To turn a phrase, “walk softly and carry a long stick” is a good maxim for better dumpster diving – what it’s called when you look through other people’s trash and dumpsters for goodies.
Generation X Finance recommends the long stick because it’s easier and safer to till through large amounts of refuse if you have a nice probing pole. A good pair of work gloves protects your hands from pokey and sharp things and just plain old muck.
To “walk softly” is more conceptual. This means that you should leave a dumpster better than you found it. How can you leave garbage looking “better?” Well, if you notice stray bags or items outside of the dumpster, put them into the dumpster. Make sure your rooting around doesn’t end up with bags or other stuff hanging out of the receptacle. Clean up your mess.
People throw away all sorts good stuff. Furniture, books, even new laptop bags with the tags still on them. In dumpster diving, one man’s trash is another’s treasure, literally!
The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving [Generation X Finance]