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Old 05-14-2011, 01:46 AM
DoobieEx DoobieEx is offline
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I live in an apartment complex and we have dumpsters located strategically around the housing blocks. I check all of the dumpsters at least twice a week, but the large dumpster that maintenance uses I check daily..I also peruse dumpsters about town when the opportunity arises. I've been doing this for years, and here's some of what I've found.

5-10 PC's ranging from Pentium II to Pentium IV usually with minor hardware issues or just discarded out of pure wastefulness.

Old coaxial cable and accessories like splitters, etc.

Cribs, walkers, play pens for infants almost always in excellent shape.

Scrap brass

Drum set

Tripod for Dish Network/DirecTV satellite dish.

Assorted furniture

The thing that I find most disgusting though is it seems people often times intentionally destroy items before they throw them away to make them unusable. It really breaks my heart some times.

Feel free to share some of your better finds.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:56 AM
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Have you ever read the book, Travels with Lizbeth by Lars Eighner? This man survived many years by scavenging through dumpsters. People throw away perfectly good stuff all the time.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:56 AM
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I found a painting that I sold for 500$ one time (valued it for about $1000). Found a 6 person tent in great shape. Lots of furniture. This was all when I was single and in college. I never jumped INTO the dumpster because it stunk of rotted flesh. But only looked at what was around it. What was even better is that the apartment complex had a "Large item Dumpster" in the back where all the tables, couches etc etc went. No food trash.

Since I moved out of an apartment I never went back to check my spots. But I should drive around from time to time.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:04 AM
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I have found countless treasures though the years and I believe in throwing things away intact as to pay back to the dumpster diving god. For if you don't give, you will not receive.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:53 PM
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dumpster Etiquette rules state you may not climb into a dumpster unless you see something first,you can not go in just exploring. It's perfectly fine to climb in to remove that Cannondale mt. bike, but not to say open bags. a hockey stick is the State approved tool for exploring Dumpsters jn Alaska, although some prefer a ski pole.

Also one must look into dumpster before throwing heavy object.
And never approach a dumpster that another is exploring except to help remove a heavy item( and only if asked) Remember dumpsters are for everyone so try to leave them cleaner than you found them.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:58 PM
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During the cooler months we used to find all kinds of food from the market. But that is dying off with the economy getting worse. That and THEY are running off dumpster divers.

It is supposedly illegal to steal trash. I know that when I was in the military you could get court marshaled for taking government trash. The military routinely threw out things like first aid kits that had hit their expiration.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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There's a DUMPSTER ETIQUETTE !? Y'know, I see a business opportunity there, the dumster diving , I mean. In these tough times, many people are looking for ways to support themselves or even have a little spare change to spend on preps. If you had a place to store your "finds" for a while, and a place to have a "yard/garage sale" , like ,every week, you could join the underground economy. Here in Texas , we have that big flea market out in Canton, that could be an option. TP
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:25 PM
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First! If you dumpster dive Please, please be respectful ..clean up after yourselves and don't cut the locks off of others property! In fact if it's locked call the business and explain you like to salvage metals and stuff and ask for access to the unlocked dumpster.


I've had a bad time with dumpster divers here to the point of having to taint my garbage because i'm sick and tired of the mess! I'd rather not but It's no fun showing up for work in the morning to find half the dumpster strewn over the parking lot for the 2nd-3rd time in a week! Tried locking the dumpsters had several locks cut off in the end what has worked best is dumping a can or two of sugary pop or used motor oil over the garbage.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:45 PM
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Found a scuba tank w backpack(fully charged) and a duffel bag with the mask, flippers, wet suit and weight belt. Retrieved all and bought a regulator. Took it to Florida and scuba dived for free. Refilled tank and ready for next trip. Found 2 backpack tents, sleeping bag covers, coolers, and misc camping lanterns. All work. Saw couple computers but didn't want someones life or porno. They were gone couple hours later. All this from apartment dumpster. Lucky finds, usually find trash only. Seen a few strollers and car seats but can't use them.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:13 PM
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Years ago when I was in college, my roommate moved and stiffed me on rent and utilities. I had to find a way to come up with money fast, and this was near the end of the semester.

I tried dumpster diving and filled my apartment with rugs, lamps, home decor, anything pretty that I thought would sell.

I invited everyone in my neighborhood for a shopping party. I put prices on everything and served punch and cheap snacks (already available in my pantry).

