Friday, June 6, 2008

Dumpster Diving

We have finally finished painting the interior of the house. With hubby back at work and the baby and I "solo" for the weekend, we headed into North Pole to visit the playground and poke around town a bit.

Ok. I have officially found a new hobby, which is going to the dump. This is going to sound corny to folks who have lived in the country all thier lives, but for this city-girl, who has always had trash mysteriously picked up by trash fairies from the street corner, the dump is an amazing place.

Another thing I love about the Alaskan mentality is the desire to give old things new use. There is an area at the dump for things that people consider to still have a useful purpose, but they no longer want for themselves. After spying for a couple weeks and discovering that it's not just street-bums that pick through this gold mine of stuff, I got brave enough to exit the minivan and poke through the "someone else's trash is someone else's treasure" while my husband ducked down in his seat and hoped we weren't noticed.

I can not believe the things people throw away! If my husband hadn't stopped me, I might have carted the enitre city of North Pole's garbage back home with me. Ok, maybe not that extreme BUT... here I was stupidly looking through the yellow pages for places to find good condition winter boots on resale. Little did I know that I could come up with an entire collection for FREE from the dump! (with various colors to match my outfits, even!) The area was full of clothing in good condition, winter coats in good condition, furniture (um, if I knew how to recover sofas, many could have been saved), freezers, washers and dryers, even a trailer (looked like it needed a new wheel?), several desks that really only needed a paint job, many kids' toys, and lots of books and crafting supplies. And that was only in one afternoon!

I left the boots behind (alas, they weren't my size) but found an entire collection of children's books that once I wiped down with a few clorox wipes, have been keeping Madderbeans somewhat amused. And once my husband realized that I wasn't going to make him start wearing free clothes from the dump, he praised me for being so resourceful (a.ka.-not spending the bulk of his paycheck in Barnes and Nobles on books that out baby is only going to drool and spit-up on).

My point to this rambling- I never saw this in my old city, and dumpster diving was something only hobos did. Um, not to say anything bad about the Southland, but Montgomery, AL had a very rudimentary recycling program, and most of the time, it was a lot easier to just throw something in the trash than it was to find another home for it.
I really do admire the effort of local residents to seperate trash and to think about thier fellow neighbor. Sure, you might not need that desk or those books anymore, but somewhere, one of your neighbors is STILL waiting for the Army to deliver her furniture and trying to amuse a 7 month old baby with a handful of blocks and a stuffed animal (Thank you, neighbor!)

1 comment:

Susan Stevenson said...

The *recycle* area at the dump has been dubbed "NEEDFUL THINGS" by Steve and I. If you're a Stephen King fan, he wrote a book called Needful Things about a store where you could find anything you wanted. We always put our 'good trash' in that area, in hopes that someone will re-purpose it and get some use out of it. Our old Queen size posturepedic mattress/boxspring set was unloaded from our truck for us and never even hit that platform! :D