I think I got the below definition from wikepedia-
“Dumpster diving is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the Dumpster diver. The practice of Dumpster diving is also known variously as urban foraging, binning, alley surfing, Curbing, D-mart, Dumpstering, garbaging, garbage picking, garbage gleaning, skip-raiding, skip diving, skipping, skip-weaseling, tatting, skally-wagging or trashing.
Another use of the term is as a “sport” mostly practiced by youngsters who directly dive into the dumpsters, often filming it to show others who dares the best dives, as one could do at the beach or pool when diving into water. It carries the risk of injury on broken glass or other dangerous or disgusting objects.
The term originates from the best-known manufacturer of commercial trash bins, “Dumpster,” and the fanciful image of someone leaping head first into a dumpster as if it were a swimming pool. In practice, the size and design of most dumpsters makes it possible to retrieve many items from the outside of dumpsters without having to “dive” inside.
In rural areas and some ancient agricultural societies, a similar process was known as gleaning and some medieval houses had “poor boxes” where still edible food was placed for the poor to take”
Confessions of a Dumpster Diver
I admit it, I am a Dumpster Diver. The first time I ‘Came Out’, was at our annual 4th of July party, where I admitted the chairs and tables everybody was using came from the alley. Instead of the look of horror, I thought I would get, I got, ‘ look for me next!’ For some reason, I have neighbors who throw away everything, File cabinets, patio furniture, new mops, boogie boards, cleaning solvents, and more. Why should this go to waste? Now my favorite time of the year is May (college students move out) August (college students move in) June (City sponsored big item pickup) where I can pick up great finds. I have even found a real Dooney and Burke purse (gave to friend) dinnerware (gave to nephew) and assorted miscellaneous helpful items that have saved trips to Home Depot.
I do admit, when I give stuff away- I don’t tell them it came from the trash!
What have I saved? Retail Cost
- Beach Cruiser Bike $200
- Patio Furniture/Umbrella $500
- Patio Chairs $100
- Side Table $50
- BBQ $150
- Boogie Boards $200
- Beach Towels $100
- Beach Chairs $100
- Beach Toys $25
- Surfboards $100 (which have been now ripped off) I was collecting them to make a fence- this was a bummer!
- Large File Cabinet $50
- Flower Pots $50
What Have I recycled and put into the alley (no trip to the dump)
- Washer Dryer
- Cheap flower pots
- Bird house
- Bathroom Cabinets
Dumpsterdivingmeetup.com- Find a local group- how fun!
Dumpster Diving and Trash Recycling for Fun and Profit – Great Article, plus links on turning trash into treasure