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Post Info TOPIC: One mans trash is anothers treasure: a thread on dumpster diving


Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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RE: Dumpster diving


I had a look at the old one, and I'm really tempted to merge them because I really like the old one. Or is it only nostalgia?

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Oops, sorry guys ;( Absolutely merge them, I would like to read the old posts!

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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RE: One mans trash is anothers treasure: a thread on dumpster diving


No need to say sorry, I had totally forgotten about the old thread myself.

I do not really dumpster dive anymore, as it seems a bit pointless when I live in a place that kinda resemble a dumpster in the sense that it's just packed with STUFF that I can rummage through in the hope of finding something useful. That I found a stuffed duck in my wardrobe kinda says it all.




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Mookish Deity Most High

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^ Haha! My house is kinda like that too. Sometimes when I am not bothered tidying I scoop all the things on my floor into plastic bags and just stuff them into places. Years later I stumble across them and always find really interesting stuff I totally forgot about. Not quite the same- but still, haha.

Wow, just had a quick skim through the old thread and WOW. I am so missing out! I've never found anything useful, in fact, I have never went looking.

I get the feeling over here (in Ireland) people would be really stuck up about dumpster diving/skipping (I prefer calling it dumpster diving). I think people would be very quick to call you out on rummaging through skips here, because even though it's rubbish which they have absolutely no use for, they'd see what you're doing as something totally wrong.

The more I think about it, the more I want to do it- especially in regards to food. So much perfectly good food is wasted, because it has "blemishes" or whatever. I remember when I was really young, our local shop used to sell bags of "reject" biscuits for really cheap. There was nothing wrong with them, apart from the fact that they were broken up. I've been reading bits and bobs about the amount of food that goes to waste on a day to day basis around the world and it's really depressing :/

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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Indigo Empress wrote:



I get the feeling over here (in Ireland) people would be really stuck up about dumpster diving/skipping (I prefer calling it dumpster diving). I think people would be very quick to call you out on rummaging through skips here, because even though it's rubbish which they have absolutely no use for, they'd see what you're doing as something totally wrong.


 My grandfather was a dumpster diver, he and some of his mates would gather once a week and go to the local landfill and go get useful stuff. I imagine that many working class people of his generation, poor people who were in their 20's during the Great Depression, must have been throughly baffled by the consumer culture of the 1980's. I remember that I sometimes went with him, and how it was a wonderful treasure hunt.

Then later, when I went to school, I was teased about going about in "dumpster clothes". And I have realized why. The people who imagined themselves "posh" would snigger and talk about my grandfather and his dumpster diving. That those conservative materalist assholes viewed themselves as above my lovely hardworking grandfather, who never spoke ill of anyone and always was ready to help others without expecting anything in return, still make me seethe with rage.

I can not even begin to say how much I despise conformist people, who sit on their arse and gossip derisively about everyone who is creatively different from themselves.



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Mookish Deity Most High

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favourite treasures from dumpsters:

10 lb bananas that were turned into banana brandy and sold at festivals (back when supermarket skips weren't caged or deliberatley tainted to stop you getting food for free furious )

oak victorian overmantle (the one i pimped in the creativity thread)

1930's kitchen cupboard, in use as my towels and bedding storage

oak and mealamine topped 1950's kitchen tables x 2 (now my printing tables)

4 disembodied manequin hands (thought i'd found a crime scene, lol!)

1940's tin steamer trunk from india. (painted with minarettes and temples.)

pot bellied cast iron barbecue.

i do think though, ebay and the whole shabby chic thing have meant that people know the value of things a little better and now tend to sell, rather than dump... i've not seen a good house clearance skip for a long time, so treasures like the above are getting harder to find.

what we do have though is lots of builders skips, so at the moment i'm raiding dumpsters for slabs and bricks... as i'm too poor to buy materials for the two garden paths that i need to make. i trundle off with my wheel barrow when i find a nearby skip full of bricks and grab as many as i can...  the curtain twitchers have been enjoying that one biggrin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Last year, I found 16 brand new French/English dictionnaries in a dumpster. I saved them all and gave them to a highschool teacher. He was really happy!



