I was walking home from the post office today when I spotted a huge dumpster out in front of a house, filled to the brim with what looked like a lot of wood and cardboard. I had the dog on a leash and our son in the stroller, so I wasn’t in much of a position to dumpster dive at that point, but this evening I went back with my car. I rang the doorbell and asked if I could take some of the wood; the lady said it was all going to the dump anyway, so I could have what I wanted.
I ended up with five pieces of wood, all about five feet long, 12 inches wide, and about half an inch thick. They will be perfect for the shelves I want to build in the craftroom we’re going to make in our basement (currently the basement is unfinished, so it’s a blank slate as far as what we want down there). Not only were they free, but I prevented the wood from ending up in the landfill. That’s about as green as a building material can get.
There are a few nails sticking out of the boards, and some of them are a bit dirty. But I’m planning to paint the shelves the same color as the walls, and I think they’ll end up looking great. I also snagged a four foot section of thick wooden dowel. I don’t have an immediate use for it, but I know that they are a bit pricey in the hardware store, and I couldn’t let it end up in the landfill.
Have you ever dumpster dived? Did you ask permission, or just go for it? Broad daylight or in the dark? What did you find? I recently borrowed this book from the library, and loved every page. If you’re into dumpster diving or just curious, it’s a great read.