Glimpsing

Oh.My.Gosh. So, I haven’t had enough time to start and complete enough research to complete a post. Sorry about that. I’m sure you’re just hanging onto the edge of your seat, waiting, but the blog topic that I chose for my class is taking the amount of time the expected and as a result, I’m living the consequences as I expected. It’s too bad because I really like this one more, but it’s only 12 days and I think I have four or so left to go. The worst part is I already have the third of the followers that  I have on this one and I’m only been writing for a week. Isn’t that sad?

Anyway, what really got me behind on both blogs is my new assignment. It’s a slide show, we have to take all the pictures ourselves, we have to make the audio to go with the pictures and then we have to put them together. The problem with is that I chose, obviously, the theme of talking about all that we waste, some consequences, and what we can do to reduce it. This means I need pictures. With content. So far it’s turned out as a bunch of pictures of dumpsters and trash. Mediocrely boring. Most of plans like taking pictures of the dorm dumpsters fell through because there isn’t hardly any people living in them and at the time that I could take them it had just been taken. Grrrr…. I’ve had a bunch a problems with the teacher saying things that weren’t true that messed up my plans and I’m kind of freaking out because I really don’t know what or how I’m going to say about the pictures I’ve taken, but I’m really not here to complain about this stupid project. I’m here to tell you about what I stumbled upon. So random that it must be fate telling me that something good may come out of this.  In my hometown, not even my college town, I randomly stumbled into a couple and guess what they were doing? Dumpster diving. That’s right. I nearly choked to death on my excitement. I told him I was doing a school project and could I take his picture. And like the few people I’ve talked to (and because I absolutely had to) he goes:………………………what? I explained a bit more and he made sure I wasn’t going to like condemn him or anything and then he said yes. He didn’t want his face pictured, his wife or whoever wouldn’t even get out of the truck, but he let me take his picture. We didn’t find anything…another grrr…. but it was cool. He’s been dumpster diving for 20 years and he’s found enough stuff to buy himself two houses (he probably bought one then sold it then bought the other, but still) and everything in house from the stove, washer, dryer, everything is something he’s found in the dumpster. Just last month, he found over $2,500 worth the stuff.

I still haven’t found anything super amazing, or something that would make people stop in their tracks and think about their ridiculousness, but maybe in the next couple of days, but I have a tiny shimmer of hope. Anyway, hope you have a pleasant morning, evening, day, depending on where you are.

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The Good News and the Bad News

Last Sunday when I posted Clothing Solutions, I said that I would update you at the end of the week with some good locations for dumpster diving with clothes. I’m sorry to say that I failed my mission.

I looked in a number of both local and chain clothing store dumpster including second hand stores and besides loads of boxes and pallets, I didn’t find very much in them. It’s possible that I had bad timing. I did a couple of runs at different mall centers at different times. While some dumpsters were filled to the rim with boxes, some were completely empty. For the empty ones, I though the trucks had probably just run in that area and for the others I’m thinking that’s possible that around the end or first of the month is when people most likely throw out the old clothes to make room for the new ones. Other than university/college dorm dumpster, apartments and a local thrift store, I have no places to add to my list. I won’t be giving up though because this week in the last week of the month and I’ll be making some more rounds.

I do have some good news though. One, if my timing is not off, it’s possible that people are not as irresponsible with their leftover clothes as I had been lead to believe. I don’t doubt that people on a non-business level are thoughtless, but fashion chains might just have enough sense to ship the un-bought clothes back to the warehouse to sell later or maybe even donate. We’ll just have to see.

Two, when there are multiple dumpsters at places like a mall center I usually just go down the line and look in all the dumpsters for a future reference type deal. One thing that there is never too little of is boxes. If you plan on moving anytime soon there is no need to go and buy boxes, in all sizes, because there are thousands of them just waiting to be reused. Every dumpster you look in will have at least one box. Wooden shipping pallets are also in abundance.  While I looked in a variety of different dumpsters for different businesses I saw some unique things that people may want sooner or later.