-- Edited by Wyno on Tuesday 19th of March 2013 11:42:30 AM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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necropost,  because i found new treasure today.

there's a house a few roads away that's being renovated and i've been watching their skip with my beady eye in case anything useful turns up..  i was walking home last night and saw there were 5 wooden venetian blinds in there (2 big ones and three smaller ones, which will be perfect to put up in the music room, yayy!) so i hauled them home in two trips and gave them a good wash in the bath...  they are currently drying out in various places around the house, which now smells of wet wood.

i've also noticed that the local school has had it's scaffold taken down and there are 3 scaff boards still there... so might go and have a word tomorrow and see if i can nab those as well, because they would make some lovely shelves once i've sanded them down a bit.



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Mookish Deity Most High

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^Those blinds sound lovely, good find lady c!

Last time I was in London I found a long low imitation pine bench thing. It's in perfect condition, I'm going to use it as an altar/peaceful place spot. I'm so pleased with it, I'll post pictures once I've done it up :) I ended up making friends with the caretaker of the block of flats and he's lovely and happy for me to dig through the dumpsters as well as taking things people have left outside - very lucky, considering my mom is moving to that area ;) I see lots of diving in my future.

A little before that I found a bunch of brand new internet routers and a set of perfectly good plates, which I cleaned and now happily eat off. OH! Holy hell, I found two wooden doors as well, they looked brand new and would have sold for a heckload of money, they were gorgeous. If I'd had any way of getting them home I would've, I hope someone else found them and put them to good use.

I found a Mighty Mighty Bosstones tape last year, one of my favourite ever finds :)

I haven't found food for ages, but I also haven't gone to any places where I'd be likely to :p I really want to go on a little dumpster diving outing soon, it's been ages since I did it properly and the cupboards are baaare.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Since this thread was begun skipping has become the sole way I feed myself and furnish my home. I remember first hanging out with squatters and being amused at how they'd stop so often going anywhere to look at things chucked out in the street, but now I have developed the scavenger eyes myself and I hope I never lose this ability. (friends who do litter picking at festivals have even better eyes for spotting small or far away things - especially alcohol, tobacco or drugs left on the floor)

My main advice is

  • You don't have to but it's nice to go with some company (especially if it's someone who can climb) because it's easier if one gets in the bin and chucks the good stuff into a bag the other is holding. Also if staff, security or cops ask what you're doing it's less intimidating if you're with a mate. Just be confident about it, like you own those bins. You're hungry and it's your right to get what would otherwise be thrown away.
  • Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty (duh), a head torch is the handiest thing ever for climbing round the backs of supermarkets at night and telling the hummus from the coleslaw.
  • Don't take home the coleslaw.
  • Unless you like coleslaw but seriously there is always so much fucking coleslaw it's like a conspiracy or something.
  • Leave the place tidy. The longer shops go without realising they're being skipped the better. If you're tidy and respectful then they'll be more likely to turn a blind eye when they notice you or they might even help you out and tell you the best time or day to come along. I've met very friendly staff as much as I've met unfriendly staff.
  • Be aware of the law. (I can only speak on UK law here) Sometimes you are trespassing, but thats a civil offence not a criminal once. If you're caught just say you were unaware you were doing anything wrong and that you're leaving now. It's usually not trespass if you agree to leave when asked. It can also be argued that skipping is theft, there are very slim chances you'll get into legal trouble but it is not in the public interest for someone to be charged for eating out of a bin. I've never heard of anyone getting a criminal record for it, although the odd arrest or stop and search has occurred here in London. But no judge wants to be known as the one who criminalised someone for this. (I will talk about my own experiences with police while skipping at the end)
  • Don't be afraid to wage war - bolt crop locks they put on their bins. If they make access to the food more difficult, sabotage it if you can are are comfortable with doing this kind of thing. Seriously, fuck them. Liberate the food.
  • Wash everything really well when you get it home. But this is obvious.
  • Share it out. Sometimes there is so much.It's nice when the bin fairy visits after a bountiful haul and leaves the excess of a skipping mission outside a few friends' squats/houses or in places homeless people sleep or on the doorstep of the single mum you chat to every now and then who's struggling with money a bit.

