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1/4/10 12:28 am - wickedambiguity - Great diving in January...

January is the best month for diving.  There was literally more in the Sun Harvest dumpster than I could bring home, tonight!  However, I did manage to bring home about 60 lbs of potatoes, lots of bananas, yellow squash, and cucumbers...  On the bread front, we grabbed a box at Panera that had some bread in it - some whole loaves and some sliced.  We also got three one gallon jars of pepperocinis. Lastly, we picked up a package of fillets mignon that some employee clearly meant to grab out of the garbage himself.  There are six of them, all still vaccuum sealed, all still at good temperature (thanks to the winter cold), all still in date.  I'm going to grill them tomorrow.

Yup, it was a good night.

7/20/09 01:39 pm - squeakyramone - Crossposted...if it matters

My boyfriend, best friend, and I have been on a dumpster diving spree as of late. We've mostly been finding clothing and household accessories such as decorations and pots and pans.

Friday night, we found bags upon bags of clothes which was awesome because it is all going to our free market this Saturday. Last night, however, I was astonished at the things that we found:

-a practically new copy machine (instructions and everything!)
-a tiny little portable television
-a small tv
-a perfectly good white plastic high chair
-a waffle iron
-a 5 disc CD player
-more clothes, as usual
-a computer desk chair
-some milk crates
-an easter basket
-some sea shell shower curtain hooks
-a baby hamper
-a tin with puppies on it

There is more- I just really can't remember it all right now.

Our basement is seriously a sea of dumpster finds. All of which we are putting out at the free market on Saturday. We're hoping for a good turnout!

6/15/09 07:02 pm - squeakyramone - Posted elsewhere, in case it is a concern.

Yesterday, I went dumpstering at AC Moore and found an entire box filled with random craft stuff. Score on that! While Food Lion and Weis both had nothing but rotten fruit and various other disappointments, I made my way over to Goodwill and found that the dumpsters were filled with perfectly good items (as usual).

This makes me really sad. With all of the homeless people out there and families who can't afford to clothe their children or selves, this stuff is still being thrown away. Not everything could fit in my car which is why I really, really need to get a van. I found insane numbers of trash bags filled with perfectly good clothing and shoes, a little pink baby bathtub, candles, little decorations and vases, etc, etc, etc. We are going back tonight and tomorrow and the next day up until our really, really free market that we are having on our front lawn. The little pink bathtub I found will go to the battered women's shelter around here. Otherwise, anything we don't get rid of at the really, really free market will go to every homeless shelter around. Just because Goodwill has too much of it or doesn't think they can make a profit off of it, doesn't mean it should go to the landfills.

I guess I should feel semi-okay about the fact that I know I'm taking care of at least one town.

Anyone else ever thought about having a really, really free market? We've been to a bunch where you just drop off anything you don't want (another person's trash is another person's treasure) and then you can pick up anything you DO want. Pretty simple.

We're going to make crockpots of vegan chili as well and flyer the crap out of Hanover so that everyone knows about it and we'll especially hit up the soup kitchen so the homeless people come out because we have a plethora of coats and socks and shoes and hats to give out. We're finding more backpacks as the school year ends too, I'm sure those could be useful.

6/29/08 04:53 pm - wickedambiguity - Dumpster Diving Rules, Tips and Tricks, and Random Points

5 Basic Rules of Dumpster Diving (according to me)

1. Dive during the day, if you can.  It looks less suspicious then being parked up behind a business in the middle of the night.  Sunday mornings work really well.

2. Park in a parking and walk to your dumpster, if you can.  It makes it look less like you are dumping trash illegally.

3. Do not make a mess, and if there is already a mess when you get there - it doesn't hurt the cause of dumpster divers everywhere to clean it up.

4. Do not argue with employees or police, EVER.  Employees will tell you to leave the property and not come back - and once they do that, you're trespassing if you DO return, so don't give them the opportunity.  Police will arrest you if you argue with them.  I suggest not inflaming them in any way, and leaving when they tell you to. 

5. If you hurt yourself, do everyone a favor - DON'T EVEN TRY TO FILE A LAWSUIT!  You'll ruin diving for everyone and we'll all hate you.

Tips and Tricks of Dumpster Diving (according to me)

1. If you don't want to actually get in a dumpster, have a long handled tool to pull things out with.  I use a gardening tool with tines on one side and a hoeing edge on the other.  The handle is about two feet.  I bought it at Big Lots for $3.

2.  Bring a bag for your loot.

3.  Wear gloves and bring sanitizer, just in case.  Sometimes there's yucky stuff in dumpsters.

4.  Don't be afraid to dig into individual bags - a lot of good stuff goes in them.  Restaurants in particular will often have several small bags inside of a larger bag - and often those small bags is where the good stuff is.

5. If you do want to actually get in a dumpster, wear jeans and sturdy boots or shoes!  Dumpsters are often littered with broken glass and other dangerous objects, so be smart and don't try to do it in shorts.  

