"Dumpster Diving"...have you ever done it? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Have you ever gone "dumpster diving" (searching trash for food/useable goods)?
No, I'd never do such a thing! 7 11.48%
No, but I'd consider it. 9 14.75%
Yes, because I felt I needed to (food, basic needs) 0 0%
Yes, why not? People throw away all kinds of great stuff! 45 73.77%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: NC
Posts: 1,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you ever gone "dumpster diving" ? It's something I've been thinking about lately, and I was just curious if anyone here had any experience? Did you do it for food or "stuff"? And stuff to sell, or stuff that you needed/could use?

I'm not sure if I could ever get up the nerve to do it. It seems like an interesting way to make a little extra cash, or find useful things though. There are a ton of newsgroups and websites devoted to it.
jenoline is offline  
#2 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 09:46 PM
 
MamaFern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: surrounded by snowy mountains
Posts: 7,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
in my days before kids i did a lot of dumpster diving.. i lived in "punk"houses with lots of room mates and we would all ride our bikes go to all of the dumpsters around town mostly every day.. there was a tofu dumpster and a veggie dumpster and the co-op dumpster and the bread dumpster and the doughnut dumpster and the bagel dumpster.. truly we hardly bought any food at all..there was even a celtic organic spelt bakery that would leave us stuff outside of the dumpster in a box.. most of the time people didnt mind us doing what we were doing.. partly we did it because we were poor but also in protest to the huge amount of great food that was being thrown out. its amazing and shocking and sick what gets thrown out daily.. my partner and i dumpster dived hundreds of bags of organic rice ( short and long grain brown, basmati..ect) last year that people we know ( including us) are still eating.. it was thrown out because of suspicion of bugs.. but we only ever found bugs in one bag.. very noticable.. at the same time we dumpstered about 10 bars of organic chocolate and a bunch of other yuumy stuff..
i dont personally D dive much anymore.. mostly because i just dont have the energy.. elwynns pappa still does and brings us food lots.. cases of soymilk or rice milk, bread, produce.. but there are still tons of kids around the city who live very good healthy lives without much money because they eat what others throw away.. its not garbage..people are just too greedy to give it away or too lazy. its so sad.

we also d dive for other stuff.. household items and things.. it is amazing what people throw away..

we like the "Free box" idea.. we have a box with stuff we dont need and leave it out and people take what they want.. lots of other folks in our community do it as well.. its kinda nicer than looking through the garbage..

 

 

Quote:
Once in while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right....

 

MamaFern is offline  
#3 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 09:51 PM
 
TeaghansMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: up and gone to Carolina
Posts: 818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I voted yes.. but not truly "dumpster" diving. In the days before Freecycle I got a bunch of good stuff on trash night. A desk, bookcases, all sorts of furniture. A coat of paint or a sand and some stain and it was as good as new.
TeaghansMama is offline  
#4 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 09:53 PM
 
jayayenay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
.
jayayenay is offline  
#5 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 09:53 PM
 
mrzmeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: outside over there
Posts: 3,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've gone dumpster diving a few times...had great luck behind a Pier One and also behind a wallpaper store (my MIL still has up the border I got for her, lol).

I once got a dresser out of an apartment dumpster...and a box of EC girls clothing (much of which I kept and is now clothing my new dd ). Hrmmm...

I love dumpster diving, just wish there were more dumpsters around here that were diveable (most have compactors).
mrzmeg is offline  
#6 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 10:16 PM
 
EviesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Earth.
Posts: 3,621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never gotten food, but I definitely get stuff that others have put out for the trash... including a suitcase and a couple really nice wooden toddler chairs recently. Pre-decorated with marker, too! The preschool down the street threw out about a dozen toddler chairs when they got new ones, and dh grabbed a couple, then told a friend in our building, so now we know at least three families with a couple of them! :LOL

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
EviesMom is offline  
#7 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
jenoline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: NC
Posts: 1,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've noticed that many of the stores in my area have their dumpsters behind locked fences. Also, I don't know if it's legal here (what I read online said it's legal most places, but not all). I'm not sure how to find out. As a mama I'm really hesitant to do anything that could get me arrested. But money is tight (obviously, right - I am on the frugality & finances board ), and if I could find stuff that would help us out (stuff to use, stuff to sell, food) that would be cool. My DH is hesitant about the idea but hasn't been able to express why. He's completely supportive of homeless people doing it (and gets angry with laws that make it more difficult for homeless and/or poverty striken people to get by - such as ones that outlaw dumster diving), but doesn't think we should do it.
jenoline is offline  
#8 of 26 Old 10-05-2005, 11:20 PM
 
simple living mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, Southern Colorado
Posts: 2,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes! If you live near a college, they put out dumpsters for the kids at end of term and boy do they throw away the new stuff. Stuff mom and dad payed for I'm sure.

