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Dumpster Diving Home & Abroad...

Now that I am home, I have begun to tell more people about dumpster diving. The reactions have been mixed to say the least. My parents are rather unsure about the idea of rummaging through other people’s things and then salvaging the best stuff for myself. I told them I barely keep any of it anyway. I first explained the concept to my father when we were driving home from Seton Hill last Friday, and he seemed to find it almost comical. As I was describing my recent diving activities, a smirk came across his face, and when I asked why he was laughing, he replied “because you seem so into this.” I admit I was talking rather passionately about the practice. I think that the general perception by my parents is that dumpster diving is “for the homeless” and that I have no reason to be doing it.

I argue that there is no difference between the idea of taking garbage off people’s stoops/sidewalks (furniture for example) and diving for it in a dumpster. In the end you are leaving the “scene” with great stuff that was going to be trash if you hadn’t come upon it. My second argument deals with the legality of the dumpster diving issue. My parents fear legal repercussions for me and my diving team. I say the trash is fair game once it is put in that dumpster, so its not considered stealing if you take it. If I were to take the whole dumpster then we would have a problem because the dumpster belongs to a trash company that contracts its use out to a business. Therefore the dumpster is privately owned, but its contents are not. Ironically the contents become public as soon as they are put into that privately owned dumpster.

I will continue to lobby for the cause while I am home even if I don’t actually get to do any diving here (though I am going to try to). It is strange because I feel more comfortable diving in Greensburg with friends than I do here alone. No one is into it yet here. On a lighter note it has become somewhat of a joke around my house at the moment anyway. I tell my parents that I am going to serve them food from a dumpster and not tell them. My father replied that he will no longer eat anything I give him of which he doesn’t know the exact origin. I also joked with them about getting their Christmas presents from the dumpster (though not a bad idea) because I am short on cash at the moment.

It has been about a week since my last dive and I can’t stand not going. I really feel like it has become a hobby for me and it is about the pursuit and discovery of treasures. I also get somewhat of a gratifying feeling from the act of finding meaningful things and then giving them to other people that might not have encountered them otherwise. Moira and I had talked about starting a holiday program of sorts where we dumpster dive for decorations from assorted holidays and then offer them to people that do not have decorations. This idea specifically came from the fact we found Halloween and Christmas decorations in abundance already this year. I think this would be a great idea to benefit the Greensburg community if we could get it organized.

The only thing that I worry about is running the risk of over popularizing this supposed “underground” movement. Apparently there are some divers that take offense to letting a newbie in on the phenomenon. The way that the divers are so territorial only leads me to believe they might have a problem with a community wide event, even though they often claim to be advocates of making people aware. To me the only way I know of making people aware is to immerse them in the activity and to straight up tell them about the cause. I plan on creating an inventory of all the things I have found over the 4 times that I have been diving. I think it will be a great eye opener and I can’t wait to post it. It is going to include items I found, as well as the items that my friends Kaylee and Amanda (they don’t have blogs) found. I will leave it up to Moira to tell you her latest finds (don’t want to spoil it).

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 19, 2006 10:54 PM.

The previous post in this blog was The Oracular Tree..."Santa's Surprise".

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