Skipping is mostly just routine for me but I still find it quite fun. It's like being a modern day hunter gatherer. I think I'm just too much into the whole sneaking around climbing over things bit of it maybe. You never know what surprises you might find and if you manage to skip a Waitrose or M&S it's like you're suddenly living the bourgeois lifestyle.

IF ANYONE'S IN LONDON GO TO NEW COVENT GARDEN MARKET, NEAR VAUXHALL BRIDGE. THERE ARE LITERALLY TONNES OF FRUIT AND VEG BEING THROWN AWAY EACH DAY. It's open from 2am to 6am - thats the time the businesses come to buy from there but it's open to the public and I really recommend going just to see what it's like. The flower market is really cool as well. Anyway you can skip it while it's open but most people I know go at like 6/7am when they've just chucked out the freshest stuff. Your mind will be blown. It's like fucking christmas everyday. If supermarkets throwing out food makes you mad wait til you see bins full of hundreds of pounds worth of fresh ripe avocado lined up ready for land fill. Security are dickheads but people who work there are pretty sound and will give you things they're about to throw or have a friendly chat and warn you about security being dickheads.

***TW - POLICE***

Anyway, I've also had a really bad experience of being arrested for skipping. It was unlucky, we happened to be climbing back over the fence when a car full of armed Met police rolled by. They were on SUCH a power trip, police react in different ways to it but usually the average cop will give you a lecture and let you go. The Met are awful, I mean you can tell most cops were once human beings but you can't with London metropolitan cops.

They arrested us for burglary (it's common for them to make up a very serious sounding offence to justify getting you in the cells. Also it goes down in their arrest records as a burglary so it makes their statistics look good) but eventually over the time I was in the station it got dropped to theft and then eventually I accepted a caution for "Being on enclosed premises" - something random from the Vagrancy Act from the 1800s (officially I should have been taken to the work house and flogged, but they kind of like to hide and ignore that bit of the law hmmm). In other words it was so obviously ridiculous but they were determined I wouldn't walk out their doors with nothing on me because they are all, as you know, bastards.

My friend declined the caution because they had the emotional/mental capacity to deal with taking the case to court. When it got to court all charges were dropped because everyone except the pigs are sensible about this and realise it's ridiculous to arrest people and charge them for feeding themselves and using what other people waste. I wish I'd been strong enough to go all the way like that because it'd mean my name would be completely clear but I was having severe mental health problems at the time and I just needed to avoid further trauma and stress at all costs. They threatened to keep me locked up longer if I didn't accept the caution so I was like yeah whatever just get me out of here because you're actually using my mental anguish as a bargaining tool and I can't fight that, you sick fucks.

Anyway *phew* got a bit rambly and angry there but I needed that off my chest. Luckily despite how difficult the experience was to go through it hasn't stopped me. How can I stop? I need to feed myself and I feel awful if I rely on everyone else I live with to do all the skipping, although they would have been very understanding if I was too afraid to do it.



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Isaac, than ks so much for this, really useful guide. I don't know if it's sensible for me to go skipping (as someone who intends to be a doctor, I need the squeakiest of clean criminal records and can't risk it), but the idea of rescuing a poor ripe avocado is a tempting one! Maybe one day I might have the gall to have a stroll around that market and risk the dickhead security...

