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Dumpster Diving


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  • Dumpster Diving

    Never done it myself. But I do read a group called alt.dumpster I am amazed at some of the stuff they find and the waste that goes on.
    I asked them though, do police officers ever stop them or what. No one has ever said they have ever been arrested. It ranges from them getting out to see what they are doing and leaving to getting out and chasing them away with threat or arresting them.
    Have you guys ever dealt with this? I, personally, would never do it. But, the stuff they find that would go to waste is just amazing.

  • #2
    Never stopped dumpster divers, but we do have a county ordinance prohibiting taking recyclables from the bins at curbside. There was an old coot a few years ago who drove around in a pickup and was taking the cans from recycling bins on garbage day. It took a few citations before he got the message. When people do that, the garbage company doesn't make money from recycling and has to raise rates.

    The trolls, I mean transients (we call 'em trolls because they live under bridges), who push stolen shopping carts and take recyclables from garbage cans is okay, though. Those aluminum cans would just have gone to the dump otherwise.

    The stolen shopping carts is another issue. I saw one of the newsmagazine shows years ago featured a private detective hired by grocery stores to recover stolen shopping carts. He would drive up, ambush the transients and dump their trash out of the shopping cart and take it back to the store, saving the stores something like $150 a cart.

    I've always been tempted to arrest bums for shopping cart theft, but what do you do with the evidence? Property section would kill me after the first couple, and the stores have no one to come out and retrieve the cart.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


    • #3
      It really is amazing what these people find in dumsters though. And one thing that was interesting is that they sometimes come upon stuff employes have left to retrieve later. But, the waste.....It just boggles my mind. Clothes, computers, phones, drugstore items.....You name it. One man dumpster dived for a month and made almost $1,000 at a garage sale he had.
      I did get one item but it wasn't dumpster dived. These people set an old armoire outside by the curb to get trashed. I convinced my long suffering husband to haul it home. He just shook his head and said, What are you going to do with THAT thing? I refinished it at a cost of 50$ and resold it for 800$. Now, he says, "See any old furniture lately?" lol


      • #4
        As a PI, dumpster diving is an invaluable and rich source of info.

        A couple of years ago we were investigating a guy because his company thought he was running a competing business from his house. This was a multi-billion dollar international business, and our guy traveled overseas quit a bit.

        Thru D Diving we knew his mortgage company, the amount of his house note, monthly payments, who his phsyciatrist was and what medications he was taking in what amounts and when, where his wife shopped for everything, the size of clothes they wore, their credit card numbers, balances and monthly payments, where his daughter was attending college, her cell phone number and the numbers she called and when. I obtained blank Visa checks that were cashable or spendable. Of course I had everyones social security numbers and bank account numbers including balances. I knew everything about them, the food they ate, their favorite wines (cabernets)etc.

        Oh yeah, we also found enough evidence to have him fired and convicted in court.

        We didn't obtain all of this in one trip, but over a period of time.

        I've said this before, it's worth a shredder and use it. Or burn your trash!!!
        "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan


        • #5
          We shred all our mail, no matter what it is. My son is the one I worry about. His memory is very poor from his brain tumor and people are always retuning his wallet and checkbook. I told him to look into the chains that will hold them to his pants. One friend found his wallet and used his credit card. My son did not prosecute because he paid the bill. The kid came over one day, like old times and my H stopped him at the door and said, "You are no longer welcome in our home".
          But my son does shred his mail, thank goodness. He is always getting credit cards and stuff. He shreds them immediately.


          • #6
            I have some really cool things that came from the trash

            My ex-b/f loved to pick at the recycling center, and down at the shore they have a couple weeks a year where the rich people put out all of their *junk* to be carted away. He got parts of a big wooden fence and made me beautiful swinging closet doors for my office.

            He got a really old window and re-finished it and hung it from little chains between 2 rooms. He also re-finished a couple mirrors picked up along the road. And i have a great iron post with two holders that i hang candle lanterns from on the deck...also someone's trash! And two gorgeous old church benches that we used out under the trees until they eventually fell apart lol.

