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/jew/ - Thrifty Living

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Dumpster Thread That Guy 15/05/22(Fri)20:59 No. 2593 ID: 25fc56

File 143232114135.jpg - (70.69KB , 336x441 , art n science dumpster diving.jpg )

I've done it, Anons. I quit my job which I hate. Although my family and friends are in a panic because I don't have another crappy minimum-wage income waiting for me, I am entirely comfortable with this. I need a month off to write a particular book, anyway.

One way to supplement my savings while I am not working is salvage. By "salvage", I mean a polite term for dumpster diving. It's not a consistent form of income, but I am more than willing to give it a try.

The pictured book is the Art and Science of Dumpster Diving by John Hoffman. He also wrote Dumpster Diving: The Advanced Course. These books are out of print and getting harder to find. I had to order the former twice through Amazon before I finally got my grubby mits on a copy, but there is an ebook form of it available. I give both a huge recommendation and can go into detail if anyone is interested in reviews.

I have been a scavenger since college when my allowance wasn't quite enough to cover both bills and food. I have never before attempted to sell nor trade anything I have recovered. Turning forty this year, I decided to rent a small storage unit and return to this hobby.

I will begin giving a summaries of what I am finding in following posts. Hey, I don't like seeing a wall of text in an OP either. Summary: I am having way more fun diving than I ever did at any job.

Modern Mom 15/05/26(Tue)18:57 No. 2595 ID: 6cbd49

I'm interested in seeing how this plays out, as long as you sage your self-posts and are completely honest about your failures as well as sucesses. Would be interesting in seeing how much you actually earn per hour spent, on average.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)15:24 No. 2596 ID: 25fc56

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Initial Overview: I have been seriously collecting for about a week now; it is going well.

The bottleneck in my system is definitely storage space, the very reason why many items are thrown out in the first place. I have rented a storage space of twenty five square feet with high ceilings. At a cost of $53 per month, this is all the capital I am willing and able to invest in an experiment at this time (not counting the cost of gas for the truck). That space is already full. As storage rooms go, mine is quite well set up. I have an office chair on rollers, a folding table to serve as my work bench, two sets of shelves, and several boxes -- all salvaged within the previous couple of weeks except for the folding table which I already had.

My space also has its own electricity and lighting due to my application of a car battery and adapter that I bought with a home solar kit a couple of years back. I might even be able to pick up a nearby wifi signal if I tried. At the moment, however, I am only able to power electrical devices with direct current electricity. I have two converters for changing DC to AC current, but neither is working, and I haven't been able to figure out what went wrong. When my father visits this weekend, I intend to ask him to help me diagnose what is wrong with the system. Nothing is ever easy.

My general strategy of collecting building materials from construction dumpsters has gone so-so. The prize of materials collection is a front door, new except for some paint scratches which are mostly due to me manhandling the door. This door is worth a minimum of $100 U.S., but a friend of mine is in need of a replacement back door, so I will be giving this one away for free.

Featured in this picture is a set of three new windows which I salvaged from the same construction site dumpsters. The window in the middle (behind the black piece) is a small but very nice new storm window. It might take me some time to link these materials with paying customers who need windows of exactly these sizes.

The largest of the three came with no frame, yet the glass panels. My own mother needed a new window of exactly this size (huzzah), but delivering it to her, I somehow managed to crack the glass (boo, That Guy, booo!) and I don't know if the glass will be useful to her or not.

I would post more often, but I keep bizarrely being banned with an error message that I have been posting spam.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)15:25 No. 2597 ID: 25fc56

File 143273314588.jpg - (1.25MB , 2560x1440 , IMAG0079.jpg )

Here is a better view of the storm window...

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)15:27 No. 2598 ID: 25fc56

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...and the black framed window.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)15:37 No. 2599 ID: 25fc56

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Other miscellaneous construction materials included a nearly complete roll of weedeater line, seven full tubes of this adhesive, and a used K&H brand air filter. I also brought home a scrap of sod which I used to patch a hole in my own yard. The sod is taking nicely.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)15:45 No. 2600 ID: 25fc56

There are some construction items which I would like to collect but am not taking.

Gypsum board: If there was a market for scraps of this stuff, I could fill forty hours per week just hauling it away. If I ever need a little to patch a hole in my own home's walls, I know it is easily found.

Lumber: Since I already have adequate shelving in my storage space, I haven't needed to salvage even a splinter thus far. Living is a warm climate, the need for firewood heading into the Summer is dubious.

Tiles: Too heavy and too often broken.

Aluminum: I have seen a fair amount of aluminum siding which is being thrown away. Although there is a market for scrap aluminum, my SUV is the wrong type of vehicle for hauling it away.

Items which I am giving away include...