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Mookish Deity Most High

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If you did get arrested (very slim chance, I was very unlucky. Turns out I was skipping opposite a police station and climbing over a 6ft fence when they happened to drive past so it looked pretty dodgy to them and also they were even more unreasonable than most cops and stroking their guns and it was weird) you could deny a caution or whatever else they try to convince you to do and take it to court and win and get your name cleared. I also think they disliked me because I refused to give my name for ages and made no comment until I saw my solicitor and generally knew my rights and that annoys them. Also I didn't have an address to give them and they don't like homeless people that they can't keep track of so they wanted to pin something on me.

The risk of arrest is much smaller if you avoid skipping places where you have to climb or enter private property. Cops are more likely to stop you if you're looking a bit scruffy and climbing into a fenced off yard in a dark alley than if you look 'normal' and 'respectable' openly rummaging through a bin thats in the street. So like, wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty but don't look poor. Usually you can get away with a lot more if you look like a nice polite young woman.

On the plus side, if I get properly charged for something under the 1824 vagrancy act in the future I will officially be a 'rogue and a vagabond', if it happens twice I will be an 'incorrigible rogue".

(bit of a tangent but if anyone's interested in what crimes come under the vagrancy act you can read it here. Some are funny, like 'professing to tell fortunes' but some are still actively used to criminalise homeless people like 'not having any visible means of subsistence' if you look deeper into it and find what is now omitted with '...' you'll see the bits about being flogged in the work house)



-- Edited by electrosexual on Friday 25th of October 2013 07:18:28 PM

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Mookish Deity Most High

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^ is one of those the punishment that technically means you should be branded? I can't remember if that ever officially got taken out of that law.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Wow. It actually horrifies me thinking about all the stuff that goes to waste. The other day I was walking around ASDA looking at everything on the shelves and suddenly it just struck me that there was NO way it would all be bought, that the majority would be chucked out, and... I dunno, I just felt angry. I know some goes to Food Banks, but I checked and apparently it's only a small percentage of surplus :(

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Mookish Deity Most High

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We regularly have debates over trespass laws on an urbex board I post on,and I just wanted to flag up one thing Tahlia said:

"Don't be afraid to wage war - bolt crop locks they put on their bins. If they make access to the food more difficult, sabotage it if you can are are comfortable with doing this kind of thing. Seriously, fuck them. Liberate the food."

Basically,doing this leaves you open to the possibility of being charged with criminal damage,or suspicion thereof,or going equipped,or lots of other things the police feel like. A decent copper might turn a blind eye to raiding open skips,but once he thinks you've used force,or might do [such as if he spots a pair of bolt cutters],then it's very unlikely he'll let you go.

(incidentally,trespass is a criminal offence in certain places,such as railway land,power stations,and MOD land)

That said-this site lets you see where all the recycling centres are,and the larger ones that take electrical goods are worth a trip to liberate unwanted items from. Often people will dump computers,TVs,VCRs,fridges etc that are working fine just because they're last year's model,or have some cosmetic damage. We waste a lot of stuff,not just food. [caveat: you have to take the risk that said electrical stuff hasn't been dumped because of faulty wiring]

Dave.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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mmm, yes, thanks skgogofan for explicitly saying about the criminal damage. So like, i meant if you felt comfortble commiting criminal damage, haha.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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I've only ever salvaged one thing, an office chair, basically, when I moved into my house in second year, I had no chair to sit at my desk with, but thankfully the uni had recently been doing some refurbishments in the library, so I went to check it out and found an office chair which I helped myself to.

I'm considering however to stop giving cans to the council in those plastic boxes and doing this instead to get money for cans. I figure I'd share it with Mooks because yeah you need a lot of cans but it gets money in.



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We've got...

2 armchairs (not the nicest and now collapsed junk but they lasted a few years and hey, were free!)
1 ikea bookshelf unit
1 little cast iron charcoal burner for the garden
2 office chairs
1 wooden pallet (now a herb wall)

There's a nice, healthy tradition of street handmedowns around here - if you want shot of something, leave it propped up next to the bins and it'll be gone by morning! I've passed on books, chairs, printers and a few other items over the years - small things like books I stack in a box, put a "please help yourself" sign on it and leave it out there. Mostly people have a rummage and take a couple, but one time someone just up and took the lot, box and all!

