odd granny. So what’s the draw, considering if you get caught you could either get a hefty fine or even land in jail?
The dumpster divers and the Freegans are anti-capitalist, anti-consumer groups. Freegans (free vegans) get all of their food from dumpsters, and only food. It’s quality food that’s been thrown out because it had one minuscule brown spot, or a minor dent. It didn’t look pretty, so no one would buy it. The food most times is not only edible but fresh. It is a dour reflection on society- and we secretly know it. We just can’t own up to our incredible capacity for waste. We maintain stubborn ignorance about all that we get rid of, while holding up the ‘Save the Planet’ placards at the weekends. I do think dumpster divers have a point: we’re hypocrites. Now in our new, shiny economy, many of us will have to re-think our spending habits.
I found this great page on a different type of dumpster diver that might worry you more than the abstract: it was written by a hacker, with a guideline of how to hack into businesses by collecting the paper trails that are discarded behind the buildings. They get contact numbers, passwords, access into accounts and can even make themselves look like a company member. Be careful of thrown out manuals for newbies, CD-Rs and even drives. They glean well. To protect your business, invest in a cross-cut shredder. For CD-Rs, you can nuke them in the microwave ‘for about 15 seconds.’ For the rest: compacting is your friend.
If you’re toying with the idea of trying out dumpster diving, here are a few tips. Try to find a local chapter, so that you’ll be with those more experienced in the ways. The skips behind churches, hotels and apartments can be rewarding- just stay away from housing districts. That’s called trespassing. You don’t necessarily have to sneak around under the cover of night, if you look like you belong. Dumpster diving may not be for you, but considering the economic turmoil we’re going through- can you really turn your nose up at a second income?