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Waste dumpster diving  hobby which combats food waste | Upload Household

Dumpster Diving: Hobby Which Combats Food Waste

by: Sharai Hoekema
dumpster diving  hobby which combats food waste | Upload

Dumpster diving. The term alone is guaranteed to put a smile on your face - whether it is one of actual enjoyment or disbelief, I am not sure. 

Dumpster Diving: Food Perfectly Good Thrown Away

Yet this phenomenon, where people sometimes quite literally ‘dive’ in the dumpsters in their neighborhood to hunt for thrown-away treasures, is seeing an uptake after some of its most famous proponents recently made headlines again.

2 men, food, dumpsters

When was the dumpster invented?
The word "dumpster", first used commercially in 1936, came from the Dempster-Dumpster system of mechanically loading the contents of standardized containers onto garbage trucks, which was patented by Dempster Brothers in 1935.

Recommended: Vegan Food You Need To Develop Your Muscles: Protein Power

With the loot varying from hundreds of left-over desserts to household equipment and sometimes even cash, it is not hard to see why some have turned this somewhat peculiar hobby into a way of life. A fact is that we, as the collective world population, are throwing away too many perfectly good things. From food to clothes and from electronics to toys: consumerism has taken a turn for the worse, now that we discard items once we are ‘done’ with them, rather than after they have been used thoroughly.


                                                   Dumpster diving: free food, free flowers, free fun 

Take the issue of food waste. Every year, an average of one-third of the food that is produced in the world for human consumption is wasted. Simply thrown away. I don’t want to risk sounding too condescending, but the old mom-trick is painfully relevant here: "You should eat your dinner, poor children in Africa would kill for it." 

And while it is a cliche of the worst kind, it, unfortunately, rings true. While some of us are having the luxury of discarding perfectly good food items, others are starving. The world’s wealth has always been distributed unequally - but so has the food supply. The billions and billions worth of food thrown out in the western world, simply because it is a day past the expiration date, is inexcusable. 

Recommended: Super Food Designed To Match Your Genome: Star Trek Reality

woman, red coat, green dumpster, food

Dumpsters? Can you take stuff from it?
Is Dumpster Diving Illegal? It is generally considered legal for people to rummage through trash that has been left in a public area such as a curb for pickup. Once the garbage is placed in such a place, the person has basically forfeited their ownership rights to the items, as the property is now in the public domain

Dumpster Diving: 'So Many People Are Struggling To Get By'

Coming back to dumpster diving. A lot of people are claiming that they are doing it as a way of showing their outrage with consumerism and waste. Others just say that it is fun and addictive. There’s this Dutch guy, Theo Vreugdenhill, who claims that he merely tries to 'save perfectly good food from the trash.' As he says, “I simply cannot stand by idly if good food is thrown away, only because there is a tiny dent in it, happens to be slightly damaged, or is nearing its expiration date. Especially when I look around and see how many people are struggling to get by.

Food, waste graph, globally

He is not doing it for himself, quite the contrary. He is a preacher in a local church and takes two full crates with him to service on Sunday, for those who are unable to provide in their own needs. The products that he finds? Quite diverse, actually: from cheese to beer, butter, yogurt, fruit drinks, feta cheese, salads, and fruit. Although he has also come across perfectly good vacuum cleaners and laptops in the past, which just goes to show how careless we are in what we throw away.

Not everything can be found in the dumpster: most divers will agree that it is mostly perishable items, such as vegetables, fruit, and bread. So you probably should not entirely be ready to give up the day job and spent your days as a full-time dumpster diver: products like rice, peanut butter, soda, dish soap, and detergent are pretty hard to come by. 

Would you still want to try and find your inner dumpster diver and fill your fridge with leftovers? Then you can quite literally take the dive and plunge in the bins headfirst, although you could also try to talk to some shop owners yourself. Especially if your good cause stretches beyond feeding your immediate family, they might be very willing to hold on to that day’s excess for you and hand it to you in a bag instead of making you scour for it.

What is a freegan lifestyle?
Freeganism is a practice and ideology of limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources, particularly through recovering wasted goods like food through dumpster diving. The word 'freegan' is a portmanteau of 'free' and 'vegan'.

Man, smile, inside dumpster, food

Dumpster Diving. Hints, Shared By Experienced Dumpster Divers:

  • Do not wear your Sunday’s best for the dumpster diving part - while it is not nearly as gross as many people suspect, it is not something that you want to do in your favorite shirt and jeans either.
  • Only go dumpster diving at night, preferably after the shops are closed. This way, you avoid awkward situations with shoppers walking out of the store while you are digging around in the trash.
  • Do not climb any fences or force open gates when dumpster diving. Trespassing is not appreciated nor legal, so stay off private property. Stick to the curb-side.
  • Always clean up after yourself. Leaving behind a mess of torn apart bags and scattered trash is bad taste and will most likely set some bad blood. Be a good neighbor and make sure that the people whose trash you are raiding do not mind.
  • Be open about what it is that you are doing: you might get some funny looks from passerby's, who might even think of you as some homeless person. Talk to people who spotted you and explain what you are doing and what you have found. 
  • Very practical: use a headlight when dumpster diving, so that you can freely use your hands while digging; and make sure to bring plenty of bags and boxes and, preferably, a way of transporting your newfound treasures.

