One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure: A Dumpster Diving Guide
Ever wanted to go dumpster diving but weren’t sure how it’s done? This guide shares everything you need to know from the best rummaging spots to staying safe.
In a country where more than 40 million people suffer from food insecurity, having 40% of food wastage is incomprehensible. Yet, in the United States, food wastage is a common phenomenon despite the rising cases of food insecurity. Dumpster diving is one of the most effective ways to address food wastage in the country.
Dumpster diving involves rummaging through bins in search of reusable or recyclable items. The survival technique is more of a social trend. Most people who dumpster dive seek to get resources that can generate money or be used in the home.
The thought of scavenging through trash seems unimaginable for most people. However, thousands of Americans have benefited significantly from dumpster diving. Other than edible food items, dumpster divers get resources that could have been otherwise expensive.
How to Dumpster Dive
You don’t need special skills for you to dumpster dive successfully. Depending on what you are looking for, it is important to identify places that you can find interesting stuff.These tips will guide you on how to dumpster dive effectively
1. Knowledge of Dumpster Diving Laws
Familiarity with your local laws will prevent you from getting in trouble when dumpster diving. In the United States, dumpster diving is legal. However, it is necessary to check with your municipality for any regulations of the act.
You should be aware of common offenses such as trespassing and invasion of privacy when dumpster diving. Some gated bins and dumpsters have the “no trespassing” signage. The warnings should guide you on places to avoid.
2. Focus on Local Neighborhoods
Once you decide to dumpster dive, weird stares from your neighbor should not be a concern. Rummaging the garbage of institutions in your locality can yield enough items. You can widen your search to include neighboring parks, churches, and schools.
Dumpster diving in your neighborhood gives you an edge because you have sufficient information on the activities around the area. You know the time garbage collectors pick the trash and you can collect enough valuables before the emptying. When you become a dumpster diving pro, you can venture out in other cities.
3. Decide on Time and Location
In dumpster diving, the right location and timing are crucial. If you choose a food store near you, dumpster diving late at night or in the morning is ideal. Ensure that you scavenge through the bins when the store closes because that is when the waste is taken out.
The best places to dumpster dive include supermarkets and colleges. You can connect online with other divers to know locations to consider.
While dumpster diving is legal, doing it in the wee hours of the morning is better. You want to avoid unnecessary commotion and attention as much as possible.
4. Transportation and Storage
When you go dumpster diving, chances of collecting loads of useful items is high. You should consider having a truck or a small car to help you move your valuables from the dump site. For safety purposes, park your car some few miles from the garbage site.
Once you have your items with you, sort carefully. Store the food items appropriately to avoid any contamination. Most of the goods might need better storage to preserve their shelf life.
The Tools and Gear You Need for Dumpster Diving
When going to dumpster dive, have an old attire that you wouldn’t mind spoiling. By the time you jump out of the bin, your clothes might have one or two tears. Ensure that the clothing is comfortable enough to ease your movement.
For safety purposes, have on a thick pair of gloves and boots. There are all sorts of items, including broken glasses that can cut you. Heavy clothing with long sleeves can protect you from unnecessary injuries.
Other useful tools that you will need to dumpster dive include flashlights, storage crates, and a pole to help you poke around the bin.
Maintaining Hygiene and Safety When Dumpster Diving
While dumpster diving will fill your shelves with useful items, be wary of pests such as bed bugs that are likely to infest some of the collected items. It is important to treat and sanitize some of the items before using in your home.
For non-electric valuables, disinfect them to kill germs. For food stuff, ensure that you wash them thoroughly to avoid food poisoning. It is best to cook and consume the food immediately because most of them have a shorter shelf life.
Be cautious when rummaging through the trash to avoid attacks from pets. Bang the dumpster to scare away the invaders. However, you can opt to check out other bins that have less pest infestation.
Avoid bins that are likely to have hazardous materials such as medical tools. Some of the garbage sites are full of rotten foodstuffs and getting items from such a place can be a health risk.
Taking a thorough bath after dumpster diving will help rid you of any germs and pests you may have collected from the dumpsites. Sanitize your gear before storing it away.
While dumpster diving might seem like an unruly activity, etiquette is paramount. Remember that you are not the only dumpster diver; take items that you will use. Don’t leave the trash bags open and lying everywhere.
Leaving the site cleaner than you found it should be your guiding mantra.
Dumpster Diving Can Be Productive When Carried out Correctly
Besides addressing food wastage, it is one of the best ways to promote conservation. Dumpster diving feeds thousands of homeless people and helps individuals looking to make an extra coin. When done in the right way, dumpster diving is safe.
Most of the stores don’t dispose of food items because they are necessarily expired. Some of the foodstuffs are slow moving and the retailers want to restock. Scavenging in such bins benefit many people who would otherwise not afford decent meals.
While the trash can be a treasure to many, following safety guidelines when dumpster diving will help you benefit from the hunt.
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