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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work in recreational areas, and I have learned in the last few months just how wasteful people are. It blowed my mind to start with.

I have the idea that you don't toss anything unless it's absolutely useless, broke beyond repair, or not fit for use.
I felt that most people thought the same way I did, until recently. I work too hard for my money to throw items of use away without a second thought that I can still use it...or maybe someone else can or I might need it later.

Boy was I wrong....

And in this job, I have to deal with some trash pickup. It's not the most glamorous job in the world and I'm a sweaty mess by the afternoon, but the pay is beyond comparison with any other job in the area...! So, I get dirty and enjoy it, especially the paychecks.

But...these people use items for a weekend and toss them in the dumpster and poof they are done. I've seen tents, chairs, ice chests, lanterns, flash lights, whole bags of clothing, brand new shoes, fishing poles, and sleeping bags go bye bye in a dumpster, all because they are done with them.

Just like today......

We had a little girl ride up to us today on a semi-used bicycle and ask us to get rid of it....because the front tire was flat. I smiled at her and told her, "Baby Girl, someone can fix that for you...all it needs is a tube put in..." In the meantime, Momma come out to the road and hollered nicely back to us that.."It's ok, I'm by myself and can't fix it, so I went and bought her a new bike, so if you don't mind take it with you..." I looked at the lady I was with, and said.."Didn't you say you had some little girls at your house right now?" We loaded it up in the back of her vehicle to take home for her husband to fix to give to one of those little girls.....

Must be nice.....

Anyway...I was against being a dumpster diving diva until I realized the waste involved with these people I have to deal with. Now...we set whatever aside and at the end of the day check it out to see if it's of any use and if it is, who ever wants it...takes it home with them.

And the waste isn't occasional, it's everyday we pick up items left lying on the ground or tossed. And we wonder what's wrong with the world....?
 

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If you think that is bad, . . . working in a campground, . . . get a job as a maintenance mechanic in a union shop factory.

What THEY throw away, . . . just boggles the mind.

I still have a few goodies from my old dumpster diving days there, . . . use them often.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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I remember one fishing trip to a state lake with my dad, we found two coolers left by the trash by somebody. They looked brand new, so we had to open them up. Besides for being full of water (clean water lol) and having some empty soda cans inside, they were perfectly clean. We thought they were there by mistake, so we milled around fishing for a while. No one ever came back to them, so we took them home that night. We've used them many times since them, and they're still in the garage!
 

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We have dump days at the recycling center in our town,they recycle nothing!.you should see some of the good "junk" that I wish I could dive for especially in the metal dumpster,bikes that could be fixed up and given to underprivileged kids,perfectly good looking lawn mowers,(prob needs a blade)some decent furniture,odds and ends like 2x4's 4x4's like 5-6 footers etc,I asked a fellow I know that works there about a nice bike I could have fixed up for a kid down the street and he said they junk all this metal to help pay the waste company (Waste Management)to haul the other crap away,if you or I even touched this stuff we would be cited and I would lose my job.what a waste I tell you.cant even dive a dumpster like the good old days.
 

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We get people that put desks, book cases, and other items in the street all of the time around here. I haven't paid for firewood in my adult life. My folks use to buy cords of almond wood. I bought a skill saw.
 

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My brother in Madison, WI (big university city) has not purchased a bike in years. At the end of the university school year, he drives around and picks up a few of the hundreds of bikes that are piled up against the dumpsters because the kids U students don't want to bother taking them home for the summer! My father, from whom I picked up my trait for "if it can be repaired or re-purposed, keep it", would roll over in his grave. It's a different world out there today.
 

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I live in a college town. One spring, I dumpster dove and came home with over 40 lbs of laundry soap. That was just the soap. Then the note paper, shelving units, etc. My friend and I came out with a lot of good stuff. The soap was the best, though.
 

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With a little knowledge in small engine repair you probably wouldn't ever need to by garden equipment. The small engines like Brigg & Stratton have an estimate 2000 hour life. Very few are thrown away because they are worn out usually the carburetor is the problem. Many times a $2 dollar can of starting fluid will get them going and running clean gas will clean them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I love a bargain...lol, but hate yard sales, and dumpster diving would've been marked completely off my list until like I said, I realized they were just tossing new items they'd used and were finished with after a few days of use.

It's sickening at the waste. I've seen full garbage cans of dry food goods go to waste, all because they didn't want to carry it home.

My thoughts are why not stop and drop it off at a homeless shelter, or give it someone in your area that might need a little help with groceries? The majority of the items are unopened. Clothing items and whatnot could go to a church for disaster relief. What makes it even worse, is I'm quite sure a few of these people bought their camping supplies (food) on food stamps, and it's easy come, easy go.

I guess I shouldn't gripe to much, I should look at it as a fringe benefit for doing my job.
 

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We don't manufacturer heirloom products anymore. The crap produced...you really have to weigh the cost of repair (if you can't do it yourself) and the cost of a new one. For folks that can't repair...the cost goes up. The supply/demand chain for replacement parts is losing demand, so often one small part can be a substantial percentage of the cost new for the whole widget. Manufacturer's sure don't want you buying the part...they want you to buy another.

If our instant-satisfaction, throw-away, drive-through-window culture continues on it's path, those that can repair won't be able to find affordable parts either. You'll have to dumpster dive for a pair and then get parts from one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You are all right...

I just can't fathom the waste though, I guess it kills me. I work too hard for my money to throw it away, we fix things around here if it's fixable....or even find someone that might need it before it hits the dumpster. So what if a floatie gets a hole in it, there is such a thing as a patch kit...LOL
 
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