Toledo Talk

Dumpster divers, but why?

Just got in from walking the dog, and a neighbor also noticed a truck (Chevy 1500 pickup, plates from Indiana) with had two people scrounging in the dumpster. This has been a common occurrence at this apartment complex here in Holland and my wife and I just attributed this to maybe hoarders, or those looking for other people's trash. But lately they have been hauling out scrap metal. I reckon it is their prerogative to look for anything to help out financially in these times. But for starters, they are not even residents of the complex, and the concern for a few of us is that they might start looking into apartments or start aiming for the AC units outside.

The one neighbor and myself went over in attempt to get a license plate, but the truck sped off quickly, which really raised suspicions. Is this even a legit concern to have for our complex?

created by djimpelr on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:21:07 pm     Other     Comments: 12

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Maybe they are freegans?

Though I thought freegans tended to do their dumpster diving at restaurants and retail stores.

(Grosses me out to think about eating food that came out of a dumpster though, even if it was in a sealed package.)

posted by mom2 on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:43:29 pm     #  

Could be. I'm just wondering why they sped off when they saw us walking way. Like little children caught in a bad act lol.

posted by djimpelr on Oct 10, 2011 at 10:51:24 pm     #  

I'd be a little concerned about people who might be scrounging under the guise of pulling out scrap metal but actually gathering information from receipts, bills etc. I would think an apartment complex dumpster would have a lot of paperwork with information.

posted by Danneskjold on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:02:34 pm     #  

Danneskjold's concern is exactly what I'd be worried about too. It might be wise to either contact your management office or speak to as many residents as you can about the importance of shredding everything. Most importantly, the credit card applications that come in the mail.

posted by dell_diva on Oct 11, 2011 at 09:00:34 am     #  

Well, I contacted management and basically this is not a big issue. I was informed that this is a common occurance at apartment complexes considering the amount of trash involved. Anything suspicious, obviously call the police.

I reckon I can just watch them for entertainment reasons.

posted by djimpelr on Oct 11, 2011 at 11:14:18 am     #  

I understand the security issues with dumpster diving, however, I am one. My company ships parts around the country and with the price of boxes from B & B Box and others, I more then pay for my time by scarfing boxes from selected dumpsters once a week. Because the orders are small (75-150 c.i.) my favorites are behind beauty supply houses and cell phone stores. Five dumpsters fulfill my needs. By the way, I do not "dive". I have a "grabber". I also feel good that the boxes can be used one more time before ending up in a land fill

posted by Trilby on Oct 11, 2011 at 11:57:50 am     #  

Thanks for the information and for the recycling. Recycling from commercial establishments makes sense. I have a little more touble understanding resudential/apartment complex dumpster diving though. Probably because I dont fully understand that there could be anything of value in them for scrapping. And there is the "yuck" issue. Recently an aquaintence, who lives in an apartment, threw out a ton of bedding, pillows etc. in alleviating a bed bug infestation.

posted by holland on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:08:25 pm     #  

Agree with holland in that I would think there would be more "yuck" factor in a residential/apartment dumpster than a retail one.

One would think an apartment dumpster would have a bunch of stuff like kitty litter, rotten food, and god knows what else. Yuck!

posted by mom2 on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:14:06 pm     #  

^^Dog crap...don't forget the dog crap...

posted by oldhometown on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:34:11 pm     #  

so, getting back to the concern about them actually looking for unshredded mail, yeah, I would spread the word amongst your neighbors. Local dumpsters are way more likely to be scrounged for personal info than landfills.

posted by nana on Oct 11, 2011 at 01:31:20 pm     #  

mom2------ lately it's specifically been metallic things i.e. like things the complex workers have been tossing (fencing, poles, drainage spouts). And with the inclusion of the pick-up truck (as opposed to the small sedan a few weeks ago, these people are aiming high.

Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Gorwing up back in Cincinnati there were a couple of notable "collectors". One drove an old ElCamino around on trash nights in my local in Roselawn and he never seemed to empty that car! It was always stacked in a nice snug pile of junk. There was also a guy with the typical beat-up truck and he knew the schedules like clock-work. Holiday and tax seasons were happy days for them.

posted by djimpelr on Oct 11, 2011 at 01:55:22 pm     #  

I've seen young women, good-looking and in their early 20's, diving into dumpsters picking for aluminum in Point Place recently. If the economy doesn't turn around soon, we'll be seeing people picking through the Hoffman Road landfill for scrap metal in the near future.

posted by milesdriven on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:05:06 am     #   1 person liked this