I’m feeling very earth-friendly and “green” tonight! My husband is down in the basement, pounding away, finishing off a family room with recycled material. 2×4’s, doors, plywood, railings, oak boards for our “rustic look” walls… all of it found in dumpsters or given to us by kind friends and relatives.
“Um, sure! You can have our trash!” is what they said. Most people were probably thinking, “Oh, maybe we should buy them groceries too, that poor, poor family.”
Hey, we just like being resourceful! The oak boards for our walls had to be ripped off pallets, and took Derek hours and hours and hours. One dude said, “Just BUY boards!” Dude, that’s not how we roll. We do it ourselves if we can, so my sweet husband can buy stuff like, say, a brand new $549 vacuum for his wife ’cause he wants her to have a nice one.
(Does it make me want to clean? Nope. Sorry honey.)
I just googled the laws on dumpster diving, because someone recently told me it was illegal. Turns out, it all depends. Dumpsters are usually on private property, so the biggest issue is trespassing. But most people don’t care if you take junk destined for the trash heap! Besides, dumpster space costs an arm and a leg, so binners save people money.
“Binners,” by the way, is a term for people that dive into dumpsters for trash. Side note, did you know that Americans waste 40-50% of their food? Sad. Our dumpsters would feed a lot of hungry people, and sometimes do!
Rag and bone man, waste picker, junk man, and bin hoker are a few more, but these are terms for people who actually make their living by sorting and trading trash.
Some other random facts from wikipededia…
In Italy, dumpster-diving is completely legal! Declared so by the country.
A “garbologist” studies the sociology and archeology of trash in modern life. For real! I say, if they get a title, we deserve one too! All of us moms that study poop and puke… we’ve got just as much going on as those scientists.
Oregon frowns very sternly upon dumpster-diving, and Wisconsin considers dumpster-diving “very” illegal. (Haha! This cracks me up! So is something that’s just “illegal” a better crime? What do they call murder? “Very, very, VERY” illegal?)
In Michigan, dumpster-diving is “generally” illegal.
In Iowa City, dumpster-diving is…. LEGAL!!! Iowa city police say once its in the dumpster, its free game. Even if it’s a business. They can complain, or put up a sign, but you can dive anywhere, anytime in Iowa city
(All of my info came from wiki.answer.com, so don’t quote me on anything! If anyone moves to Iowa City to steal trash, I will not be held responsible!)
Back to OUR dumpster diving. It’s really fun! If you’ve never tried it, give it a whirl. We even made dumpster-diving a family affair this summer! I asked Dee how much “money” he’d pulled out of dumpsters, and he said, “Oh! Thousands and thousands of dollars!” He drives truck for a roofing supply company, so he’s around construction site dumpsters every week.
Dee built this railing yesterday, so I don’t have to worry anymore about my babies falling down and cracking their heads on the concrete floor. Plus it just LOOKS cool! Doesn’t it look great with my purple stairs?
In our really cool, barn-looking basement, we have a full bathroom and a kitchen. We will also have, in the future, a pool table. Ping-pong too, if I have anything to say about it! So if you need a place to hang out, come on over!