The front door: mentioned in my second post.

The middle-sized window: also mentioned above.

That hose: The hose which I did salvage was found to have a single leak in it which I patched. It was just, however, taking up too much space. If it was in better shape, I would have attempted to sell it, but I was on the fence about it. When I ran out of space in the storage room, this had to go. I took it to the store where I used to work and told the night clerk that he was more likely to find a use for it than I.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)16:35 No. 2601 ID: 25fc56

File 143273731236.jpg - (1.33MB , 2560x1440 , IMAG0077.jpg )

Let's move on to non-construction materials. There is where we get into the fun stuff, what John Hoffman calls "a 'trade item' or a 'use item'" in _The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving_.

Pictured here is my favorite item that I've found thus far. This folding cart is in excellent condition, just a little dirty when I found it. It was folded when I saw it between a trash can and boxes of other rubbage, so I am confident that the previous owner did not simply use it a trash receptacle and hope to retrieve it later. I have been using it for moving items into and out of the storage room which is on the second floor of a storage facility building.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)17:06 No. 2602 ID: 25fc56

File 143273916674.jpg - (1.52MB , 2560x1440 , IMAG0075.jpg )

After running an errand in town, I decided to chance a late night visit to some dumpsters behind a library and two local outlet malls. The library was a complete bust. The garbage truck must have been there earlier the very same day.

The first mall had some workers there who were in the process of (I think) removing an old tile floor in one of the shops. They paid me little mind as I explored all of the other dumpsters on site. These dumpsters were nearly empty, but one in particular turned up an unexpected find. I pulled out a set of eight leather purses. The one pictured here is an example, but the others came in various colors. I made a customary offer to wife, and she chose a blue purse for some cosplay purpose. The remaining purses are ready for me to sell them, and they even still have the original sales tags on them. If a second visit turns up anything at all, this will be my favorite dumpster.

Upon visiting the second mall, I came up entirely empty. I also was stopped by a security guard, but she seemed more nervous than me about the encounter. She asked what I was doing, and I told her that I was looking for cardboard boxes. There was a tremendous amount of cardboard to be had at that location, but due to a recent rain storm, every bit of it was wet. For some reason, salvaging pasteboard boxes is more acceptable in society than salvaging just about anything else, and my excuse was not entirely a lie. I would have probably kept a box if I had found one. Regardless, she was concerned with the fact that my truck was left parked in a loading zone, and I had to move it. I probably could have told her that I was eating garbage, and she still would have only cared about parking.

Sooo /jew/, would anyone like to buy a purse?

Actually, there will be a post later -- possibly several posts -- about unloading these goods. I would be out trying to unload those purses right now if it were not for the fact that I have misplaced my wallet today. My lost time is your gain, 7chan.

That Guy 15/05/27(Wed)17:14 No. 2603 ID: 25fc56

File 143273965744.jpg - (1.06MB , 2560x1440 , IMAG0078.jpg )

I almost forgot to mention, the price tags on each of these purses tell me that the retail price is $49.99. I am hoping to get $10 from each. If I can sell them all and get only $5 per purse, I will be satisfied as this will cover most of the rental cost on my storage unit for a month.

Moving on, vacuum cleaners are one of the items I most often see sitting next to trash cans in rich neighborhoods. On one night in one well-to-do subdivision, I found both of these. Pictured here are an upright vacuum cleaner and a carpet washer. Both are in good working condition. I checked the trash can next to where I found the vacuum, and yep sure enough, there I saw the folded up cardboard box of a newer vacuum. Some richer had decided to simply throw away a working appliance rather than gifting it or trying to sell it.

Vacuum cleaners take up more space than I would prefer, but they are solid finds. I don't know until I get them home and test them to learn the state of their conditions. Often, they are simply missing a belt. Within half an hour, I can unclog and repair most vacuum cleaners. If I think I have room for it, I will always grab a vacuum cleaner to take to the storage unit.

That Guy 15/06/01(Mon)09:25 No. 2610 ID: 25fc56

File 143314354697.jpg - (8.48KB , 275x183 , dumpster diver 3.jpg )

The last night of the month is reportedly the best time to dive. People move out of spaces before they need to pay rent again at the 1st of the month, especially around apartment complexes. Unfortunately, there are no apartments nearby, but I'm braving the dumpsters nonetheless.

Wish me luck, 7chan.

That Guy 15/06/02(Tue)13:41 No. 2613 ID: 25fc56

File 143324526468.jpg - (222.33KB , 1024x768 , dumpster diver 2.jpg )

Last night was interesting for a few reasons.