Recommended: Superfood! Murnong Gets Back To Our Plates: Australia

Not quite ready to go out and dig in your community’s trash bins yet? Then you can do other things to cut back on your food waste. To actively encourage you to do so, you will be happy to find that there are quite a few apps that remind you to do so and give helpful hints. One of those apps is Too Good To Go, designed explicitly for bargain hunters: businesses can post their leftovers in the app at steep discounts (adding up to at least 50-75%), after which shoppers can come in to collect the relatively fresh food at a great price. 

Recommended: Helpful tools and supplies for Dumpster Divers

Man, helmet, white T-shirt, green dumpster, food waste

Combat Food Waste: Apps

Another popular app is Olio, which allows you to share food with your local community. Handy if you are going on holiday, for instance. Your leftover food can be listed, along with a preferred pick-up point and pick-up time, and people in your community will be able to take it off your hands. 

Unsung kind of does the same as Olio, except that it works with volunteers, in a charitable set-up. After posting your ‘offer,’ one of the Unsung volunteers will come to pick it up and deliver it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. The volunteers are the delivery guys who pick up your food and drop it off with people who need it the most.

Finally, Eat Me prevents your food from going bad: it creates a timer for all the food that you have in your fridge. Scan the food as you put it in the refrigerator, after which it will alert you if it is about to go bad. A fun fact: this app was the idea of two teenage girls, who are still involved in the company.

Look, I don’t care if you are digging through trashcans or donating your leftovers through one of the apps listed above. The essence remains the same: avoiding a situation where you have to throw away food while someone else in your community might be going hungry. And that is something worth fighting - or dumpster diving - for.

By: Metro/Sharai Hoekema

Original article in Dutch 

Before you go!

Recommended: Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your article about food?
Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage.'

 

ROSE - 5 WEEKS AGO
Post Reported Report Post
Your Comment is Under Moderation
Here is people all over the country that has not enough food to eat. And groceries stores are just throwing it away. Why don't you give it away to the people. Its not just food clothes boots shoes. Baby stuff what is up with this. Stop throwing away good food and clothes.
Reply
Grant Mandell - 12 WEEKS AGO
Post Reported Report Post
Your Comment is Under Moderation
Dumpster diving is amazing and eco-friendly. Just be safe and use the right gear. Be smart though when hunting and always have the right supplies. Check out Dumpsterhunt.com for top of the line gear at the right price
Reply
Hans - 12 WEEKS AGO
Post Reported Report Post
Your Comment is Under Moderation
Dear grant,

Thanks for your link. I will insert it into the article.

Kind regards,

Hans van der Broek
Reply
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Dumpster Diving: Hobby Which Combats Food Waste

