I thought my days of scavenging my college apartment complex's trash bin were over.
And then I came across this treasure. >>
For the uninformed, Dumpster Diving is "the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but that may prove useful to the dumpster diver," according to Wikipedia. "Dumpster Diving is also viewed as an effective urban foraging technique.Dumpster divers will forage dumpsters for items such as clothing, furniture, food, and other items of the like deemed in good working conditions."
For a broke college student, it's a cost-effective way of furnishing an apartment. I'm not ashamed to say that two of three couches that sat in my living room (some five years ago) were discarded at the dumpster. (Don't worry, the couches were looked over and properly cleaned.)
At 24 years old however, it's rare that I stumble upon on a treasure like the one in the photo. That magnificent work of art, combined with a perfectly useable art easel make me question why one of my neighbors decided to throw them out.
(Bonus points go to the person who can guess what the painting is of.)
But then I found that dumpster diving has become a national trend, spurred on by our wavering economy. To some, it has become a way of gathering food, discarded by supermarkets, which throw out soon-to-expires items. For others, it's a way to "reduce your consumer impact on the earth, humans, and animals," and combat wastefulness.
I'm grateful that all I want from the dumpster is a place to put my trash, and the occasional piece of art to hang on my wall. But, I can see why a growing number of Americans may head to the garbage.
How about you? Are you now, or have you ever been, a dumpster diver? What kind of items have you collected? Do you find the act disgusting or unsavory? Start the conversation in the comments section below.
Editor's Note: Patch does not encourage any illegal activity. While dumpster diving may be a national trend, participating in the act at certain locations may result in fines or police intervention.