Dumpster Diving

Here is one of my blog entries from earlier this summer…  Enjoy!

We had planned to spend the entire day cleaning.  One of the first things we did was load up the trash and the recycle things.  Sarah and Micah stayed here at the house to clean the kitchen and the bathrooms while I loaded the three younger children up to help me at the recycle/trash center. 

When we arrived at the trash place, we were unloading the trash, sorting the plastic, metal and glass.  As we prepared to throw the cans into the scrap metal dumpster, we noticed that there were about 15 metal folding chairs in the bottom of the dumpster.  Now these weren’t any folding chairs, but the really expensive kind of folding chairs.  They were a pretty chocolate brown color. 

Of course I thought it would be really cool if we could get those chairs so I asked the guys working if I could take some out.  They said people really weren’t supposed to take things out of the trash, but that they were on break and if I wanted to borrow the long hook to get something out of the trash while they weren’t looking, I could.  I borrowed the hook and the boys and I began fishing the chairs out of the trash.  There were some I couldn’t reach so I almost fell into the dumpster trying to retrieve them.  (I’m sure this is the reason they have a rule against people taking things out of the trash.  Some idiot might do the same thing, but then turn around and sue the county if they fell in.  At least I have enough sense to know if something is my own goofy fault!) 

Anyway, there were about four chairs that had been ruined from a washer that had been dumped in on top of them, but there were still about three that I couldn’t reach that were in terrific condition.  I asked the boys to let me lower them in, but they wouldn’t.  They were worried that they would get in trouble.  Finally I told them that it was really ok.  Someone had thrown those chairs away and they were going to be destroyed.  It amazes me that we have all this emphasis on recycling and conservation, etc., but yet we have people who throw away perfectly good things and then we have rules against recycling those things.  That’s ridiculous and that’s what I told the boys.

I really was contemplating climbing over into the dumpster myself, but I could envision me being stuck down in there once I got the chairs out.  I didn’t want anyone to have to call the fire department or anyone to try to fish ME out of the dumpster.  After more thought and discussion, I finally convinced Christopher to let me put him over in the dumpster.  Honestly this was only after bribing him and Daniel with $5.00 each that I told them they could get by selling five of the chairs (for $2.00 each).  He handed the three remaining good chairs out, then he climbed up on the washer and I lifted him out.

I posted a note on our local digest and someone said they wanted to buy five of the chairs right away.  I gave five to a friend of mine who has a large family and we kept five of them.  It’s too bad that we didn’t get there in time to save the others that were crushed by the washer.  And I do think it’s ridiculous that someone couldn’t have just set them outside the dumpster OR put them on the side of the road with a “Free” sign OR even just asked friends if anyone wanted them.  They looked like they came from a business or something.  They were in terrific condition.  I’m just glad we got some. We kept a few, sold a few, and gave away a few.  It was great!

Sonya  : )


One thought on “Dumpster Diving

  1. At our dumpster stations, they have a covered cement area where people can put usables they no longer want. I’ve gotten clothes, winter gear, furnature, toys. Just about anything you can think of to reuse, they may have eventually. It’s kept lots out of the landfill. Once a week or so, they clean it up and haul away what’s still there (mostly broken stuff by then). You may want to propose a similar area at your drop off sites.


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