Raiding the dumpsters of apartment complexes was nearly a total bust. There was plenty of stuff being thrown away by residents vacating their apartments at the end of the month, but almost none of it was the type of stuff I can store and use. I saw couches and a few desks which were in fair condition and one beautiful love seat, but I don't have room for any of that sort of thing. I saw floor lamps -- heavens, I could have started a shop with all the floor lamps I saw. I saw two huge cathode ray televisions which must have weighed a hundred pounds each. They were too much trouble and space to waste on something which probably didn't work.

Tip: Bring an electrical inverter. These are the devices which change direct current to alternating current. If I had one with me, I could have checked electronics as I found them and taken only the stuff that worked. As luck would have it, I had two inverters with me, and both are on the fritz at the same time.

Back to the story, pretty much all I salvaged useful from the apartment dumpsters was a picture frame about the size of a notebook and a large piece of glass like one would use over a coffee table. I only took the glass because we night need to fix my mother's broken kitchen window.

All of my good finds from last night came after I returned home and searched my own neighborhood for an hour before my wife woke up. I found four shopping bags full of good citrus produce, several small construction supplies (like a nearly full box of new nine inch nails), a working Keurig coffee maker, a working toaster oven, and an electric leaf blower (which turned out to not work).

The exciting find was a broken television set with a cracked screen. Why the heck would that excite anyone? I have made a contact who collects junked electronics that he can strip down for spare parts. He mostly wants old PCs and will pay $1 per pound, but he mentioned that he will sometimes take monitors and tvs if they are flat screens. The busted flat screen I found last night was a Samsung 64.5 inch smart television, no more than a year old. It was even still in its box.

I called my contact and told him about the gargantuan television. "Do you want it?" He told me that he did, so I claimed it just before the trash truck arrived.

Then, I got some sleep.

In the late afternoon, I brought the Samsung to him. After looking it over, he decided that it would be worth the gamble to try getting the screen fixed. Since my contact decided to keep the tv himself and actually invest money into it, he wouldn't be scrapping it and paying me anything for it. I did, however, cement a solid business relationship. From this point on, he has committed to paying me for electronic scrap, even the stuff he doesn't really want, and paying me at least something every trip for my gas.

Also, other people are beginning to make me offers. My father wants me to try to sell a couple of doors that he has been keeping in his garage for a couple of years. While I was hauling those out, my father's neighbor asked me to try selling his Harley Davidson Sportster for him and offered to give me a $200 cut if I succeeded.

It really is who you know and not what you know in business.

Melancholy 15/06/08(Mon)02:16 No. 2619 ID: dd0dd9

One of my favorite past times is dumpster diving. I was dumpster diving GameStop back when it was still "FuncoLand". Lots of rental and apartments owned by slum lords in my area so always trash piles illegally dumped on abandoned property lots (not inside a city, so only paid garbage collection services in this area.). Virtually no construction around anymore as the jpb market went to hell years ago, so the only new construction is, oddly, upscale houses in subdivisions, which are off limits for the most part.

Use to make a living off of the stuff I got from Goodwill's dumpsters. That is one of the most wasteful organizations on earth. They have a massive list of item on a rejection list for their backroom sorters to toss if donated. Not to mention that if the sort room was to full at end of business day they would toss any donations, unchecked, that they couldn't comfortably fit in before locking up for the night. But alas, Goodwill's corporate higher ups caught on and every Goodwill in the region was upgraded to compacting dumpsters in a single week! Still makes me sick to think of what all has been senselessly destroyed for no good reason by them over the last fourteen years since they made the switch over to compacting dumpsters.

That Guy 15/06/15(Mon)08:21 No. 2625 ID: 25fc56

File 143434928579.jpg - (319.09KB , 970x1293 , dumpster diver 1.jpg )

Thanks for the tip, Anon. I hadn't thought about going through the rejections of charity stores like Goodwill. I will give this a try soon.

Regarding the compact dumpsters, they are annoying. John Hoffman dedicates multiple pages of his second book to the topic. Every darn of the supermarkets in my region has one. If a company is willing to invest that much money is a huge garbage safe, then I let it keep its garbage.

I would post more, but I need to get at least a couple of hours of sleep. Monday morning is garbage day in my neighborhood, and I want to make some rounds after my bunk and before I need to go do shit for other people all morning.

Modern Mom 15/06/29(Mon)08:06 No. 2630 ID: e94aad

Op, i find this stuff very interesting, but i nerd more details on how to find people to sell stuff to and what makes an easy selling.

Modern Mom 15/11/30(Mon)08:00 No. 2777 ID: 5a4584

Anyone have a download link for the books mentioned by op?

Modern Mom 15/12/16(Wed)07:29 No. 2780 ID: 9867f6

google it, I found a scanned pdf of it recently.

