Comment of the Day: Lords of the Flies

COMMENT OF THE DAY: LORDS OF THE FLIES “I’ve found having good relationships with the dumpster divers can be beneficial. While, obviously, we have to be careful of those fishing for information (identity theft, etc.) –– a lot of what we throw away is still very useful: I like to know that it is being used in the best way, even if it makes no financial sense for me to do so. At my business, we have several local characters each with their own wants and needs. One comes through and extracts every piece of large metal (using axes, pickaxes, tools, whatever it takes) –– door handles, buckets, etc., cleans them up and recycles them. Another makes his weekly run on different days, looking for every can in our recycling dumpster. The final one comes through twice a week collecting pallets we stack up for him, so he can go sell them to a local used pallet company. The first two would be considered criminal acts under the law, and there’s no way in hell I’d report them. If they found someone diving for info, they’d drive them off –– because they need to protect their interests and ours to keep access.” [drone, commenting on Mayor Parker Asks City Council To Decriminalize Diving in Public Dumpsters]

6 Comment

  • @Drone – Congratulations on being a kind, compassionate human being. Some of the hateful comments were very disturbing to me. We all have to get by, by whatever means works for each of us and we are all part of a larger food chain.

  • Very interesting take on it. If someone’s dumpster diving for cans, they’ll prevent someone diving for identities. I’s sort of like Jane Jacobs’ argument that if a bunch of neighbors are hanging out on a stoop late at night, they’ll prevent a mugger or rapist from hiding under that stoop.

  • Kevpat, thank you. One of the nice parts about living in the city is the interconnectedness between all of us – each thing we do creates new opportunities for someone else. It’s important to me that my business get the maximum value out of everything that goes on – and effective recycling of every piece of useful waste keeps costs down in the long run, while allowing others to do it keeps my disposal costs as near to zero as possible. We don’t throw away any food waste, but if we were doing some sort of food processing, I’d try and find a way to make any useful waste of that sort to be made available in ways it could do something other than fill a hole in the ground. I hate the idea of paying to bury something.

  • Most dumpsters are NOT public, but I have no problem with people going through them as long as they don’t throw garbage all over the place, as many divers do. But please, don’t tear open my trash sacks and leave garbage all over my yard. Pretty please?

  • i quite like dumpster divers- for the same reasons that drone outlined above.
    we live in the 1st ward, which has no recycling pickup, and while we do pay a company to come get most of our recyclables there are always plenty of things we’ll put out on the curb for whoever might want it (neighbors, homeless people, artists…).

    i also came here from Madison, WI, where dumpster diving is an art and pastime for about 3/4 of the population (some hyperbole but not that much!), so i’m used to it.
    Houston is a VERRRY different place that Madison is though, so i can see people getting upset about it at first i guess.

  • Nice, but it reminds me of some kind of 3rd world capitalism.