6. Inform yourself of laws governing dumpster diving in your area.  In Austin, TX, where I am, dumpster diving is not illegal unless you dive in an Austin Municipal dumpster, or any of the dumpsters at the State Capitol.  Trespassing, however, IS illegal.  Usually, you are not considered to be trespassing unless the area is posted with a Do Not Trespass sign, or unless a property owner or an employee representing the owner tells you to leave the property and not to come back. Don't expect cops to know what is or is not legal, and I don't advise trying to inform them if they stop and question you.  Even if they can't make a charge stick, police are quite capable of arresting you,  handcuffing you, putting you in a police car, having your car towed and taking you in for booking if you annoy them.  So don't - even if you are completely sure that what you're doing is perfectly legal. 

A couple of random points :

1. For some reason, all store employees hate dumpster divers. They seem to think that you are stealing what they would have to buy.  Be on alert for them, because some of them will call the cops on you the instant they see you. 

2. If you want to risk eating food that you find in dumpsters (and who hasn't, occasionally?) be smart.  Be aware that diving in the winter is different from diving in the summertime.  Be aware that some foods can make you sick even if they smell and look good.  And never, EVER give dumpster food to anyone without telling them where you got it.  It's one thing to take risks on your own behalf, no matter how minimal, but it's rude to make that decision for someone else. 

3. Some people think that people who dig around in the garbage are crazy.  That's their opinion, and they have a right to it.  If that bothers you, either be prepared to keep your diving a secret, or just don't dive. 

6/29/08 09:56 am - wickedambiguity - paritially x-posted from my personal journal

 We hit both Paanera and Suun Haarvest  last night and bingoed both times.  Actually, all three times, because we hit two Paaneras.  Oh, yeah, and we also hit River City Donuts, who are usually nice enough to leave a 40lb bag of donuts on their back porch... Donuts are eeeevil.  In my defense, I only ate two .  And I kind of feel like I'm going to puke.  So, hey - debt paid.  urgh.  In better news, though, we got an assload of sliced breads and bread bowls.  We took more than half the haul over to El Buen Samaritano and left it at the food bank door.  It always feels very clandestine when we sneak over in the middle of the night and leave off dumpster bread.  :-)  Oh, yeah, and we scored a pile of fruit from Suun Haarvest, including a huge pile of apples, which I'm going to dehydrate.  I like to slice them thin, toss them in lemon juice, then toss them in splenda and apple pie spice and then throw them on the dehydrator over night.  They make a pretty decent snack food. 

Also picked up a 5.5 ft mirror from the Kiirkland's dumpster day before yesterday.  It has a chipped corner on the frame.  The original price tag was $139 and the markdown price tag was $89.   If they had marked it down to $25, someone would have bought it, but somehow it made more sense to them to throw it away.  That's just weird. 

5/7/08 06:22 pm - wickedambiguity - Dumpster diving is fun!

Wow, it's  been nearly a month since I posted to this community!  I think it's because I don't get a lot of feedback... So, feed back people!  I have been diving, and have gotten some good stuff.  I think next week I'm planning on photographing everything we've pulled from dumpsters since February (that we haven't traded, sold or given away, that is) and posting the pics here.  You should all be appropriately impressed.

So, what about you all?  Any good dives lately?  Symbiote and I pulled about five pounds of chocolate out of the Liinens and Thiings dumpster yesterday, along with a huge canister of unopened salted cashews.  They were all barely out of date, but everything was good.  And last week, we pulled about 20 organic apples from the Suun Haarvest dumpster and I made apple chips with them.  They're great.  We also got a bunch of organic Rio Red grapefruit at that dive, and they were delicious.  The down-side was that we got busted by the security guard, but he seemed like he didn't want any trouble.  He just wanted us to leave, so we did. Of course, like all security guards and cops, he has in his mind that we are 'stealing' from the dumpster, or at the very least, setting someone up for a lawsuit by crawling into them.  I hate that attitude. If there was a waiver I could sign that said I wouldn't sue if I was injured while dumpster diving or if I was made ill by anything that I consumed from one, I'd sign it.  Unfortunately, I think that's just way too out of the box for some people.  

And for the last time "TAKING GARBAGE IS NOT STEALING".  

With the economy going the way it is right now, I have a feeling we're going to be dealing with a lot more divers in the near future.  Anyway, untill next week... hasta la vista.  And go do some diving.  Then post about it. 

