Masoninblue and Crane-Station dive a food dumpster in Western KY.

About a month ago, a reader from Poland left this comment on my YouTube channel, in response to our first-ever diving video, at the charity dumpster:

That’s possible only in America!

In Polish dumpsters we have only stinky dump, and i mean it, just dump.

What you have here it’s not dumpster as i know it, just place when people leave useful stuff.

I think i’ll just move to America and live from Dumpster diving, it would higher standard of live than i have right now. :P

kapusniaczek111 1 month ago

I believe that we need to keep in mind in this country the amount of usable waste that we send to the landfills each day. I also urge folks, at the very least, to be mindful of plastic bags and reduce their number in the trash, and to become familiar with your local recycle center or box, and use it when you remember to.

The above quote was a wake up call for me, and a reminder to be aware of and grateful for what we do have, even though we consider ourselves poor. This quote brought new meaning to the ‘give us this day our daily bread’ part of the prayer.

We have been consistently eating out of dumpsters since December or January. I had always been a scrap metal diver, and I could not really wrap my mind around food diving. Once we started doing this, we were amazed.

My parents are in their late eighties, and they are aghast; having lived through the depression when there were no dumpsters, my parents are avid recyclers, in Seattle, a recycle-friendly city.

We are fortunate to live in a small town in this regard. When I last visited Seattle and looked at dumpsters there, a good many were off-limits. Whole Foods in the university district, for example, has a no-access compacting dumpster that I am certain contains an unbelievable amount of good, nutritious food.

When Masoninblue became a ninety-niner, we had to make this adjustment, because the local food banks are overwhelmed, limiting visits to just two each calendar year. Further, we do not qualify for food stamps; he receives early social security retirement, and so we supplement it with discarded items (if we lose that we will have to find a home in the street).

Our food dumpster has a pretty steady stream of visitors, human and otherwise, and the staff at the store does not mind if divers park closer to the box than we do. We are in the habit of parking up the little hill, as you can see.

The heat is always a factor, especially with meats and other perishables, so we have an idea always, sometimes to the hour, when things will arrive. In the winter, all of the meats are frozen.

We have been so blessed with food that we now limit what we bring home. Today we declined any of the bread, because we simply do not eat it. I took two cantaloupes, one box of blueberries, some onions, some lemons, and some other sealed fruit-with-jello cups.

We also tended to our dumpster honey bees. They live in a nearby hive, I assume, and they love to come to the dumpster and gorge themselves on fruit juices. I have a photo that I will share another day.

The bees are not shy like the mockingbirds and the squirrel; they do not leave when we get there. Today I opened several packages of blueberries for the bees, especially if I saw juice in the box. They waited patiently and then settled onto the berries, almost before I could open the boxes.

We also keep an eye on the bees, and have, on several occasions, moved heavy 30-gallon black bags that were carelessly tossed in on top of everything. We move these bags and make sure ‘no bee is left behind,’ or trapped.

Finally, I misspoke in this video: The bread is good until August 20, 2011 (a few days from now), and there were more blueberries than strawberries there. It is almost the end of the season for blueberries, I think.

For vegetables, we have been living on broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini and cauliflower, for the most part. In all, we are very happy with the foods, and while we are sad that so much goes to waste, we remain thankful.

I envision a world someday without waste and without a need to go looking.