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