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Topic: Excuse me?!?! Dumpster Diving  (Read 33297 times)
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« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2010 04:42:43 PM »

 Another tip for University/College towns, try looking in the last week or so of July and the first week of August.  August 1st is the biggest move in day for those living off campus.  (it is impossible to find a moving truck in the entire city here on that day).  I've had two separate apartments with two separate living room sets, both just pulled out of the alley when we moved.  Also- if you live near an art school, check the dumpsters behind the art buildings.  Theater dumpsters can also have some awesome stuff. 
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2010 03:35:48 PM »

I found my dining room table and chairs on the side of the road waiting for the trash man.

It was dark, we were driving home. I saw them and squeeled in delight. My DH on the other hand, knew what was coming.

Let me set the scene.

It's at least 1 am at this point. We are driving a 2 door Chevy Beretta. I spot chairs that I love. Husband keeps driving. Puppy eyes, and pleas. He turns around. I jump out of the car to check them out. Solid wood! Score! All the parts for the whole set! Double Score!

Me trying to communicate to husband that we need to take this, he's still sitting in the car, ducking down a bit. Of course, I can't haul it by myself. He gets out. Dog starts barking next door. Crap.

Move faster.

End up driving home with the table upside down on the roof, both of us holding it one armed out the windows. And chairs hanging out the back all wonky.

With a little work, it ended up being better than any set we could have purchased.

I should also note the drive back was only about 5 minutes (normal speed) done in a completely residential area, and I can't say we even drove back, we more like glided at 2 mph.

But now, when I am looking for good finds (and I have never spent more than 50 bucks for anything beside our bed and couch in the entire apartment) I always go to the "rich" neighborhoods on trash day. It is amazing what these people throw away. I'm serious.

I've never actually had to "root" through garbage, they just sort of dump it on the side of the road. So I get a pretty good idea of what there is. Grab and go.

As far as being worried about it. You're never going to see these people again (if they happen to see you in the first place, which is really unlikely). So, don't worry about it!  Smiley

« Reply #82 on: April 04, 2010 03:08:00 PM »

Be super careful taking things from construction dumpsters.  SOME builders store lumber and items not yet installed so it is NOT TRASH.  Taking without permission would be stealing.  Also, nails and sharp things are a danger.
My tip to avoid embarrassment:  grab and leave.  Upon arrival home, inspect closely under good light to decide if it is a keep or a toss.

« Reply #83 on: April 05, 2010 05:12:21 AM »

Be super careful taking things from construction dumpsters.  SOME builders store lumber and items not yet installed so it is NOT TRASH.  Taking without permission would be stealing.  Also, nails and sharp things are a danger.
My tip to avoid embarrassment:  grab and leave.  Upon arrival home, inspect closely under good light to decide if it is a keep or a toss.

My DH is one of the big guys in the construction industry around here. Taking from a trash dump at a construction site can result in a felony. Now because of recent thefts they have security cams on these dumpsters. A lot of times the dumpster are re-salvaged by a firm. All big contracts and such, such. It's confusing. Yes, stealing from a site will result in jail time.

I am not trying to be the "construction police". I just don't want anybody to get in trouble.

If you ask at that sites 9 times out of 10 a contractor will give you things. I had a friend who did $250,000 worth of remodeling on her home for only $12,000 because she asked the contractor. She received the beautiful lighted tiles for your bathroom shower. She received marble to do all her counters. Beautiful wood to do her stairs.

Trust me a lot of contractors are willing to do this but they just need to know so they can write it off in their books.

DH brings me home things all the time since the contractors know I am a big crafter.


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« Reply #84 on: April 06, 2010 02:15:09 AM »

For the Brits.

Just a note that taking things out of skips is illegal. I'm not saying don't do it, just that it is polite to check to see if anyone is in to ask permission first.

Especially if it is stuff left in alleys, my boyfriend has had loads of things stolen from his alleyway in the few minutes he left it to go and get his housemates to help him carry it in.

I do love skips though, I got a wooden beaded door curtain once. Though as most people take everything to charity shops(and good on them for doing so) it's mainly hardcore and soil left. I do get jealous of you Americans with 'thrift' store furniture for $10 etc In Sheffield(England) charity shop clothes cost that, or more and you never get fabric for less than $5 a metre and that will just be plain or lining fabric. Hmmm, maybe I should go on holiday?

