Good morning everyone! I've had a few requests for tips on "trash pickin" or "dumpster diving" so here's my 101!
TRASH PICKIN LIKE A PRO!
When are trash pickup days in your community? For my area, it's Monday and Thursday, but just a mile down the road it's Tuesday and Friday.
What time does the trash get picked up in each neighborhood? I try to hit the early 7:30 pickups the night before. All others I have timed and I hit the neighborhoods in time order. I pick in some neighborhoods that pick up as late as 9:30 am.
What are the best days to trash pick? For me, it's the first day after the weekend. People clean their garages out on Saturday and Sunday and I usually find the best stuff then. With that said, sometimes it's worthwhile to drive around Sunday evening to see if they've put a pile out on the curb.
Other hot spots - People that are moving will usually put piles out before they move. Know which neighborhoods have a lot of homes for sale and visit them often. These are also good night time or early morning drive-bys.
Be aware of houses with workers or saws, etc outside. They may be remodeling or replacing floors. You can score cabinets & trim or even a good piece of carpet that you can have bound for a rug.
Types of neighborhoods good for trash pickin - I've found that the really ritzy neighborhoods (with the $1M plus homes) are often NOT the best places to trash pick. I guess they hold on to their stuff! The best neighborhoods for me are the middle-of-the-road additions, nice but not shi-shi.
Times of the year great for trash pickin - Right after Christmas is a great time and as soon as the weather turns nice people start cleaning their patios and garages and get rid of stuff.
Things to look for - I really don't have a rule here, just anything that catches my eye. I typically don't dig through people's garbage cans. I just look for things that are placed out on the curb. I usually grab and run, instead of inspecting. If I don't end up wanting it, I just put it back out with my trash.
Keep an open mind. Accessories and furniture can be repaired and/or painted. Upholstery can be cleaned. Items can be repurposed. My best finds are the things that people were too busy to fix!
DUMPSTER DIVING...Not for the faint of heart!
I haven't done much dumpster diving, but occasionally I'll look. I know many people that have found great stuff in the dumpster. Here are some tips if you are brave enough!
Attire - Wear sturdy waterproof gloves, a long sleeve shirt and pants, and closed toe ratty tennis shoes. You could get dirty! Bring hand sanitizer!!
Time to Go - Late at night is usually best for business dumpsters but anytime is good for apartment dumpsters. Don't forget a flashlight if you are going at night!
Bring a friend - It's fun and you want a buddy for safety reasons.
Bring large trashbags or boxes for your finds
Bring something you can hook and grab things out of the dumpster with - a stretched out hanger with the handle as a "hook" works well. A garden hoe works too.
So have I converted anyone to trash pickin? Happy hunting!