Essay Preview: Dumpster Diving
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Lars Eighner called himself a scavenger, rather than someone who simply picked everything and anything out of the dumpster.. As his savings started running out, he had to use his intermittent income to cover his rent and depend on the dumpsters for his other necessities including food, toilet paper, medicine, books, furnishings, etc. Along with his dog ,Lizbeth , he would rummage through the dumpsters to find these items. Although he would rather spend a “comfortable consumer life,” he nevertheless learned a lot from being a scavenger . He begins with what is safe to eat. He says that in evaluating food, one must ask the question, “Why was this discarded?” He talks about methods to keep from food poisoning each scavenger needs to ask himself three questions to evaluate the safety of food. Use the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, also knowing the Dumpsters of a given area.
Eighner would become angry when one of his companions would question the safety of the food he offered. He felt they questioned his integrity by even thinking he would offer dangerous food.
His scavenging career began with pulling pizzas out of dumpsters. He knew the areas and times when pizzerias disposed of uneaten pizza. Such shops often had uneaten pizzas for a variety of reasons.
Eighner also recognized dumpsters located in areas that students frequented. He capitalized on their lack of food knowledge and the willingness to waste “daddys” money.
Eighner learned to scavenge gradually on his own and has taught the trade to several cohorts. Most divers come to recognize that they must restrict themselves to something that is immediately usable. They must learn to anticipate their needs and know their seasonality.
A true scavenger hates to see good items go to waste and leaves the items that are in good condition