Electronics in the trash

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rolland B. Heiss, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    I had a little adventure/misadventure today after work. I dropped my co-worker off at his apartment complex and when I drove around the corner by the dumpster I noticed an LG flat screen TV sitting on top in plain view. Of course I stopped the car, got out and noticed that the screen was intact so it would most likely be a very easy fix if it didn't work. So I'm fixing to put it into the trunk of my car and I hear this voice which had drifted from the mouth of a very sour looking lady with clipboard in hand through the air and once the sound waves hit my ears my brain decoded the following: "What are you doing in our trash?". Now mind you, I wasn't in the trash as I was standing flat footed on the ground with one hand on the left side of a very nice looking 30 or 31 inch TV someone didn't want anymore. So I responded by saying that I had just dropped a friend off there and noticed that there was a TV someone threw away. She basically told me to get lost. So close and yet so far! You win some and you lose some. So it goes. More than likely the TV is gone for good now when I could have kept it from meeting an untimely fate. Yeah, I tend to personify things from time to time. The thought that often creeps into my mind crept in again as I was driving away... we are a very wasteful society generally speaking and if we don't want a thing, well... nobody else can have it either I suppose.
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    I believe dumpster diving is regulated by local ordinances. At my Cleveland home, it is technically against the law, but no one objects so long as the pickups that cruise the neighborhood the evening before trash day behave themselves. Many residents even separate their trash for the collectors. There have been problems where the collectors go into garages and collect stuff prematurely. Sounds to me like the lady over-reached, but she probably had the law on her side. You did right by walking away.


    Edit: Here is one of several links to to the legality: http://freegan.info/what-is-a-freegan/freegan-practices/urban-foraging/diving-and-the-law/ There is actually a SCOTUS case on the matter.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  3. Roderick Young


    Feb 22, 2015
    If I faced the situation you did, I would have done the same thing. I would have explained that I would try to fix the TV myself, but if she didn't like that, I would cave instantly and apologize. I'm a natural dumpster diver. It was how I got my start in electronics when I was young, and too poor to afford parts. And I still do it today, given the opportunity. But respecting the locals trumps any dumpster score, no matter how fabulous. If the discarded item(s) are on the sidewalk outside a house, I will sometimes go and knock on the door to make sure it's ok to pick it up. At an apartment complex, I wouldn't do that, though.
    Rolland B. Heiss likes this.
  4. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    I say head back in the middle of the night and pick it up. ;)

    Personally I do my best to not haul a load garbage to the city dump just because of all the potential goodies I would bring home. :p

    Our local city dump only asks that you weigh yourself after you dumped your trash then again on your way out with whatever you found. Strange thing is they always are happy to have people cart off stuff and have never charged a dime no matter what is taken out. :cool:
  5. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    I agree with you 100% Roderick and I also relate to being a natural dumpster diver at a similar percentage level! As a matter of fact, my first decent stereo system was driven by a great old Sansui receiver from the early 70's I'd fished out of a dumpster. I must have been in my teens and as it turned out the only thing wrong with that Sansui (that lasted for over a decade once it came into my possession) was a blown fuse. One sad day it finally burned out but if I'd known more I suppose I still could have fixed it and would still have it today. It is important to be respectful always and never make a mess! Whenever something still has use and value it is always better to utilize it as opposed to tossing it away. It is too bad some people don't seem to understand that.
  6. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
    This is yet another example of the paranoia into which society has descended --- The described consternation was formerly restricted to facilities where 'industrial espionage' was a liability --- Now it seems 'property rights' have taken on a 'range war' cast:rolleyes:

    Best regards
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
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  7. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    I'm assuming you meant to say that your local city dump asks that you weigh yourself when entering and exiting? Usually that is how it works and they don't seem to mind if you weigh more when you leave but interestingly enough they don't compensate you on the way out in that instance do they? :D But what you bring home is your compensation isn't it! :)
  8. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    Yes and no. A lot people with community trash get very sensitive to outsiders messing around the dumpster for two reasons. First, most such people aren't dumpster diving, they are unloading their own trash and making the people that are paying for the dumpster pay for their trash, too. We had a problem a few years ago with some people thinking that they could offload their stuff into our dumpster but they were dumping in so much stuff that the garbage company was hitting us with overage charges, and they were including stuff that was against the law such as paints and solvents that WE got fined. The second reason is that there are people that dumpster dive looking for private information that they can exploit for identity theft or to target homes for burglary. That's more of a concern with individual trash containers for individual homes, but it's increasingly on people's radars.
  9. Rolland B. Heiss

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    Sad but all too often true commentary WBahn. It's not like the old days... not that such things didn't happen then either but when they did it was with less frequency and intensity so to speak. As Roderick in a post above so appropriately stated, "But respecting the locals trumps any dumpster score...". In any walk of life there will always be those meaning to do well and those meaning to do wrong and harm. I do not understand the latter mentality. Good points you brought up.