Well, At Least It's Free

Here’s a sign Flickr member betterbethany found in Portland, Oregon over the weekend. We like to imagine there’s a competitor’s sign nearby that just reads “Free Dirt.”

(Photo: betterbethany)


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  1. @Hubert Cumberdale: Oh! Very poor taste that man.

  2. esd2020 says:

    Yes, see when you’re doing construction and need to dig a big whole, you have a whole lot of dirt left over. So rather than paying to dump it in a landfill, you put up a sign so that somebody else who is trying to fill in a big hole can arrange to pick it up for free.

  3. snoop-blog says:

    It does sound funny but I know that it really means there isn’t junk mixed in (rocks, bricks, glass, etc)

  4. @Hubert Cumberdale: Funniest photo I’ve seen in days. Thx.

  5. MerylBurbank says:

    I live in Oregon, and I see signs all over that say “Clean dirt wanted”

    I guess there really isn’t a market for dirty dirt.

  6. frari489 says:

    @Hubert Cumberdale:

    that crap gets posted, but my witty insightful comments get flushed into the nether regions of internet hell?

    bravo! Perhaps ya’ll should audition comments from everyone from now on?

  7. ManiacDan says:

    “Clean Dirt” or “clean fill” refers to dirt without anything else in it. You don’t want to lay dirt filled with animal waste, milk cartons, or syringes under your new lawn. Clean dirt is used for leveling property, filling pot holes, and anything else where a homogeneous mix of dirt is necessary to avoid shifting, damage, or health concerns.

    Geeze, I’m a programmer and I even know that.

  8. Jacquilynne says:

    Clean dirt — unpolluted and not filled with debris — is, in fact, a desirable thing.

  9. TheFlamingoKing says:

    I love you, Consumerist, but this is really bad. Bring back the grocery shrink ray or something…

  10. storm says:

    Exactly as the earlier commenters are saying:

    If it wasn’t clean dirt–and you use it, you could be liable for disposing solid waste without a permit. I’m not kidding. I deal with that issue on a daily basis in my current practice.

  11. storm says:


    Please don’t. The grocery shrink ray is dumb. It’s just the same as a price increase, which doesn’t have the kind of catch necessary to make news most of the time.

    Besides, weren’t we freaking out about portion sizes last year?

  12. Thanks, mob of people who are too literal. We know what “clean dirt” is around Consumerist HQ. It’s still a funny sign.

  13. esd2020 says:

    ’bout as funny as the “SLOW/CHILDREN” signs

  14. snoop-blog says:

    Mob of people who are too literal is the Consumerist’s fortay is it not?

  15. coan_net says:

    On my friends property, he had a ditch that he wanted filled in and he took a lot of free “dirty” dirt – had brick, concrete, etc… The ditch was filled about 75% full of the “dirty” dirt, and then the top 25% he filled with “clean” dirt.

    I guess if you don’t understand it… the sign of “clean” dirt would be funny.

  16. Nytmare says:

    @storm: You might think that if you didn’t understand the issue at all.

  17. homerjay says:

    @theirishscion: Too soon?

  18. nsv says:

    I hope that’s a business phone number on that sign.

  19. DrGirlfriend says:

    @nsv: Agreed…I know it’s posted publicly and all, but that could well be a home number and it might be a nice thing to do to just blur it out.

  20. mcjake says:

    My grandpa once had about 5 wheel barrels full of clean dirt stolen from him. You see, a dump truck dumped it in his front yard that afternoon with the landscapers to do something with it that morning. One of the neighbors treated it as his own personal buffet…of dirt.

  21. Landru says:

    Is that gossip without dirty words?

  22. Cliff_Donner says:

    I need something stronger than dirt.

  23. pragakhan says:

    What would you rather use then dirt for fill? Zebra’s?

  24. ElizabethD says:

    More pics like the one Hubert posted and I won’t be hanging around the Comments playpen much longer… That’s bad, man.

  25. Oh, man, you guys gotta get a life!

  26. D-Bo says:

    Those free dirt signs are everywhere…slow news day?

  27. cmdrsass says:

    I suppose it’s an amusing sign for big city folk.

  28. synergy says:

    The big city folk see “free dirt” signs all the time, too.

    Pointing out the obvious is, I think, the forté of commenters…

  29. jiminator says:

    clean dirt as compared to construction waste filled dirt

  30. @homerjay: A little…

  31. RedSonSuperDave says:

    You know, there’s this stereotype of construction workers whistling and making sexually harassing comments and whatnot at attractive women who walk by. I’ve witnessed this sort of behavior in person numerous times, and a response that I’m not going to personally admit to doing is to make a sign that says “free bricks” or “free wood” or whatever and post it in a prominent location at the job site late on a Friday night, so that it will be there for the entire weekend, leading to hilarious results.

    I’m just sayin’.

  32. Tansis says:

    At least they spelled it right. I was driving in the Twin Cities MN and next to a road construction site was a sign that said “FREE DRIT”.

  33. nsv says:

    @RedSonSuperDave: Do you think that we don’t like being admired?

    I still laugh about an accident I caused while walking down the street a long time ago. I miss that dress…

  34. RedSonSuperDave says:

    Some of you do, some of you don’t. Anyway, “admired” is one thing. Sometimes there’s assholes (including some I’ve worked with when I painted water towers) that go over the line, and when they’re too big or too numerous to make “the facepunch protocol” a feasible option, you retaliate in more passive-aggressive ways.

    I’m just a crazy libertarian who believes that everybody has the right to be left the hell alone. If somebody doesn’t leave you the hell alone, then you have every right to retaliate out of all proportion, even if what you do in response isn’t strictly “legal”. That’s the American way, always has been.

  35. cynu414 says:

    When I lived in Montana “clean dirt” meant that there wasn’t any knapweed (noxious weeds) found in the dirt so it could be used for landscaping with no problems.

  36. nsv says:

    @RedSonSuperDave: The only problem is that in your example, you’re retaliating against the wrong people. It’s possible that the assholes would be out of work for a couple of days until the stolen supplies were replaced, but the people who suffer the real losses aren’t the ones making rude comments.

  37. mtarget says:

    It’s all about the marketing.

  38. RedSonSuperDave says:

    @nsv: Well, I understand that completely. However, the people who suffer the real losses ARE the ones who hired and are paying the offenders in the first place, the same ones who would laugh in your face (or maybe behind your back) if you came to them with complaints about their workers, so it evens out.

    I’d like it if there were karma, and everybody got what they deserved, but I have yet to see any evidence of it actually existing. I prefer to make my own karma.