4/9/08 09:45 am - wickedambiguity - sorry about lack of updates

Yes, we've been diving lately, I'm just being lazy about posting...  day before yesterday, we got more sheets that exactly match the other sheets we got from the same dumpster two months ago, that I love so much.  I'm pretty pleased to have another set, plus the extra pillowcases so I can have all matching pillows on my bed.  I'm such a girl sometimes.  We also got an awesome serving dish that matches our gold and scarlet color scheme.  Also, if you remember, a while back we found some really awesome floor lamps over at the Kiirkland's dumpster, but they didn't have shades?  Yesterday we found matching shades, still in their plastic, complete with hardware, so we now have two brand new $60 lamps in the living room!  I was going to sell at least one of them, but Symbiote really likes them, so I guess we'll see.  We also got another nice blender a couple of days ago, with the cord cut off, but we found the cord, too - so it just needs to be spliced back together.  I gather the blenders we find in the Liinens and Thiings dumpster are their out-of-box display blenders, which have never been used.  But, you can't sell it without the box, so they throw them away when they get a new model.  Funny.   We were going to go to the Suun Haarvest dumpster the other day, but there was a security guard touring the property in a golf cart, and we didn't want any trouble, so we decided to wait.  He looked kind of grumpy.  And, I think we're heading back to the Paanera dumpster tonight, so I'll be processing bread for those of you who want some.  I'm pretty sure we'll get some, so everyone here in Austin, start asking everybody you know if they want some bread products.  I also have a lot of frozen bread in my freezer that I'm ready to give to whoever wants it - bagels, cinnamon buns, all kinds of stuff.  So just drop me an email and let me know.  All I ask in return is that when you have tradeable goods you give me first refusal on them.  :-)

3/31/08 01:34 am - wickedambiguity - Tonight's dive - x-posted

Obviously, everyone saw last night's post about the bread at Paanera's dumpster.  I was up until 2am packaging the bread for giveaway, and we still had to get up this morning and spend another couple of hours on that.  We've given away a lot of the haul, but still have three large boxes of bread items that need to be given away pretty much - tomorrow if possible.  Actually, we have takers for most of it, I think.   Anyway, we headed out tonight for a last night of diving before Symbiote goes back to work on Tuesday morning at 5am,  and we just had to drive past that dumpster.  We didn't stop, but mother of god!  The amount of food being thrown away there should be illegal.  We didn't stop because we still haven't given away our last haul from there, and it's a lot of work.  I don't mind the work, and in a very real way the bread items we get there translates into cash value for us, since we trade it for a lot of stuff.  But it's still a lot of sweat equity, and I'm done with that for a few days.  Anyway, we didn't get much tonight until we wandered over to Suun Haarvest, where.... we got about 40lbs of potatoes in plastic bags, 20lbs or so of over-ripe bananas (which are perfect for cooking and making shakes!), a few apples and a coconut.  Weird, on that last item, but we took it.  We could have gotten more, but we'd been at the dumpster for a while, and the longer you linger, the higher your chances of being questioned, so we took off.  So, tomorrow we find takers for the potatoes, and I think I'm going to spend the day doing a few comforter repairs on some comforters that were taken slightly damaged from the Liines & Thiings dumpster a while back.  Speaking of which, we stopped by that dumpster earlier in the day today, and found giant bags of mutilated pillows in there.  They had pretty much ripped them to pieces, so it was actually giant bags of pillow-filling, with some cloth shreds. Kind of sad.  I remember when they just marked things with a marker when they threw them away.  

3/29/08 09:24 pm - wickedambiguity - Help! Help! Help!

Okay, a new Paanerra opened last week on William Cannon.  We went by their dumpster, which is hellishly well-lit, but we went during their dinner hour so they'd be busy?  And we found more bread than we could get in the back of our truck. Literally.  Here's the pics of what we got in about 60 seconds.  All this is bread, double bagged with.. well, bread.  Cinnamon rolls, bagels, whole loaves, bread bowls for stew, etc.  Please, go by there and rape that dumpster!  There was more there than we could take or disseminate, but with help, hopefully a lot of it can be used.  Thanks.  :-)


3/19/08 12:03 pm - wickedambiguity - successful dive !

So, we hit our dumpsters again last night, even though Symbiote had to talk me into going out in the rain.  It was a nice light rain, so it wasn't bad.  We did hit the dumpsters the police warned us away from - we took our walkie-talkies, and I stood lookout while Law rummaged.  He brought back two barely damaged comforters, a cordless swivel sweeper (still in the box),  and three bottles of mohito mix (marked $25 a bottle, guess why they didn't sell??).  Then we headed over to Suun Haarvest, and hit the jackpot - about 25 bags of stir fry vegetables, six pints of blackberries, three large bags of grapes, and three bags of red cabbage.  I'm pretty pleased.  I'll blanch and freeze most of that today and we'll be set for stir-fry for a while.  Then we headed to Paanera, where we found out why we haven't been able to get as much bread lately.  We found some kids clipping our dumpster!  We left them alone while we checked out Offficce Maax, then after they threw two large bags in their car and sped off, we checked to see if they had left us anything.  As it turns out, they're not as good as we are, and we managed to grab about eight loaves of sliced and bagged breads.  All in all, it was a pretty decent dive night, which we needed because it's easy to get discouraged if you have several nights of nothing decent.  

And of course, today is dissemination day - we'll take the bread to Law's friend that we trade to for vegetables and venison (when summer comes, we'll have fresh organic tomatoes without all the frustration of growing them and venison chili meat!), and I will patch the minor damage on the comforters.  We'll put together the swivel sweeper and find a place to store it.  I'll wash the comforters after I patch them (they were still in their packaging, but they still need washing) and decide whether or not to keep them or donate them to Goodwill.  We'll freeze the veggies... So, after a big dive, there's always still work to be done. 
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