My Dumpster Diving Vlog 1

The Chinese idioms says “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” or “你的垃圾,或许是另一个人的宝藏” became true recently for me.

Life had been hard recently when youtube decided to punish small youtube creators like me making it harder for videos to be visible or suddenly flag your videos for “not suitable for monetisation”.

So I had to think of other ways to spend my time making more money, yes I can do UberEats or some other options but I need some freedom & excitements and have the ability to give to others when I can.

I happen to come across a Facebook group call “Freegan in Singapore” that promotes dumpster diving to find food that supermarkets threw away to eat.

The news picked up the story and ran with it.

So on 1st December 2017, I went downstairs to search for “treasure” that other people threw away.

At first I am very disappointed to find nothing interesting but eventually I got surprised at the number of furnitures, old television sets, toys, stationary and other stuffs that’s useful being thrown away.

The secret is timing, not many people are cleaning their homes during the day time in weekdays but holidays & weekend are the best time to go hunting for objects below HDB flats.

Unfortunately, not many people sort out the useful & extremely awful stuff for dumpster divers hence I usually prepared a work glove to handle the messy stuff.

My usual dumpster diving carry bag contains the following

  • Small torch light that uses rechargeable 18650 batteries to shine into dumpsters
  • Recycle reusable bag
  • Small portable fan that uses 18650 battery to cool down when weather is hot
  • One or two work gloves for cleanliness
  • My usual sling bag for other stuff like wallet, extra 18650 batteries, keys, coins, smartphone
  • Electric Unicycle for fast & efficient patrols

Knowing my own limitations to carry heavy stuff, I won’t grab large furnitures but small ones like broken chairs or mini-tables are treasure to me.

Then come the treasure of “just expired” food thrown away by people, it’s like water found in the desert and such trash are usually gone VERY QUICKLY.

Warnings thou, some expired food are not friendly to your health… The key is to identify the type of expiry date written there.

Best by date means best tasting date, after that the taste may be weird but it won’t kill you.
Use by date is similar to best by date but do check for foul smell & taste
Expiry date is normal date that it will be spoiled but some dry food doesn’t go bad that easily.
Manufactured date is NOT expiry date so double check for used by or expiry date.

Do taste but not swallow to find out if the food is NASTY sour, visually inspect if it’s mouldy, bite and see if it’s rock hard, smell if it smells sourish, and if it’s any of the above…spit it out and wash your mouth…and throw away that food.

For certain stuff that I find is not useful for me or my family, I will either give it away if it’s cheap or put on Carousell and sell it cheaply.

I found the act of going out to find “treasures” can be tiring but rewarding for certain nights either by finding the right loot or have a great exercise even with electric unicycle.

Rules that I have for myself are the following

  1. Only take stuff near a rubbish bins or in a pile of rubbish or in a rubbish bin/recycle bin
  2. Never take stuff near homes as sometimes they just put out in public for their own use
  3. Always give away cheap but useful stuff that I don’t need or cannot consume fast enough
  4. Never take stuff that old folks are taking like cardboards
  5. Have fun

I’m still relatively new at this dumpster diving but I feel it’s the freedom & excitement of finding loot that’s useful or valuable make me keep coming back for more…if you don’t mind the smell & getting a bit dirty.

This hobby is not for everyone especially those who work daily may be too tired to do this hobby but I feel great when giving away stuff that others may need and finding something useful to enrich my family & my life.

After this blog post, it’s time to go downstairs just like those RPG games to find loot boxes & open them to find treasures that other people left behind.