            He also got tons of bricks from the recycling center and made 2 patios in the yard. I dont have time to do it, but i think its a cool hobby.

            [ 06-19-2002: Message edited by: jellybean40 ]
            "You did what you knew how to do...and when you knew better, you did better." ~~Maya Angelou


            • #7
              Another thing they love is when classes end at colleges. The stuff the kids in dorms thow out when they are going home is AMAZING.
              I haven't been brave enough to go dumpster diving though. I've heard some scary stories. And if I ever fall in one, I'd never get out!
              And believe it or not, school dumsters are good too.
              Since I tutor from home, I go to the school a few weeks before the end of school and ask when they will be sending the books they were going to discard back to the wharehouse. They usually tell me when and to come get all I want before I go. As I pack my car up, I telll everyone going by and it's a mad rush for FREE textbooks. I never have to buy books for my tutoring.

              [ 06-19-2002: Message edited by: Mitzi ]


              • #8
                Actually, I know people that have done it........... in the dumpsters behind photo places. You'd be suprised what people will photo themselves doing and who you'll find pics of.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by txinvestigator1:
                  I've said this before, it's worth a shredder and use it. Or burn your trash!!!

                  Tx, pretty scary thought having people go through your garbage!! Is the shredder really enough? I can just imagine some very dedicated/insane person sitting there taping the pieces back together.
                  Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fast 1:
                    Is the shredder really enough? I can just imagine some very dedicated/insane person sitting there taping the pieces back together.
                    I use what's called a "cross-cut" shredder, meaning it makes small confetti-like chips rather than long strings of paper. While unlikely for anything less than CIA-level espionage, it is much easier to piece together a document when it's the long strings as opposed to the tiny pieces.

                    A LOT of credit-card fraud is possible through dumpster diving. When you receive that mailer from Capital One or MBNA touting "your exceptional credit history" and want you to carry one of their cards, before tossing it in the trash make sure it's shredded. MANY identity theft cases occur because people simply toss these into the trash (often unopened), where an enterprising fraudster simply changes the address (often a private "mail drop"), gets the card, charges up a storm, and then disappears. And then you often don't find out until you apply for other credit, and are denied.

                    Same goes with credit card receipts after the charges have appeared on your statement. Although many credit card receipts have much of the number blocked out, some still have the ENTIRE number and expiration date printed out. All a thief needs are these two numbers; they do NOT need the actual plastic card. This particular sort of crime has become popular with the rise of Internet shopping, since you can't present the actual card itself.


                    • #11
                      There was a deputy that I worked with that used to "DD" for porno mags. At the end of the month, the stores just tear off the covers and turn the covers in for credit, then dump the magazines. This clown hit the dumpster behind the store every time this happened. . .
                      6P1 (retired)


                      • #12
                        We used to have some magazine hunters on Midnights. The only complaints I'm familiar with are from Goodwill & Salvation Army for people getting into their collection bins. We have a couple of old men who go to McDonalds & Burger King to collect thrown out food to feed their hogs. Caught a transient one night with a garbage bag full of old partially eaten burgers in the back seat of his car & he didn't have any hogs. Yuck!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by txinvestigator1:
                 a shredder and use it. Or burn your trash!!!
                          I think a certain soon-to-be-ex Park Ranger from Colorado, facing a possible 20 year prison sentence for burning down half the state, might now think she should have bought a shredder instead!


                          • #14
                            Yep. But at least it looks like she may get up to five years to think about it.
                            6P1 (retired)


                            • #15
                              Must be because I was raised poor, and had to always work to have the nice school things, but man! I can't do that dumpster diving!

                              A friend used to ask me to go along on his trips, help him out. But it took just two trips, standing there on a public street watching this guy picking through other peoples trash, before I had to cancell on him.

                              There have times and places where I had to go through dumpsters as a part of a investigation, and in those instances I'd never say no. There was a reason for climbing in.

                              Last night I was reading that alt.dumpster news group; how odd people are.

                              Jim Burnes


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