A 21-year-old barista who worked at a downtown Seattle Starbucks claims he was fired for taking a sandwich out of the trash and eating it. He argues that since his employers were going to toss it anyway, why should he be punished for pulling it out of the garbage, especially when he hasn’t been working enough hours to pay his bills? [More]
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. [More]
Reader W.J. is a dumpster diver. During the controversy over H&M and Walmart destroying unsold clothing in Manhattan a few months ago, experienced dumpster divers pointed out that this is nothing new. W.J. e-mailed Consumerist about her recent find in the trash of an unnamed Eddie Bauer outlet store, and also made a video of her finds and how they were rendered unusable before throwing away. [More]
Dumpster diving is the epitome of equal opportunity consumerism, best showcased by colleges during the bountiful, if not lucrative, weekend after graduation. The Times examined the seedy underbelly of capitalism through the lens of the freegans, who provide an unappetizing but compelling example to price-conscious consumers.
Freegans are scavengers of the developed world, living off consumer waste in an effort to minimize their support of corporations and their impact on the planet, and to distance themselves from what they see as out-of-control consumerism. They forage through supermarket trash and eat the slightly bruised produce or just-expired canned goods that are routinely thrown out, and negotiate gifts of surplus food from sympathetic stores and restaurants.
Finding furniture on the street is one thing, but we draw the line at consumables. What are your experiences and thoughts on dumpster diving? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
There’s nothing cheaper than free and there’s nothing more free than trash. And like the saying goes, one man’s trash is another’s totally sweet HeMan metal lunchbox.
NPR covered the list of 101 money saving tips Northwest Airlines sent out to its 60 fired employees last week. You know, the one that advised the recently unemployed, “Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”