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Resurrecting this fine thread to show my latest finds!

Today I got loads of Buffy and Angel videos (not technically from dumpster diving, but some guy was getting rid of them so I knocked on his door and he gave me bags to take them away in, SCORE) and lots of delicious fruit and veg from outside my fave fruit and veg place. Linky!

I've frozen some of the fruit for smoothie making, had some of the stuff for dinner, pickled most of the cucumbers and tomorrow I'll eat like a quing and polish off what's left in the fridge. It came at a great time because I'm totally broke! Very happy, people in this city are so wasteful compared to back in Corby, but it's been working out great for me :p
Also a nice frying pan in the dumpster outside my flat, what looks like a brand new armchair, I got a lovely bench here before (my fave find) and recently got an almost brand new queen sized bed and base for my mom :)



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Mookish Deity Most High

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ALL HAIL BINDERELLA THE DUMPSTER FAIRY! FOR SHE HAS BLESSED PEYTON TODAY!


A real text conversation between my friends:

J: hey there's about three dildos in a bag outside K-- Road if anyone wants to skip any
L.J: what type?
J: they're molds of someone's cock, a pretty nice cock by the looks of things too
L.J: haha you got them then?
J: yeah it was totally worth it just to come back and invite others to take a lucky dip in my bag of wonders
L.J: H and E are asking if you can save them some dildos
J.L: we just skipped loads of energy drinks
J: bring me some back
L.J: H says they'll swap you 10 cans of monster for a dildo
J: deal! how are we going to work this? shall I bring it up to you?
L.J: got any details on dimensions? could be a deal breaker...
J: about 8 or 9 inches with a girth of around 3 fingers, I've had bigger but its not a bad size :)
L.J: we're at T-- Way. could you bring all of them so theres some options please?
J: there was a beer bottle in the bag with the dildos too but I threw that out, you don't know where it's been

Everyone was excited but it turned out they were jelly molds of someone's actual cock and people weren't too pleased with the unsafeness of the material and also it's a bit weird because thats like some stranger's dick in a bin...?



-- Edited by electrosexual on Sunday 9th of March 2014 01:35:07 AM

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High Mookish Shaman

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^i think i almost pissed my pants laughing at this

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Mookish Deity Most High

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^^Oh god yes, that is brilliant. What a find! A dick in a bin might not be as useful as, say, food, but it sure breaks up the monotony of the usual dumpster excursions :) all hail binderella! Come to think of it, I found LOADS of cucumbers (a few suspiciously squishy) - thanks, Binderella, for all the phallic finds?

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Ha! That is utterly hilarious and bizarre. What dd you do with all the dicks in the end?

I've never been actively dumpster diving but I have occasionally found the odd thing around.

Glitterphobe found a perfectly working hoover once.

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Regular Crew

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Ooh I'm more a goodwill girl... 2 80s designer dresses in one month, saved! 5 dollars a pop, one for me, one up for sale on etsy... 

What are the best dumpsters in which to dive, pray tell?



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Mookish Deity Most High

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I haven't been in like 6 months but I went out last night & got some decent stuff! I really can't afford groceries at the moment (I'm not going hungry but it's rough) so this is really helpful & I'm definitely going to start going dumpster diving regularly again. There was WAY too much to carry.

 

the stuff



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Omg that is an amazing haul! Can't believe people throw away such lovely food that's still good to eat :(

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Professor Mook (mod)

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I've noticed a lot of the supermarkets around here locking their bins recently. :(

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Mookish Deity Most High

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^Yeah, really sucks! When they're chained it's ok because I can stick my hand in a bit and grab some stuff, very awkward but yeah! Thankfully new good ones are popping up, but my old go-to for fruit and veg is locked and chained very tightly. Not so many fruit/veggies now, booo.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Last time!



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Mookish Deity Most High

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^It's incredible that all this food ended up in a dumpster!

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