A blog about spending wisely in your twenties, with advice on everything from cooking to saving money on gas; how to teach yourself to save money instead of spending it, traveling without breaking the bank, and much more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Collegiate Level Dumpster Diving

In Southern California, you don't have to physically dive into a dumpster to dumpster dive. People are constantly leaving furniture and appliances at the end of their driveways or just outside of dumpster areas in apartment complexes. People love to throw perfectly serviceable items away.

Last week Fiance and I went to a buddy's graduation at a small private university, and we discovered on accident that dorm dumpsters on move out day are pretty much treasure chests. There were 6+ couches, 2 or three futons, computers, monitors, televisions, printers, speakers, stereo systems, a keyboard (as in casio), fancy calculators, cds, dvds, clothes, laundry baskets, and probably a lot more. Had I not been in heels, I might have dug a little deeper into the pile of electronics. As it was, we came away with a TI-84 calculator (he's going to sell it on ebay), a printer-scanner combo (though we have 6 printers in this house, not one of them is my printer/scanner, which disappeared two apartments ago), a card for free frozen yogurt at Golden Spoon, a nice document organizer, a hole puncher, season one of the UK Version of The Office, and twenty four cents.

There were a few funny looks from the kids moving out, but really - if these kids are dumb enough to be throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, they're too stupid for me to care what they think of me. As usual, I'm somewhat mind-boggled by what people will just throw away. Even more disturbing was that a lot of this stuff had clearly been broken as it was discarded. Another printer/scanner combo had obviously just been chucked onto the concrete and shattered. Same thing with a television. The glass shards from both were all over the area (another reason I didn't dig too deep.) I can understand not wanting to schlep a television, or even just a printer, back to mom & dad's, but why destroy the thing when you throw it out?

Either way, I'm going to be making a point of swinging through the local universities at the beginning of summer from now on. I might never have to pay to replace a printer again. And maybe next year I'll nab season two of The Office.

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