Author Topic: Dumpster diving finds  (Read 4682 times)

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  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Dumpster diving finds
« on: July 28, 2015, 10:38:48 AM »
I've poked my head in clean looking dumpsters for awhile now. Never find anything truly exciting. Until . . .

I discovered an open top dumpster near one of my work sites. Usually just has trash/junk in it. Usually has something useful looking, but not worth it to me. Once it had a floor buffer with a cut cord. It looked heavy, so I left it.

Once it had a 50' 8 gauge extension cord with a nicked outer cover. That one came home.

THEN . . . DA DA DA! GOLD!  I found 2 highly specialized electronic devices that I recognized as having been recently replaced with upgraded equipment. Both came home. Both were rudimentally tested - and worked. Both were placed on a peer to peer sales site. Both sold. Net income ~ $3000.
Not a typo. $3000. I think I'm hooked!

Of course I can't tell anyone in real life about this, because 1.) they'll say ew! 2.) they'll poach my scores!

What awesome stuff have you found?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 10:46:04 AM »
don't do it regularly.. Got a tip once that a grocery store that was closing down was likely committing insurance fraud by throwing out all their frozen food claiming the temps roar above a safety limit the night before.

Freezer full of naan-wiches and Jimmy Dean breakfast crap

Always lots of stuff on the side of road worth keeping an eye out for. Water heaters and the like.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 12:16:05 PM »
$3k, holy smoke! Can't say I've made much money, but I have had some nice scores, mostly curbside.  My best scores include a complete, unused, turkey fryer setup ($50+ new), a wheel type measuring device ($70+ new) and 3 dog cages ($50-100 new, sold one for $20).  A antique german footlocker ($?) and a slightly damaged Ethan Allen Oriental Rug (Used for several years then sold for $20). Two kegs (got the $10/ea deposits back in cash) I have also heated my house with yard waste wood convienently cut to firewood size for trash pickup.   Move outs are especially productive, I've picked up gobs of smaller household items.  Once I ER, I plan on hitting my alma mater (1 hour drive away) during move out weekends.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 01:02:26 PM »
Haven't done it in a long time - but $3000 - yay for you!!!

My past finds included glass table tops that I use for DIY outdoor table projects. One day I lucked out with a nice big thick glass top just leaning up against the dumpster - cousin cut the top to fit my free table I got from a friend.

A small, very pretty wood desk, also just sitting next to the dumpster - painted it ivory and paired it with a $5 thrift store chair.

When I moved out of that apartment I placed my leather, embroidered Texas cowboy boots next to that dumpster - they were gone in less than a minute.

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 02:25:20 PM »
Once I grabbed an extension cord - it appeared the reason it was thrown away was because it was wrapped with pink ribbon from one end to the other. I untangled everything, took it to the pawn shop and got $5 for it.

Once a grocery store had an entire dumpster full of metal shelving. Took that to the recycle and got maybe $15?

Lots of plastic milk crates, buckets of various sizes, once a full-sized plastic trashcan. Not selling those, even though I've had offers. :D

Plastic organizer stackable shelves. Sold those for $5 or so.

Thousands of dollars worth of groceries, including fancypants organic milk, free-range chicken, and tons of other stuff I would never spend that much money on. Just last night I grilled a big salmon that I dumpstered.


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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2015, 02:21:41 PM »
I've mostly kept dumpster items, but have turned over a few for cash. At one time, our apartment was about 80% furnished from dumpster items or hand-me-downs. My favorite was a coffee table, solid wood (not pine). DH showed me how to fill the crack with wood glue, then sand over it so the sanding shavings stuck to the glue...the crack nearly disappeared! Then I refinished. We had that thing for years, then passed to my sister then Mom. Eventually she gave it to a friend. Such a good return on my time!


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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 11:25:13 PM »
I don't have dumpsters nearby but people do leave things on the curb and in the bins in the alley.  So far I've found:

- 2 functioning electric hair clippers.  After cleaning I used them to cut my own hair.
- 1 electric oil heater with remote control.  I printed the manual off the web and will flog it on Craigslist this winter.  Should get at least $15.
- Assorted kitchen utensils, tools, books, and 3 new in the box Lego Toys I gave to Goodwill.
- A third print Scrabble game with all the wood tiles and stands, board in excellent condition. I gave it away.
- A nice new box of ball point pens and misc. office supplies.
- A ceramic/glass storage container for dry foods.  Needs a new gasket though.
- 1 plastic milk crate. I use it to hold items under the kitchen sink.
- I could have picked up 3 color CRT TVs at various times but decided against it.

I like to scavenge but can't be bothered with keeping too much.  Maybe it's selective attention but people tend to be throwing out better stuff than in years past.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Dumpster diving finds
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 09:32:45 PM »
Call 911 - You will love this guy...