Whole Earth Review

The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving.

The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving. – book reviews

J. Baldwin

The Art & Science of Dumpster Diving

If dumpsters are regarded for their contents at all, it’s usually as a resource for down & outers. But there are people who assay dumpsters. These people are also hunter-gatherers, but they think recycling, reuse, and resale. Then there are those who think that what’s in the dumpster should stay there until claimed by the dump. Diving thus becomes a game with competitors on a number of sides all playing at once. This book tells you the rules, plays and penalties. There’s savvy advice on attire and equipment, brigands and lawmen, procedures and where to hunt. It’s delivered with humor by a man who can claim to be the master of this squalid, potentially lucrative enterprise, (Dumpsters at building remodeling sites are my specialty.)

* Keep a few empty boxes in the back of your truck. Not only are boxes handy while making the haul, but they provide an alibi. The number one dumpster diving excuse is, “We are just looking for boxes.” The boxes can also conceal your loot. A few plastic bags are handy, too.

* If know I’m going to check the dumpster the next day, too, I’ll sometimes tear a bulky box apart and toss it back inside. This creates a nice layer which will be easier to check the next day.

* This ain’t Emily Post here. The point is to stay out of trouble. And ninety percent of “dumpster etiquette” can be summarized as follows:


* Rich people throw out surprisingly little good stuff, but it was probably frugality which made them upper class. What you do find is worth the effort. This is a glimpse at the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” which few people ever see. Does she or doesn’t she? Only the dumpster diver knows for sure. (Answer: She does. And often.)

* Dumpster investigations are also cheap. Following somebody around costs time and gas. If you simply grab the guy’s garbage shortly before trash pick-up, you’ll save oodles of effort. Hope your “mark” has his own garbage can. Sorting through the trash from an entire apartment complex is a bitch.

COPYRIGHT 1994 Point Foundation

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group