Monday, November 19, 2007

Dumpster Diving is saved in my home town!

A local borough assemblyman brought up the spectre of a law which would penalize and fine people caught dumpster diving at any of the local trash collection sites around town. At the public meeting to vote on this (ridiculous) potential law, the borough meeting hall was swamped with dedicated recyclers, dumpster divers and concerned townsfolk. Literally dozens of people signed up to speak against the proposed law and during an incredible 5 hours, the whole idea was unanimously voted down by any and all concerned. Go Fairbanksans! Fight for your right to Dive! Read the newspaper article....

This town has NO RECYCLING whatsoever. Folks like myself (and now I'm reassured there are many, many of us) are the only dam diverting useful materials and items away from the landfill. Our efforts cost the city nothing! At many, but not all, of the garbage collection sites (called Transfer Stations), there are covered, open air platforms where useful items can be left to be shared with whomever wants them. These Transfer Station Platforms are fabulous.....but too often I see people throwing perfectly good things----household goods, furniture, clothing, wood, windows, etc.----into dumpsters when the platform is a scant 30 feet away. Sadly, some of the best things I've found at the Transfer Station were IN dumpsters, not placed on the re-use pad. Sad! In a wonderful turn of events, one speaker at the borough meeting suggested that instead of fining people for pulling things out of dumpsters, the city should be fining people for tossing useful things INTO dumpsters.

If you want to read about an old post of mine where I wax lovingly and poetic on the Transfer Station, look here...

or here....

or here.

The very, very best thing that Fromage and I found together was a cast iron, five and a half foot, clawfoot bathtub. (And yes, it was very, very hard to get out of the dumpster!) It has some small cosmetic damage to the porcelain, but I had the rusty exterior sand-blasted ($100) and then I sealed it with rustoleum ($10), painted it a pretty color ($15) and bought plumbing and hardware pieces online ($250) and scrubbed it till it sparkled (elbow grease=priceless). This restored, once land-fill bound tub is my sweet respite for a hot bath after a cold ski. Given that a junky, four foot tub was for sale for $600, and I priced a new tub at $1000 locally, plus another $1000 to have it shipped to Alaska.....you can see how I got a fabulous deal from chez trash.

I'm proud to be a dumpster diver.

Tell me about your dumpster/trash finds! Just click the "comments" button below. As I've said so often before.....I love comments.