It's funny, tons of mops and brooms never used! I've found cd's, skis, parka's, notebooks filled with unused paper, books, good rugs, clothes, art supplies, a pack of 200 new glow sticks, beds, you name it. I work at the affordable housing so most of it goes to them since I'm pretty set but I do snake anything arty to use for projects and the kids I work with.

We get some weird and sympathetic looks especially because dh and I are with our 7 and 8 year olds and they are diggin right along side us but we are past that now.

I think it's a great idea to wear really good hard soul boots and gloves because you never know if a junky might throw in a needle or two. Yuck!
simple living mama is offline  
#9 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:02 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All the time...

I go to apartments near colleges on lease-ending day and pick up textbooks, usually I sell them online for over $100. I get other stuff, too - furniture, clothes, cleaning supplies...

I got most of the furniture in my house from Bulky Trash Pickup day in nice neighborhoods.

Our upstairs neighbors moved out this past weekend, after living there for 15 years. I scooped a great leather jacket from a bag on top of the trash heap in the dumpster, fits me perfectly and in great shape. I also got a nice, like-new set of fireplace tools out of there, a small wooden shelving unit, and a great black cape for Rain.

Dumpster diving rocks

Dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#10 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:02 AM
 
momto l&a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have dumster dived all my life :LOL just for stuff never food.

All sorts of neat things we have gotten out of dumpsters
momto l&a is offline  
#11 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 01:55 AM
 
amybw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: at home
Posts: 1,595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We go roadside shopping on trash day.

Got a little tikes climber, rocking chair, picnic table, kids lawn chair, exersaucer/toddler table combo, turtle sandbox, and more that way!


Amy
amybw is offline  
#12 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 09:57 AM
 
Momtwice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, and I had a very disgusting experience and will never do it again.

I do agree with this however

Quote:
In fact, at the last apartment complex we lived in, if we were throwing away things that were still in good condition, we'd just leave them next to the dumpsters so that the divers could see/get them easily! They were always gone well before the dumpsters were emptied.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
Momtwice is offline  
#13 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 10:27 AM
 
Alkenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: ...life is beautiful all the time
Posts: 11,759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yep, I dumpster dive/garbage pick all the time. Have gotten most of my furnishings that way (including my LR carpet!)

When I was a kid, my parents/grandpa did it to keep food on the table too. They had a system worked out (grandpa even knew the manager at one store and knew what times the stuff got pitched). We were in heaven one time with all the "expired" Halloween candy.
Alkenny is offline  
#14 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 10:49 AM
 
marybethorama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Western MD
Posts: 3,569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never gone inside a dumpster. Our town picks up anything on trash day. They also have 2 special bulk trash days just for big stuff.

There are lots of college students here so you can get good stuff even though a local charity is trying to collect the really good furniture etc.

The owners of the rental house next door put out a whole bunch of furniture so I scored a lot of good stuff.
marybethorama is offline  
#15 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 11:00 AM
 
Nature's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In Aspieville
Posts: 6,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I was a kid and I lived with my grandmother we dumpster dived all the time. Initially we started doing it because we had a farm and the grocery stores let us take the leftover home for our pigs. They knew we were there, and we'd climb in the dumpsters and haul out cases and boxes of food.

When we got it home however we were shocked at the food! It wasn't rotten, or buggy, or nasty. It was perfectly fine! And awesome food too. All wrapped up in boxes and never opened. Stuff we probably couldn't have afforded, like the organic stuff. Thats when we started eating it. Stuff we didn't want went to the animals, and we lived a pretty good life food wise for quite awhile. Though I can't eat a Nutty Butty bar to this day because we had so many cases of them I got sick. :LOL

Its funny, they even threw away flowers from the floral sections that were perfectly good. For that year we had flowers on the dining room table every single day.

I don't dumpster dive for food anymore, mostly because I don't think you can. All the dumpsters around here are fenced in and locked with big signs saying no tresspassing on them. But I use Freecycle a lot, and if I see something on the side of the road, or even at the dump that is salavagable.. I'll snag it. Why not?

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

Nature is offline  
#16 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:11 PM
 
sweetfiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have a free box in my community where people leave their still-useful items--books, clothing, furniture, computers, toys, unopened food. Frequently when I give tours I like to say, "And everything I'm wearing is from our Free Box--including my underwear!"
sweetfiend is offline  
#17 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:21 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 47,873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I've never climbed inside a dumpser, but my ex has- he'd bring home all sorts of junk he got from dumpsters, put out by the curb, etc. He got some great stuff that way- a sturdy desk, some clothes, etc. The only problem was that he didn't know when to stop!! How many broken lamps (that nobody ever gets around to fixing) does one family really need?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
Ruthla is offline  
#18 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:27 PM
 
simple living mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rocky Mountains, Southern Colorado
Posts: 2,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, momtwice, what was it? A dead person? You've got me curious now.
simple living mama is offline  
#19 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 12:36 PM
 
sohj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 4,188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I call it scavenging. I've got lots of stuff scavenged...books, furniture, some clothing. I've never scavenged for food to eat; however, I have been known to pick up dry and not leaking bags of veggiescraps from outside groceries to take to the local community garden to add to their compost.

