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Dumpster Diving For Food and Profit - Freeganism

Updated on March 19, 2013

Would You Eat Discarded Food or Dig in a Dumpster for Valuables?

With today's economy, you begin to see more people pulled over on the side of the road, picking through trash or inside dumpsters. It isn't just the homeless trash-picking or dumpster-diving anymore. Many people have made a lot of money by digging in the trash and many do it just to survive. Not all are so hungry they would eat anything. Some called "Freegans" do it just to be politically correct or to protest livestock raising methodology. This website is about all of those people, with videos. It also gives you some tips on what you can do in the trash to make money or even save on your taxes. Have fun and let us know what you think about this information!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Photos and Illustrations are either original or in the Public Domain.

Eating garbage
Eating garbage

What is a "Freegan" or What is "Freganism?"

To put it plainly, it is s a politically correct term for dumpster-diving. Freegans live "The Free Life", where they feel the best things in life are free. "Freegans" challenge consumer society by eating and re-using what the rest of us throw away. Their way of life is called "Freeganism". As opposed to Veganism, Freegans are not Vegetarians. They will eat anything, including meat that has been discarded or even roadkill, at the extremes. Watch the following video of a man who does survive solely on roadkill. Not my lifestyle, but many are practicing it.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

How Far Will You or Anyone Go? - The Freegan Man Who Eats Roadkill!

An artist must be careful not to throw his ideas out with the trash.

Trash has given us an appetite for art - Pauline Kael

George Costanza Did it, Would You? - A Seinfeld Favorite

Save on Taxes - Donate what you pick!

Save on Taxes
Save on Taxes

Ever wonder how you can save on your taxes by picking through the trash? Think about this simple way to cut way back on your taxes. When you are driving down the road and see something along the road, in the trash that someone is throwing away, stop and ask the homeowner if they are indeed throwing away that item (you always want to be sure that they are throwing it away). For instance, if it is an old push mower, throw it in your trunk or in the back of your truck and head on down to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. These organizations rebuild items and if nothing else, there is a good chance they can use the parts. Please be sure you get the receipt from the donation facility and then use that receipt on your taxes. You would be surprised how much money that you can save by donating these items. Turbo Tax has a program called It'sDeductible and this program allows you to itemize your donation. It is a fact that non-cash donations are worth more on your taxes than cash donations. Pick up anything from old furniture, clothes, toys, mowers, bicycles or anything else that may either be resold or fixed. Everyone benefits. You pick up someone's trash, the donation location makes money on the item and provides work for someone to fix the item, if necessary, and also YOU get the tax benefit. All by just stopping and picking up an item to donate!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Advantages of and "How To" in Dumpster Diving - Some thrifty ways that you may have never thought of!

Call me crazy, but you cannot imagine what you'll find in dumpsters & along the street on trash day

A Different Kind of Picking - OOPS! Wrong Photo


Muffin Stumps Inedible? - More vintage Seinfeld Fun

Slowly, surely, the trash can of life fills within, leaving us feeling empty. Yet once emptied, we f

Do You, or Would You Dumpster Dive? - Your chance to sound off!

Co you


See results

Normally everything doesn't go into the dumpster at the same time. - Andrew Clark

Trash Bear
Trash Bear

Is Digging in a Dumpster or Trash Illegal?

To the best of my knowledge, no specific law prohibits it but unless you have permission, you could be arrested for trespassing on private property.

It is always best to ASK the owner if it is okay. For instance, if you are driving down the road and see a bicycle leaning against the trash, how do you know that someone did not just leave it there temporarily? Taking that bicycle would be considered theft unless you have permission to do so.

As mentioned above, it could be considered trespassing if you enter a person's or a businesses property to do anything. Therefore, it is always recommended that you know the laws of your city and State. If you ask, most of the time the owner will not care so by all means, ASK!

If you are allowed to dive, remember that bears may be visiting soon.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

What Do You Think of This Site? - Tell us your experiences in "picking."

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    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @rattie lm: That is an interesting concept. Where I live, you always seem to see things piled on the curbs.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 

      5 years ago

      We have a once-a-year roadside pick up. We need to register before putting things on the pavement, which I endorse!

    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @jejoju: Yikes! Where do you live? Thanks for the visit.

    • jejoju profile image


      6 years ago

      We use to go trash and treasure hunting a lot at the dump, beside the dump was also a small area/shop where you could also buy junk still cheap as. But now no more, so roadside trash on certain months, people would leave their throw away trash/junk on side walk and it would be collected by the council, if anything was left. Great lens, loved it.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Very fun lens - pinned to my board "This I want You to Know."

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wowzers, what a fun idea for a greener lens and congratulations on being picked for the Best of Squidoo - Earth Day 2012! One man's trash is another man's treasure....if we are willing!...*

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Way out, Fabulous topic. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen and also on Earthday and what is wrong with our planet earth, Hugs

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      You can't believe the great furniture that I've gotten from the side of the road with a sign marked 'free'! Love it!

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      6 years ago from Maryland

      I often pick up things on the side of the road that people are throwing away, like furniture and toys. But I think I'd have to draw the line at pulling food out of the trash...or roadkill.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great lens. I have always been interested in becoming a freegan, but I don't like germs. God bless!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      We picked up several boxes from the trash where someone was cleaning out an estate. Inside these had old recipe booklets and other vintage paper items that we resold at the antiques flea market.

      Another time, we were looking for those wooden & wire crates thrown out by supermarkets, so we could make a compost bin with them. We found a crate full of partially bad potatoes. Still many good ones to be used and even ones with a bad spot can be salvaged.


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