I looked in the Salvation Army dumpster today and although I didn’t find too much in it, beside it was 6 or 7 mattresses and a couple of couches and chairs. Why they were there, I’m not too sure. Maybe they were too torn up to be of any use (I thought it would be weird to go and lay down on one to check, so I didn’t. Maybe next time.) This is not the first time that I’ve seen them there, so if you’re looking for a mattress or want the springs for a project, I’d start there. I’ve also seen mattresses at a furniture store that I always pass by on the way to class.

Food is also in every dumpster I have looked in. For those freegan newbies, you’re in luck because foods along with boxes are the most common trash products I find.

If you having a balding dog and want to make them a toupee, a dog grooming shop would be a great place to look. I found a dumpster for one and it was full to the rim. It might be an interesting hobby for after my retirement.

I found a trash in a dumpster that suggested that the business may be remodeling. I found some ceiling tiles, rubber base molding that I almost considered taking, but they were big and I didn’t know for sure if I could use them, so I left them.

Spoon

So…yesterday, I got an abundance of spoons. I found my new favorite stash.

It was just a normal day, I had just gotten out of class which means my next stop was Cherry Berry. I had to wait for a couple of people to go away, so I could get to the trash mostly unseen.  Once I got there, I realized something. There were not any spoons. There were three green spoons which I got, but they weren’t the kind I need now. There are two types of Cherry Berry spoons. The green ones which are thicker and therefore not the kind that will work for this project or the pink ones which are still thicker than your average plastic spoons. For my current project, I need the pink ones.

I had already made up my mind to get 17 pink spoons and once I make up my mind, there is no going back. Cherry Berry is in this strip mall type of a place and I knew in the alley way behind all the stores would be their trash, so slowly and apprehensively I drove to the back to see what was there.

I saw boxes everywhere and shipping pallets, small dumpsters (perfect for diving), huge dumpsters (not so perfect for diving) and I saw medium dumpsters (okay for diving). I saw all dumpsters and assessed them as quickly as I could. Then I saw these cut little trash bags filled with spoons and cups and lots of wasted frozen yogurt. I finished driving to the end of the stores because I thought I was going to come back later and get them, but there was no exit so I had to turn around and drive by the spoons again.

I stopped by them, I heard them calling. I knew I had to get those spoons. I came to get spoons and by golly I was going to get them. I quickly thought threw my options. I could either dig through the trash there and risk being caught or I could take the trash with me and risk getting all over my car and also risk being caught. I chose the latter. Luckily, I had a trash bag from my last trip to the recycle center, so it in there. Then I drove away. It was quite intense

My mom said she was surprised that I did that. I’m not sure why. It was easier than digging in the in front of the store. It was probably a little riskier because I could have been caught without an excuse like ‘I dropped my cell phone in here’ or something. But no one was around and unless someone came out one of the store doors, no one would even know I had been there.  My biggest fear is still getting caught. I would be a lot more productive if I didn’t have that fear, but I’m working on that.

So yes, I got my 17 spoons and a lot more.  Was it scary? Yeah. Do I feel a little crazy? Yep. Does my car still smell like Cherry Berry?…welllll… Was it totally worth it? Absolutely.

More than crazy, I feel like a drug junkie. You know the kind that do whatever it takes to get their stuff. I’m so addicted to the process that I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

But then there is the haunting image of the trash that I saw. I couldn’t possibly use it all, not for the reason that I couldn’t find something to do with it, but because I simply don’t have the time. It’s overwhelmingly frustrating because I could take a whole semi truck full and it wouldn’t even make a dent. I could find a way to take it all, but then it would just be there again tomorrow. All those wasted boxes, clothes, electronics just ruining our land. We waste so many resources to even get the stuff then we just throw it away. I don’t understand why those places can’t recycle those boxes at least. I understand why businesses won’t give their stuff away for free. Even if it’s selfish, I still understand. I don’t understand why they can’t recycle. It’s so irresponsible. America is so irresponsible. Anyways, thanks for reading and happy diving.