I also run my car on veggie oil...used when I can get it.

You want disgusting? You ought to see the condition of the waste oil containers at many restaurants. Using a oil suction pump nozzle carefully enough to avoid the floating rats, etc. is a special skill.

One place I lived had a whole-evening, neighborhood social event around Big Garbage Night. People would put out what they didn't need, walk around and look at what others were getting rid of, comment on it, and frequently take something home. All ages, all classes. Some people would go to other neighborhoods for different kinds/quality of things. I got a really interesting pair of legs/supports for a glass or wood table top (coffee table height). They were made out of iron and looked something like rustic andirons. I guess the top had broken. And then there was the antique sewing machine legs/treadle that I topped with a piece of marble that had also come off the street that had some stains and was really worn. A little lemon juice and super fine steel wool took care of that.
sohj is offline  
#20 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 03:04 PM
 
Pariah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: My happy place.
Posts: 2,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My husband and I do this a lot...when we had friends that were into it, it was a big event, haha. Dumpster diving is how we got a brand new in the box baby gate, and a new box fan. We've found tons of stuff...a good toolbox, books, clothes, food (the only kind of food I'll consider when diving is produce and baked stuff, like bread, or canned stuff), art supplies, furniture... We even found huge boxes of un-expired, sealed condoms, LOL...that was at Big Lots. You find all sorts of interesting things while DDing! Craft and home decorating stores usually have good things. And if you're short on $, there's often stuff you can find to eBay.

stillheart.gif = Pariah, Super Mom + The Amazing Wiggy (1/06)superhero.gifangel.gif  (6/08)  52 Projects: 0/52  Decluttering Challenge: 37/2013

Pariah is offline  
#21 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 03:08 PM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not for food, but when you live near a college campus, all sorts of wonderful, wacky things get thrown out. A friend of mine got a barely used drafting desk with a light box out of the dumpster -- was worth over $400. We've gotten sectional couches, futons, lamps, bookshelves. . . .
earthmama369 is offline  
#22 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 04:41 PM
 
momto l&a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sojh.
Quote:
I got a really interesting pair of legs/supports for a glass or wood table top (coffee table height). They were made out of iron and looked something like rustic andirons.
Those sound like wood cookstove legs.
momto l&a is offline  
#23 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 06:43 PM
 
Rhiannon Feimorgan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Diagonally parked in parallel world
Posts: 5,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to all the time. Mostly for stuff but sometimes for food if I found something good.

I used to work in a dougnut shop and when I was throwing out the day olds I would always put them in a clean bag seperat from the coffee grounds because I knew there were people who came and got them and I wanted them to be edible. There was always so much food getting thrown out. I asked the maneger if we could send it to the food bank but he said the head office wouldn't let us do that.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
Rhiannon Feimorgan is offline  
#24 of 26 Old 10-06-2005, 06:50 PM
 
passionfaerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Turlock, CA
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I make a habit of it... I have ever since I was a kid. Its like treasure hunting!!
passionfaerie is offline  
#25 of 26 Old 10-07-2005, 12:01 AM
 
root*children's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: the South-East's Worst Kept Secret
Posts: 2,782
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have dumpster dived for several reasons and wish I could have voted twice. As a poor lil' dready travelling around the country in my VW van, I dove alot for necessity of food.

Now I dive for fun to see what I get! Although, unlike the old days, I don't just hop right into unknown dumpsters. I used to hop in my old subdivision's dumpster (bear issues, no individual trash cans allowed) and found great stuff! Lots to myself and friends, but also to Freecycle (I started the Freecycle in Durango, CO b/c of this) and even sold on eBay (heehee). I'll also dive if I can drive by and see great stuff just pouring out. I should dive more often, for food, especially, but that's HARD with little kids! Do I really want their grandma calling and the kids saying "We found SO much (insert yummy food here) in the dumpster today!!" no, I don't. So I limit dumpster diving to stuff nowadays.

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

root*children is offline  
#26 of 26 Old 10-08-2005, 10:58 PM
 
oldcrunchymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: On Mulder's Desk
Posts: 2,569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have dumpster dived/trash picked many a time and would make a habit of it if I had my own transportation. When I was a kid we were dirt poor and would get awesome stuff from people's "trash." A huge ornate dollhouse, a good sofa bed, end tables, etc. My mom knows a guy who (legally) picks up the "expired" food from grocery stores and distributes it to homeless shelters and old people homes. He often has extra and gives it to us. It's incredible and very wasteful what the grocery stores chuck! Most of the food is good and is nowhere near to being truly unusable. I realize they can't sell things with past dates but you'd think they could set it out back or something for poor people.
oldcrunchymom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off