There was a happy ending -- I made rent and utility money and enough to put down deposits on a new apartment where I could live by myself.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Patriot View Post
There's a DUMPSTER ETIQUETTE !? Y'know, I see a business opportunity there, the dumster diving , I mean. In these tough times, many people are looking for ways to support themselves or even have a little spare change to spend on preps. If you had a place to store your "finds" for a while, and a place to have a "yard/garage sale" , like ,every week, you could join the underground economy. Here in Texas , we have that big flea market out in Canton, that could be an option. TP
I've done that very thing and intend to begin persuing it again. A few years back I bought a granite topped kitchen island from Big Lots. It had a broken top and I returned it. They were poorly packed and all of the ones in the store except one had broken tops also. The manager was really angry about that. But he told me what day they would just be thrown out if I wanted to salvage them. I did just that, and I cut new tops from leftover laminate counter top that I had on hand, plus a leftover piece of butcher block. I ended up with four sellable units. Stuck an ad in the paper and cleared a little under $600 on them.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:00 PM
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Oh yeah! Dumpsters on base near a unit thats deploying in a few days are goldmines!
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:44 PM
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I used to work for a major universtiy. It was a fireable offense to take anything out of the trash. Spoiled little trust fund babies. At the end of the semester instead of taking their microwaves and TV's home they just put them in the trash. Cashemre sweaters, nearly new boots, all kinds of textbooks. Backpacks galore. Cases of ramen noodles. I had to watch some very happy tash collectors score.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:45 PM
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I recycled cans, glass and plastics out of the garbage many times, and every month after my diving i would go to the redemption center and get about 120.00 out of my diving. All it cost me to do int the first place was my time. I got allot of scrap metal, some good boards, buckets of all shapes and sizes, shelves, and all kinds of other treasures I cant even think of at the moment. I never looked through anyone's private stuff, and it never once crossed my mind. My concern was to make a extra buck to buy some flowers and maybe a night out for sushi. I actually used allot of the money gained from my diving to prep my BOV.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:58 AM
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i dumpster dive, i carry 5 ft stick with a wirehook on it, in my pick up, works great.

the best dumpster i had, was at a NG armory. after drills and summer camps, i would pass by and rack up. but, thats in the past now, the SOB's put a fence around it.

now my fav dumpster is behind my gym, next to a large up scale apartment complex. and i am there 4 to 6 days a week, after i get my work out in, i make a drive by.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:18 AM
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I was a garbage man for 8 yrs you would not believe the stuff people throw out. Brand new leather jacke $250 tag still on it. More working snow blower, weed eaters and lawn mowers than I knew what to do with them. Clothes where crazy we greased are own trucks so we would grab bags of clothes for rags, there where better clothes in them bags than my children where wearing......lol. I would always have the side and sometimes the cab full on my truck would end up having a garage sale about 3 times a year made over 1200 in one day from stuff people threw out. Almost forgot all the tvs, bikes and fishing equipment I never had to buy tackle whene working that job. Friends would ask me to look for this or that and I would find it with in 2 weeks. Some of the stuff I still have 9 yrs later still using the air compressor in my garage to this day and a very large collection of cast iron pans, griddles and dutch ovens.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieEx View Post
The thing that I find most disgusting though is it seems people often times intentionally destroy items before they throw them away to make them unusable. It really breaks my heart some times.


Then there is the legal side of dumpster diving where the person who throws it away can be held accountable if some bottom feeder gets hurt with what I threw away. For this reason alone everything I throw away is made non-recoverable.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:49 PM
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My husband loves to collect steel from the dump for his welding projects. We have found a great kid's bike just this weekend.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:53 PM
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Looks like we need to change some laws in our society. It doesn't seem terribly difficult to define (a) things in a dumpster (b) the previous owner (c) the dumpster-diver.

Given all the complexity in modern society, a simple law releasing the garbage owner from liability could be written in an afternoon.

The chief example I know of things being deliberately destroyed was a couple bookstores I remember. Apparently their distributors wanted the bookstores to rip off the cover of unsold paperbacks and mail them back as proof of unsold merchandise. Not sure if this is still being done. The reality, of course, is that the publishers were afraid of a used market, people dumpster-diving, etc. so they wasted their product rather than let it go more cheaply (or free).

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Then there is the legal side of dumpster diving where the person who throws it away can be held accountable if some bottom feeder gets hurt with what I threw away. For this reason alone everything I throw away is made non-recoverable.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:17 PM
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While we're kind of the topic of how wasteful people are... You know what really grinds my gears?

When a restaurant -- particularly fast food one -- gets your order wrong and then takes your old items and throws them away!!!

"That was a perfectly good taco, and I would have eaten it."
- Me to cashier yesterday after my wife's taco bell order was messed up haha.
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