Smooth (Dumpster) Moves!

Hi all!

This week has been a fruitful one for diving in the Stanford dumpsters. We are noticing some patterns people’s disposal habits: students love to clear out useful things on the weekends and throw them in the dumpsters. Clothes, unused beauty products, jewelry, bags and backpacks, house (or dorm room) plants. All this can be salvaged on a good (or is it bad?) weekend. We also got a major haul of health related products (teas etc) from one single trash bag. Maybe this person was abandoning their New Year’s resolution? We also always find so many recyclables and compostables in the dumpsters. It’s a bummer but we do our best to get those “very recyclable items” out of the landfill-bound dumpsters.

The most interesting find: two cases of Traditional Medicinal Smooth Move tea. That’s twelve boxes of this expensive, natural laxative. Feel free to contact us if you want some or all, we definitely do not need this much, if any.

Some other note-worthy treasures: a great backpack! Looks like it was thrown away because it has a small hole… Disappointing, but it’s our gain!

This was a good week for finding clothes: we dug up a pair of Taos flats (pictured above). These are $80 shoes that look like new! They fit a friend of ours and she liked the style, so they’ve found a new home. We also found some perfectly good khakis, a black jacket, some black Levi jeans, some bras and an entire bag full of clothes (mostly tshirts, sweatshirts pants). What we and our friends won’t keep is going into the Roble Reuse, a clothing swap in our dorm, or to a thrift store here in town. Along with these clothes was a whole lot of cheap jewelry (some of which has been adopted) and makeup. Most of that was already used, but we did find a friend’s favorite lipstick, unopened.

We also discovered two great reusable water bottles and probably twenty tupperware containers AND their lids (so rare). The tupperware and some of the Smooth Move tea has been adopted by an on-campus coop house. And the canteens will go to the thrift store.

Here is one day of goods from the Roble and Meyer dorm dumpsters (only 2 bins!)

Also, we have a theory about the dumpsters knowing exactly what we need. My orchid plant, salvaged from a dumpster a couple months ago, was crushed in an unfortunate incident of someone sitting on it… And the very next day, we found another orchid!

I have also been running out of my homemade toothpaste. I only have a few days left of it, and I was going to need to buy some coconut oil soon to make more. Today, we found a jar of organic coconut oil almost full. Just perfect. Edith was also needing more hangers, and they appeared! There is so much to be found in the dumpsters, and sometimes its just what you need.

We have also found the usual assortment of dried fruit (this is pretty common in the dumpsters), mainly mango the last few times. Why, of all things, do people throw this away? It literally doesn’t go bad. Well, we enjoy it! Always a good addition to our snack box. There were also some other various Traditional Medicinal teas that the hall has been enjoying.

Some other random finds include: lots of unused tampons and pads (still in their boxes), a functioning umbrella, protein powder mix, weird men’s weight loss pills (unopened), a couple cloth grocery bags, a bag full of delicious coconut crackers.

We also always find peanut butter! I guess people just are too lazy to reach down with a knife once the jar is half empty?

Well, as always, a dumpster diving has proved a very interesting experience. You don’t really know American culture until you are submerged in a dumpster of things people no longer want or need.

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