Friday, February 9, 2007

Dumpster Diving to Commit Crimes Ain't What I Do

I have been checking out several dumpster diving web sites, and there are some which are only about gathering discarded info which is useful to the diver in an illegal or immoral way. I do not do this type of dumpster diving.

Lord knows I must've passed up many, many chances to gather up info for identity theft, and certainly many, many chances to take credit card and bank account info. I may have had some chances to grab stuff that could have been used for industrial espionage, though I have no idea who would buy that garbage. Fortunately, for my peace of mind and yours, I have no idea how to use any of that info for identity theft or any other illegal, immoral purpose. And I don't wanna' know.

Other dumpster diving web sites are only about recovering tossed out, still perfectly edible food from wholesale and retail grocery outlet dumpsters. That ‘ain’t my thing’, but I respect those who do it and honor their ideals.

This series of blog postings will only be about gathering up good stuff that other people throw away or place where they expect it to be taken away to be dumped in a landfill or gathered up by some passerby for reuse or recycling.

Dumpster diving and ducking down alleys, duckin’ and divin’, to gather up discarded items often has some minor illegal aspects to it. As a side note, most people use the term curb crawling instead of duckin’, but around here where I live most trash collection trucks make their pickups in alleys behind homes, not out front by the curb. It’s all the same though when you are as successful at it as we regular duckin’, divin’, curb crawlin’ reduce-reuse-recycle types often are.

Ducking down alleys sometimes means that you have to reach into other people's yards for stuff; this is tricky; some folks don't care if you are doing a good thing for Mother Earth and our human society, they will chase you away and/or call the police because you're trespassing. My rule on this is to usually only grab what is set outside the yard for collection on trash day. You can rarely ever be 100% sure that any items are going to be set out later on trash day just because the items are setting beside trash cans that are setting inside a yard.

In most localities, by law, you aren't supposed to go into anyone's dumpster, it is trespassing, but I have never had a cop bother me whenever they saw me divin' a dumpster. It is totally illegal to dumpster dive in a few localities. I do not ever intentionally do it in front of any cops though.

That might end up being a rude affront to their police duties, and then they would have no professional choice but to chase me away or arrest me for something.

Nor have I ever had one of the guys who drives the trash trucks that empty dumpsters give me a hard time, even though I have at times told a trash truck driver what I was doing back there behind the shopping center or apartment complex. Even shopping center managers and maintenance personnel don't usually mind me doing it, because I keep it neat and clean as I take stuff out of their dumpsters—stuff that the shopping center would have had to pay for to be hauled away if I hadn't taken it myself.

But apartment complex personnel should be avoided at all times if possible; some have run me off, others have walked by and not said a word to me, or they have said something belittling to me as if I were desperately looking for a meal in there. You are more likely to be run off by apartment complex employees if they see you diving their dumpsters during normal working hours, so dive those dumpsters well after 5 PM on weekdays, well after 12 noon on Saturdays, and anytime of the day on Sundays.

Never compromise someone else's employment when duckin' and divin'. If you see someone whom you can easily identify as an employee who is working for the owner of the property which the dumpster is setting upon, anyone who would be expected by their bosses to chase you away from the property, then leave before they are forced to ask or tell you to do so. Most individuals have a hard time dealing with the sight of other people going through trash, they do not want to speak to you at all when you are doing it, don't make them have to speak to you.

The main reason I have been told not to go into someone's dumpster is because of their fear of lawsuits. And there have been lawsuits won by individuals who have allegedly gotten hurt while diving dumpsters.

My duckin' and divin' may be slightly illegal at times, but it is never immoral.

In the parlance of those old double entendre bumper stickers: Dumpster Divers Get Down and Dirty!

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