Day 19: Dumpster Diving

Day 19: Dumpster Diving

You are totally allowed to give me a sideways look for this one. But a few years ago while visiting a friend in Pennsylvania, she suggested that we go dumpster diving that evening and see what we find. Always up for an adventure that feels like breaking the law without actually breaking it, I said YES!

So we piled four girls into the car, and drove out into the dark and rainy night in search of the best trash. Hilarity ensued, as we climbed up the edges of tall dumpsters, and poked through the bags with the ice scraper we happened to have along. We kept a getaway driver in the car, just in case our presence ticked someone off, even though dumpster diving is legal.

We came home with a load of treasures- a bookshelf, a pillow, dishes, a lamp, a speaker- and I was hooked. In fact, I enjoyed the adventure so much that my friend I was gushing to about it told me that I needed a life. Probably true, but I didn’t care.

I rounded up a group of my girls once I came home and took them on our own adventure. Although it was a much less productive trip, it was still a ton of fun. Well, all fun except the part where Lyn jumped into the car I was driving screaming “GO, GO, GO!” and scared me spitless, just for fun. Pretty sure I still owe her payback for that.

If this sounds at all like your style of fun, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Check the laws and make sure it’s legal. Many places it is except in spots specifically marked for no trespassing.
  • Try going behind strip malls. Stores like Pier 1 Imports and Staples sometimes have new items thrown away because of slight damage.
  • Avoid any restaurants like the plague. Gross! Also stay away from places like dentists’ and doctors’ offices, unless you’re looking for old teeth and gauze.
  • Take along a long stick for poking. Saves you the trouble of actually climbing into dumpsters.
  • Nighttime is good, because you’re less likely to run into store employees, which is just plain embarrassing.

So, have you ever gone dumpster diving? What have you found? Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s a ton of fun.

P.S. Yes, the little plant pictured is one of my finds. It keeps me company at my office.

A year ago: Declan Isaac

4 thoughts on “Day 19: Dumpster Diving

  1. We use to support ourselves mostly of what we got out of the dumpsters when we lived in NC!

    Our go to was Staples and during peak money making seasons we had a route to Hickory down to Charlotte up to Salisbury and Winston Salem checking them all ! And we only went after hours!

    JayBerry was a little guy and what we couldn’t get we put him in the dumpster to get for us!

    We also used a grabber stick and Richard said his belly made a great balancer on the edge of the dumpster! Ha. A small step ladder also came in handy!

    I remember once driving away from a dumpster with our particular product we went to get rounding up the truck bed!! Woohoo! Netted about $5,000 I think from that load!

    It is addicting and to this day if we need a break from driving we will stop and dumpster dive during the day! Lol We’re from out of town and they won’t ever see us again if they do!

    At one time almost all of our furniture came from dumpsters! The only thing we got food wise was fruit from a store in Salisbury (don’t remember the name) because you can pick the one rotten orange out of the bag and wash all the others!

    Happy Dumpster Diving!

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