Dumpster Diving, known in early agrarian times as "gleaning", got part of its name from "Dempsey Dumpsters' and the second half from a visualization of folks "diving" in after the "goodies".


Recently dumpster diving has gotten notice via news media coverage of "Freeganism" (anti-conusmerist) proponents.1 You can see Anderson Cooper's CNN Report on YouTube. It gets a bit of coverage as well from "Law and Order" and other TV shows, where the cops dive in for evidence.


  • Information: the "Law and Order" dives point to the fact - lots of dumpster diving is done for information rather than goods or foodstuffs. Activists have gone dumpster diving and gotten the goods on corporate or government malfeasance by poring over the paperwork tossed into the dumpster. Need we mention the private eyes working for the divorce lawyers or corporate raiders - hello 60-minutes ??
  • Goods: folks have found tons of older computers, electronics, office furnishings, etc that the big boys have not bothered to reuse, recycle, or sell short. There are quite a few artists who specialize in converting dumpster sourced materials into "high art." Hey, where do you suppose some of that flea market material came from (:>)
  • Foodstuffs: recent media stories highlighted the tossing out of lots of perfectly good (and sanitary) foodstuffs because they reached their "sell-by" date, were crumbly, dented packaging, etc. A recent TV interview showed a Freegan making a days meals from the slightly browned bananas, canned goods, broken cookies, etc.


See also

Diving in Baton Rouge

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1. Oprah gets in and Dumpster Diving - Your Trash is Their Treasure on Freegan.info