Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Thrifty Tip: Dumpster Diving

Another man's trash is another man's treasure.

As promised, for those enquiring minds...I will share my knowledge about dumpster diving for this week's thrifty tip. (Not that I've participated in this act at all...ahem...OK...moving right along.)

As the name implies, dumpster diving (known as “skip diving" in many parts of the world) is the process of scavenging trash (not always in dumpsters) for useful or valuable items.

In our throw-away society, a growing number of thrifty individuals have perfected the art of "dumpster diving". In turn, their shameless acts have helped them save hundreds in their household budgets and rid the landfills of "useful" objects. (If you are even remotely curious just type in "dumpster diving" into and you'll see tons of first-hand video.)

If you are interested in trying "dumpster diving" I recommend that you know your local laws. In many if not most jurisdictions, trash is not considered private property, so dumpster divers cannot be charged with theft. However, some cities have ordinances prohibiting scavenging trash. Take time to research the laws in your area or contact your local police department to enquire about the legality of diving practices.

So, you may be asking yourself..."dumpster diving"...are you kidding me? Do you really "find" anything of value?

Over the years, we have "scored" lots of valuable "trash" including: a wagon, kid's Radio Flyer wheel barrow, flower pots, a garden hose, and numerous construction materials including: 2 x 4's, full sheets of plywood, shingles, hinges and pressure treated boards.

From the construction materials we have been able to build the kid's tree house for the mere cost of hardware and a used slide (purchased off Craig's List for $5). We are currently in the process of building the chicken coop for our four lovely ladies with "dumpster diving" materials. Using these reused "trash finds" not only help us save on building costs, but cut down the waste cluttering our landfills. A win-win situation in my book.

Just this Sunday our family was out scavenging the local neighborhoods. Our city has a Spring Clean-up which allows folks to put out just about anything (excluding chemicals, paints, tires, computer screens, TV's) for the local waste management company with no extra fees. This meant there was lots of garbage piled up for those interested in taking a look.

I'm not going to lie. We took a look. Grabbed lots of valuable wood needed for the chicken coop and I promise...we didn't even have to jump into a dumpster.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean
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1 comment:

Sam said...

Community clean-up days are a gold mine for finding, or giving away, things! I've also had great luck with freecycle.