Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Have To Average It Out

This is somethin' else! Four Sundays in a row I went out dumpster diving but found not one good thing. I really can't believe that I went on another Sunday duck n' dive but got skunked again--I did not find a thing that was even worth setting out beside the dumpsters for other people to see and take.

I have to average that out with the duck n' dive on five Sundays ago when I hit it real good at a dumpster where some woman's possessions had been discarded by someone who had obviously cleaned her home out after she had died or entered a nursing home. I see this type of dumpster load often. The conclusive clues which tell me that a person has died or gone to a nursing home are when I find old family photos, and then their personal keepsakes and memorabilia of all kinds and files full of personal papers. When this happens I think, "Jeezus kryst there you lousy, lazy, rude relative of the deceased person or victim of old age dementia, you couldn't have found someone else in the person's family who wanted those personal, family artifacts?"

In that Sunday load I came up with $43.75 in quarters. Money I desperately needed for food shopping. The money was hidden in a Noxema skin cream box which had been scooped off the woman's dressing table, or whatever, along with all her makeup, hair curlers and such and shoved into a garbage bag.
All of the woman's shampoo, rinse, bars of soap, and talcum powder supplies were in that load too. I did not need the talcum and hair care stuff, but I got me 3 new bars of Dove Soap which I did need--I was down to the end of my Ivory Soap supply and almost out till first of the month payday. When I run out of big bars of soap that I bought, I use my supply of the small, motel-hotel soap bars that I get from dumpster loads. I got a few small bars in this load too. Why someone would throw out good personal cleaning products I never know, but I usually see that in these types of dumpster loads.
I also saw some good household cleaning products in that load, but could not take it, as I ended up with all I could carry.
When divin' dumpsters, I often get stuff which we all use in our homes such as kitchen and bathroom cleaning products, light bulbs, etc.. It saves this low income, disabled veteran a considerable amount of cash each year. Beats me why someone would rather go buy that household, and also personal, cleaning stuff new when all they have to do is keep it in their vehicle till they get home, instead of dumping it.
There was about 20 pounds of costume jewelry in that load. I went through it as best I could and came up with 50 bucks worth of gold I sold at the pawn shop and also a few pieces of costume jewelry that are worth something to collectors. I haven't sold the costume stuff yet, but I sold some about 7 years ago and the 35 bucks that I got from it went right across the street to the grocery store right exactly when I needed groceries.
I also found a 1970 Dundalk High School graduation ceremony program which I donated to our local historical society--I always tell them where I get stuff that I donate to them even when it came from a dumpster. I graduated from DHS in 1968, and I got a kick out of seeing names I know on that program's list of 1970 graduates. The historical society has many yearbooks and other memorabilia from local schools for anyone to take a look at. I love adding to that collection of treasured, local memories.
That load was in a dumpster behind the local shopping center. It had been illegally dumped there. While I was divin' that load the shopping center's outside maintenance man came by to get something out of a little, locked room back there right next to where the dumpster is; that room is where the shopping center keeps its lawn mowers, rakes, shovels and such; but the maintenance man knows me as a considerate, conscientious pro-diver and just waved and smiled to me as he drove off. His teenage passenger looked a bit shocked and confused by the sight of me divin' that dumpster though. I had to take a number of trash bags full of stuff out to search them and those bags were all around on the ground when they saw me, but as always, before I left that dumpster it was all cleaned up around it.

I have no motor vehicle, so I had to take only what I could carry the 4 or 5 blocks it is from there to my home here. And I had all the weight I could manage in trash bags I had refilled to carry my stuff home in. I can't remember all that I got, but it was a real good, reasonably valuable load to strain my degenerative back diseased, aching, aging spinal column on while hauling my reusable goods away to my home. It is scary when I do that, because the medically unsanctioned strain could cause me to fall down again and not be able to get up for the 8th-9th time and put me in a friggin' nursing home myself for the rest of my life. I have had three stays totaling 5 1/2 months in hospitals and several other incidents where I was stuck in my house for days or weeks at a time when I re injured my back. But I can't just sit home all the time not doing much to bring in extra income, be it good, reusable stuff or cash. I truly need some of the things I find in dumpsters for my day to day survival.

Before I left, I placed all items such as the other 18 pounds of costume jewelry, personal care products, and such truck out on top of the dumpster and garbage so that it may be found by others, but not be a hassle to the trash collector who has to empty the dumpster in the morning. Then I walked down the alley and around the corner to where some homeless people hang out and told one of them about the remaining stuff. I hate it when they walk by and nose on into my load when they would never have found it on their own, but I also hate it when they are in need and good stuff that they can use is going to go to waste if I don't tell them about it. But then they are often the ones who make a mess of it around a dumpster, but then they are out there freezin', starvin', and stinkin', so I have to do what I am compelled to do and that is to help them when I can.

I often find good, usable items in dumpsters which I cannot use, or take with me to give away or sell. I always either set those kinds of usable items outside of the dumpster where they can be seen and taken by anyone passing by, or I place them on top of the garbage in the dumpster where the next dumpster diver can find the stuff. I never set the good stuff outside of a dumpster when it would make a mess.
One of the very most, awfullest, ignorantist thing that a dumpster diver can do is to take garbage out of dumpsters and throw that crap on the ground then leave it there. One time, when I was diving an apartment complex dumpster, a lady stuck her head out of her apartment window, took a photo of me and hollered to me that she had just done that because some ignorant pig of a person, on a previous day, had taken much of the garbage out of the dumpster and thrown it all around while dumpster diving and then had left the mess for her and her neighbors to look out their windows at and the maintenance personnel to clean up in the morning. I assured that reasonably concerned apartment resident that I would never, ever do that because, "I'm a professional."

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