« Reply #85 on: May 17, 2010 10:52:03 AM »

I'm new to dumpster diving. I don't actually rummage through the bins, just see what's standing at the side of them.

Our appartment has a private roof garden and we're looking for weird things to plant in. So far we have a bidet and a bathroom sink so kinda have a bathroom theme going on. I'm sat in the office right now looking at the dumpster over the road. There's a bath there! Perfect addition (it could maybe make a cool pond!). The thing is it is broken in 2. Sad They look like 2 clean halves though, could maybe seal them together..... Oh the temptation! We also need a toilet, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled to see if the people who ripped out the bath are doing a whole bathroom revamp... hehe

Oh and I'm in Spain btw, and they empty dumpsters daily here so you have to make a quick decision! You see alot of people taking things from dumpsters here, everyone is totally ok with it.

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« Reply #86 on: May 20, 2010 04:53:19 PM »

Our little community also has the landfill converted to a dumpster farm - but they actually have a shelter (like a pole building without the walls - even has a cement floor!) to put the "not so garbage" stuff - we've made some great finds, chairs, desks, tables, dressers, lawnmower, windows we used to build a three-season gazebo!  The best was about a dozen or more Red Wing Pottery vases / urns - looked on the internet the day we found them and were astounded - resale value of $75 or more EACH!!  Someone from the big city cleaning out the elderly relative's house and didn't want to haul home all those "knick-knacks"!  Did a brisk e-Bay business just selling stuff we found in/near dumpsters!

One of the best stories of an actual "dumpster" find was from a contractor I worked for:  his father found a HUGE chandelier in a dumpster in Chicago - cleaned it up and found that only 2 of the crystals were missing - replaced them and they had an awesome piece (which he gave to the contractor for a house-warming present - they installed it in the turret room (over the spa tub) of their brand new Victorian style home).  That chandelier was probably 3 ft across and 5 ft high !!

Trash-pickin' ain't a bad thing !

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« Reply #87 on: December 05, 2010 10:35:16 AM »

I love this thread:).  My headboard was found by the side of the road on garbage day.  It's in good shape, but needed to be restained.  I covered it in wallpaper from the thrift store instead, and it looks great behind the bed--plus I can easily change it up if I want a new pattern. 
My old college dorm always had a "free table" in the lobby, and I used to find fun stuff there--sweaters, books, etc--that was useful.  I liked that we'd put things there and it would just get swapped.  Wish my town had a covered spot for the stuff that gets thrown out.  The trash transfer station is behind my apartment building by a few hundred feet (lovely, I know), but I am not about to head over there anytime soon.  They even have a barbed wire fence!
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2010 04:44:36 PM »

You would not believe the things that are thrown out at Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other non-profit thift store, especially at smaller locations.  I was the manager of a small thrift store for a while.  No clothing with a stain, tear, missing buttons, pieces, or any other imperfection can be sold on the floor.  Also, it was near impossible to find organizations (you know, not a thrift store organization) to donate free clothing to.  As a result, many great things were thrown into the dumpster.  Also, the dumpsters are amazingly clean, as no food, or other normal trash is really thrown into them.  And, no one really minds if you go through the dumpster.  The employees all realize what a shame it is that some great things get thrown away, so dumpster divers were always welcome where I worked!  Happy hunting!
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« Reply #89 on: December 22, 2010 08:51:51 AM »

I am a second generation Dumpster Diver. My mother raised me in thrift stores and was not ashamed to teach her youngin to dive for the goods. My fiance is approving of my dives (mainly because I find the "good stuff" and have gotten cash for some of the items I have found). Current diving aquistitions: beer mirror (removed stickers and cleaned) and 100 gallon aquarium complete with filtration, hood, and aeration device. The aquarium is something I am really looking forward to playing with as I have always wanted a  large community fish tank but could never afford it. Just have to clean the glass and test the seals before puttin it to use. The only thing I love about living in a college town is the GREAT dive finds. Favorite pasttime with friends: Stalking the local apartment complexes during semester changes for goods.
Proud to say I have NEVER bought a tv in my life, all are dumpster finds that have worked fine.

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