5/15/10

boat loads of trash

well school is out the university kids have no reason to stay here and i guess its just too much to ask that they take their unwanted things to the mission or thrift store.  i mean, they do live 5 or more blocks away from it and who can ask them to drive their bst's (big stupid trucks) all that distance to unload trash right? 

tod and i dont need much, dont want much but its irresistable to not take a peek inside the dumpsters.  i thought it was fitting that last night while students and parents were all dressed up walking on campus for part one of graduation that tod and i were on our bikes racing to dumpster after dumpster before the storm hit.  i have never gone dumpster diving such as i have here in texas.  and to tell the truth it is a little intimidating and sometimes demoralizing, especially when you hear the voice in your head rattle on assumed thoughts of those who might see you.  i could just hear those students' thoughts....glad they have an education so they dont have to be a middle aged dumpster diver.  tod had no shame and i aspire to that.  after all, we are smart yes for getting nearly brand new shoes for free?  and when i reached into a bag and found this hand stapler i felt waves of undeniable joy.

i wish i liked super perfumy shampoos and body care products because those items were tossed out by the basket full.  you name it and we found it.  i found a nice lightweight blue blouse and rolls of unopened paper towels as well as pens and little containers to hold stuff.  it truly boggles the mind what people throw away.  we are still a  hugely wasteful society, if this much stuff is thrown away just at this dinky university imagine all the other schools this time of year, what they must throw out. i understand the students have a limited time and they have to be out of the dorms.  i understand they are zooming home and can't take all this shit with them but how is it possible they are so clueless or the university is so clueless or careless that measures aren't taken to at least TRY to recycle this stuff?  one guy saw us looking through the dumpster and walking towards it as we were leaving, he yelled, hey do you want a printer?  HUH??????  it looked new and perfectly good but i already have two.  perhaps if i weren't on my bike i would have taken it myself to the mission. 

24 comments:

Tracy said...

Sounds like that school needs someone to set up a recycling program, Paula;)

paula said...

i know. i lie in bed thinking about it last night. the onus is on me aint it.

ArtPropelled said...

Man I would love to do that! The dump is a no go area here, otherwise I'd be there.

Kim Hambric said...

Those Texas students sound a bit more wasteful than the Penn State students, but I've not been dumpster diving after they've left. I do cruise the alley behind me & have never found much of interest.

I do envy you your new stapler, though.

And, like you, I'm doing the students are leaving dance. Just getting ready to head over to campus and look at the graduates and feed squirrels. I don't think the graduates need feeding, not when they drive around in cars nicer than mine.

andrea said...

I'm beginning to think I need to do a little dumpster diving. Those are treasures! The staple gun is so much nicer than the one I have, bought in 1980 when I was at university! (I'm not a hoarder -- quite the opposite in fact -- but I know what's worth saving and what isn't!) Funny, when I was at uni, living on student loans and crappy jobs, I was incredibly frugal. I never lived on campus, though, so maybe that's the difference? I was so frugal that I'd use toilet paper when I had a cold because tissues seemed so extravagant! I think there's a real art in only getting what you need and if you have more than you need, finding a rightful home for the good stuff.

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

I'm laughing out loud--what indescribable waste! It truly boggles the mind. When I was a student, I lived the aesetic life (not aesthetic) out of neccessity. Once I saw an acquaintance dumping loads of body creams and face creams in the trash. I was too proud, and a little disgusted, to want any of it.

paula said...

i'm sure its been done, but we could all start a dumpster dive blog exhibiting our finds....dont forget free donuts behind the donut shop (in the dumpster of course)

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

Paula, I bet you could put together a pretty good proposal, one that YOU could benefit from as well as the U and the students too. And I bet there are more like minded students there than you think.