Modern Mom 16/07/07(Thu)20:29 No. 2856 ID: 77096a

Well /Jew/ I better tell my tales of diving.

I live in Green Bay, Wisconsin so it's a fairly sized city with alot of construction and dumpsters. I have a route I fallow about once every 2 weeks or so.

> The Record Store
Quite possible my favorite because I always come across something good. I scared the owner half to death when I popped out with a handful of too scratched or water damaged Vinyl records. The owner was totally cool with me taking whatever I wanted. It also snagged a record player and some speakers that I fixed up.

> Antique Malls
This will suprise many but people actually throw away all that old stuff that doesn't sell. I found a few American Girl Dolls which I sold on craigslist for $10 a piece, but old oil lamps with broken glass are common, and I found a company that makes reproduction glass for not that pricey so I clean them, paint them, then sell them about $30 a pop

> Packer Stadium
Sports complexes are just awesome. I was chased out of there however by security, but before I was I gathered bleacher seats, football pads, signage, display cases, furniture. The seats I sold on ebay for big bucks with the auction ending at $488 just because it came out of the stadium. The beer advertising signage I acquired is also worth a few bucks.

> Toys-R-Us
Want to keep your kids happy and never spend a dime? retailers always throw out damaged packaging or toys missing a few pieces, but till fixable, even selling them on craigslist

> Shopco/Target
They are 100% cool with me digging. Just like Toys-R-Us you find alot of damaged packaging with everything working. Found a pallet filled with scented Christmas candles that never sold.

> Army Reserves Station

Before they moved the dumpster inside the motorpool fence here was another well worth checking out, Army throws away tons of shit. I a como netting that was ripped in a few places, worn out uniforms, an entire tent that was missing a few poles, boxes, chairs, desks, RJ-45 cable, Coax Cable, and sometimes classified material, which I leave.

> The Mall
My favorite dive location, but often times picked over by fellow dumpster divers. Has tons of stuff, even clothing.

Modern Mom 16/07/24(Sun)19:34 No. 2862 ID: 73c86c

This is a really great thread.

I've never dived, but thinking of starting.
I live in the UK, does anyone have any information about UK sites/laws?
There's a couple of places like what's mentioned in this thread near me.
I'll let you know if anything comes of it.

Modern Mom 16/08/09(Tue)10:31 No. 2864 ID: 50135e

There was some attempt to get supermarket dumpster-divers legally protected, after a handful got arrested for trespassing or even theft, for taking food (past it's display until, but not use by, date). Dunno what came of it, though.
Industrial estates might be worth trying, if a company is closing down they will throw out all sorts of stationery, office equipment etc. I got a "broken" laser printer in 2005 (admittedly this was from another company in the building where I worked, so I knew it was there in advance), put a new drum cartridge in it (£40, in the days when the worst brand-new laser printer would be over £150) and it's still working today. Admittedly I don't use it very much, not sure if I'll be able to get any more toner when my two cartridges run out.
Also, as OP has established, building sites are wasteful as fuck. They throw away stuff they simply can't be bothered to carry back to the van, sometimes. You can get unopened packs of all sorts, slightly-damaged (or just dirty) tools etc.

Modern Mom 16/08/13(Sat)05:37 No. 2870 ID: a58fb8


I had a couple friends that started a side business cleaning out sheds, garages,attics and basements. They had a van. So they got paid to clean out the spaces and to haul away the "trash". They sorted the stuff and then sold what they felt was salvageable at flea markets once or twice a month. They pulled down some decent money and double dipped.

Modern Mom 17/02/21(Tue)10:51 No. 2965 ID: aa90ac

why would you spend $50 month to sell a used scuffed up door no one wants. i love dumpster diving , but damn watch those storage prices.

used vacuums? good luck selling those. i bought a dyson for $50 and fixed it up , nice ass vacuum.

heres a better tip. grab every usable item out of dumpsters, house flips , etc. clean it up a little, document it, and donate it to charity. taking the donations off your taxes.

i second the guy talking about working as a house cleaner. the guy they hire when they want an entire house worth of crap gone. i did it once , just one old guy who died. he had 300 $30 shirts. i guess he just wore one after the other each day of the year. fuck laundry!

filled up an entire van full of household items. kept the good, donated the rest.

only problem now is that i found out im a hoarder. so now every week i try to get rid of 10 boxes of shit.

Modern Mom 18/11/18(Sun)06:56 No. 3246 ID: 6d522b

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once found a bunch of pentium pro CPUS being tossed...the holy grail of scrap gold.

Modern Mom 18/11/29(Thu)09:37 No. 3250 ID: 9ffa1f

OP here! My housemate just started a job as a house cleaner this week. Thanks for this tip. I will speak with her about this angle.

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