Dumpster diving. The term alone is guaranteed to put a smile on your face - whether it is one of actual enjoyment or disbelief, I am not sure.  Dumpster Diving: Food Perfectly Good Thrown Away Yet this phenomenon, where people sometimes quite literally ‘dive’ in the dumpsters in their neighborhood to hunt for thrown-away treasures, is seeing an uptake after some of its most famous proponents recently made headlines again. When was the dumpster invented? The word "dumpster", first used commercially in 1936, came from the Dempster-Dumpster system of mechanically loading the contents of standardized containers onto garbage trucks, which was patented by Dempster Brothers in 1935. Recommended:  Vegan Food You Need To Develop Your Muscles: Protein Power With the loot varying from hundreds of left-over desserts to household equipment and sometimes even cash, it is not hard to see why some have turned this somewhat peculiar hobby into a way of life. A fact is that we, as the collective world population, are throwing away too many perfectly good things. From food to clothes and from electronics to toys: consumerism has taken a turn for the worse, now that we discard items once we are ‘done’ with them, rather than after they have been used thoroughly. {youtube}                                                    Dumpster diving: free food, free flowers, free fun  Take the issue of food waste. Every year, an average of one-third of the food that is produced in the world for human consumption is wasted. Simply thrown away. I don’t want to risk sounding too condescending, but the old mom-trick is painfully relevant here: "You should eat your dinner, poor children in Africa would kill for it."   And while it is a cliche of the worst kind, it, unfortunately, rings true. While some of us are having the luxury of discarding perfectly good food items, others are starving. The world’s wealth has always been distributed unequally - but so has the food supply. The billions and billions worth of food thrown out in the western world, simply because it is a day past the expiration date, is inexcusable.   Recommended:  Super Food Designed To Match Your Genome: Star Trek Reality Dumpsters? Can you take stuff from it? Is Dumpster Diving Illegal? It is generally considered legal for people to rummage through trash that has been left in a public area such as a curb for pickup. Once the garbage is placed in such a place, the person has basically forfeited their ownership rights to the items, as the property is now in the public domain Dumpster Diving: 'So Many People Are Struggling To Get By' Coming back to dumpster diving. A lot of people are claiming that they are doing it as a way of showing their outrage with consumerism and waste. Others just say that it is fun and addictive. There’s this Dutch guy, Theo Vreugdenhill, who claims that he merely tries to ' save perfectly good food from the trash.'  As he says, “I simply cannot stand by idly if good food is thrown away, only because there is a tiny dent in it, happens to be slightly damaged, or is nearing its expiration date. Especially when I look around and see how many people are struggling to get by. ” He is not doing it for himself, quite the contrary. He is a preacher in a local church and takes two full crates with him to service on Sunday, for those who are unable to provide in their own needs. The products that he finds? Quite diverse, actually: from cheese to beer, butter, yogurt, fruit drinks, feta cheese, salads, and fruit. Although he has also come across perfectly good vacuum cleaners and laptops in the past, which just goes to show how careless we are in what we throw away. Not everything can be found in the dumpster: most divers will agree that it is mostly perishable items, such as vegetables, fruit, and bread. So you probably should not entirely be ready to give up the day job and spent your days as a full-time dumpster diver: products like rice, peanut butter, soda, dish soap, and detergent are pretty hard to come by.   Would you still want to try and find your inner dumpster diver and fill your fridge with leftovers? Then you can quite literally take the dive and plunge in the bins headfirst, although you could also try to talk to some shop owners yourself. Especially if your good cause stretches beyond feeding your immediate family, they might be very willing to hold on to that day’s excess for you and hand it to you in a bag instead of making you scour for it. What is a freegan lifestyle? Freeganism is a practice and ideology of limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources, particularly through recovering wasted goods like food through dumpster diving. The word 'freegan' is a portmanteau of 'free' and 'vegan'. Dumpster Diving. Hints, Shared By Experienced Dumpster Divers: Do not wear your Sunday’s best for the dumpster diving part - while it is not nearly as gross as many people suspect, it is not something that you want to do in your favorite shirt and jeans either. Only go dumpster diving at night, preferably after the shops are closed. This way, you avoid awkward situations with shoppers walking out of the store while you are digging around in the trash. Do not climb any fences or force open gates when dumpster diving. Trespassing is not appreciated nor legal, so stay off private property. Stick to the curb-side. Always clean up after yourself. Leaving behind a mess of torn apart bags and scattered trash is bad taste and will most likely set some bad blood. Be a good neighbor and make sure that the people whose trash you are raiding do not mind. Be open about what it is that you are doing: you might get some funny looks from passerby's, who might even think of you as some homeless person. Talk to people who spotted you and explain what you are doing and what you have found.   Very practical: use a headlight when dumpster diving, so that you can freely use your hands while digging; and make sure to bring plenty of bags and boxes and, preferably, a way of transporting your newfound treasures. Recommended:  Superfood! Murnong Gets Back To Our Plates: Australia Not quite ready to go out and dig in your community’s trash bins yet? Then you can do other things to cut back on your food waste. To actively encourage you to do so, you will be happy to find that there are quite a few apps that remind you to do so and give helpful hints. One of those apps is Too Good To Go , designed explicitly for bargain hunters: businesses can post their leftovers in the app at steep discounts (adding up to at least 50-75%), after which shoppers can come in to collect the relatively fresh food at a great price.   Recommended:  Helpful tools and supplies for Dumpster Divers Combat Food Waste: Apps Another popular app is Olio , which allows you to share food with your local community. Handy if you are going on holiday, for instance. Your leftover food can be listed, along with a preferred pick-up point and pick-up time, and people in your community will be able to take it off your hands.   Unsung kind of does the same as Olio, except that it works with volunteers, in a charitable set-up. After posting your ‘offer,’ one of the Unsung volunteers will come to pick it up and deliver it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. The volunteers are the delivery guys who pick up your food and drop it off with people who need it the most. Finally, Eat Me prevents your food from going bad: it creates a timer for all the food that you have in your fridge. Scan the food as you put it in the refrigerator, after which it will alert you if it is about to go bad. A fun fact: this app was the idea of two teenage girls, who are still involved in the company. Look, I don’t care if you are digging through trashcans or donating your leftovers through one of the apps listed above. The essence remains the same: avoiding a situation where you have to throw away food while someone else in your community might be going hungry. And that is something worth fighting - or dumpster diving - for. By: Metro/Sharai Hoekema Original article in Dutch  Before you go! Recommended:  Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'  
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