I would love to find something cool in the garbage but historically I have had very little luck with that. I tend to find ONLY the real garbage. My stars don't seem to align with the dumpster's:)

I went to art college, and we were ALL hoarders, if someone didn't keep everything single thing they had (very rare) there was always someone who would take it off their hands. I still have the ugliest Beethoven lamp ever that an old roommate gave me because it wouldn't fit in his car;)

paula said...

i like knowing that you guys were all aware of saving things...i wonder did you all pay for school yourself? maybe that has something to do with it. when college kids are driving cars bought by mom and dad that are way newer and nicer than what most of us drive, how can they worry about what they toss?
and tracy...i think you might be right, there has to be some students who care. wonder if i have the brains to get this done. not to mention time....hmmmm

Daphne Enns said...

I saw the stapler and gasped!

Our children gathered up their unwanted toys and have been having yard sales. Of course they aren't very organized.

Today we bought all of the toys from our children and now that we own them we are dropping them off at a thrift store. Half of them came from there anyway!

Today in Winnipeg, there is a city wide notice to put items that you don't want anymore onto the front boulevard and mark it as free. Anyone driving or walking can then take what they want or need. I love it!

paula said...

very cool daphne, i'll bet your kids are having a blast too. awesome about the free stuff for people.

i do wish i had a building here in town i could make into paula wahla world...stuff to trade art to buy things to learn and share.

andrea said...

I'm finding this all very interesting as I still have that college mentality though I can actually afford to buy tissues now! :) I regularly purge quality unneeded items, though, and donate them to various charities because I know there are needier people out there. My community has had a great initiative for something like 15 years now called clean-up week every spring. Both useful and not-so-useful items are put on the curb on the weekend and there are hordes of people who go around picking up items to reuse or sell or refurbish for use. Some smart individuals make a killing collecting scrap metal. Almost everything we've ever put out has been picked up and I've collected a great swivel chair and a couple other things from my block alone. After it's all picked over the garbage trucks come around during the week and collect the rest for the dump. It's surprising how little is left behind!

donauluft said...

gorgeous post!
you would not believe how old I am, if I tell you, for me it is impossible to pass a dumpster without casting a glance. I am used to do that since I have been a student living in a flat share...Its great to find something unexpected!

paula said...

andrea, another reason canada sounds like a good place to live. sigh

of course now viktoria i want to know how old you are :) i love that you have to glance into dumpsters.

CTStudios said...

Perhaps it's a bit of entitlement on the part of these kids. It's that great attitude of not having to bother dragging the stuff home to perhaps use next semester, the Parents will buy more. No need to save, conserve, be responsible ... just spend. Sadly, it part of what spurs our economy.

Ashamed of dumpster diving .. Not. Their parents should be really happy to know that, at least, someone cared about the things they gave those kids.

paula said...

i hope you are right...something tells me if the kids are that way their parents might be as well?
where does entitlement come from i wonder...

merci33 said...

where does entitlement come from i wonder

That's the 64K question isn't it...most likely from generations of mining the earth for all of her resources and acting like there's no tomorrow.

I vote for taking action where you are...you seem well suited to be the one to initiate the recycle program concept.

layers said...

as someone who is always on the lookout for old, rusty, weathered, used junk and papers and books, I have a feeling I would not have been too excited to find all those almost full bottles of shampoos and such.. I can just imagine what those kids who have just been through 4 years of pampered college life threw away- that some day when they are looking for a job might wish they had back :-)

donauluft said...

HaHa..about my age...in 2 month I´m exactly between 50 and 60.

Colleen Kole said...

A great FRONT page article on dumpster diving in our local newspaper yesterday and creating meals from them-called "freeganism". I like dumpster diving better as there is just more adventure in those words-and the process. I will send to you!

paula said...

donna i was just reminded of why i wasn't as giddy...it was that we weren't finding scrappy metal things! duh!

you got one handful of years of me viktoria :)

colleen, yeah know all about freeganism ...we call it donut diving ;. cool you got a front page article on it in your town. and dumpster diving does sound more fun!

sarala said...

I live just a block from a university. Doing a bit of diving myself tempts me but I doubt I'd go for it. Too many people around here that I know.

paula said...

interesting isn't it...that is IS embarrassing right? i mean what if someone saw you that knew you, would they think you are nuts?