Dumpster Diving Essay

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Dumpster Diving, More Than Just a Way of Life Surviving off dumpster diving is a very difficult, but insightful way of life. With scavenging comes stages of realization and acceptance of the actual fact of “picking garbage”. A person comes to realize how many untainted and reusable items are just simply thrown away. In the article “My daily Dives in the Dumpster”, by Lars Eighner, Eighner explains how at first he felt very ashamed of needing to pick through trash. “Every grain of rice seems to be a maggot. Everything seems to stink”. With experience, he grew to realize that most disposed items are valuable, in good condition, and can be reused. He sees how one could get carried away and may want to keep everything they find, but knows that a scavenger should only keep what they need and be immediately put to use. Eighner also describes how there is a difference between scavenging in public dumpsters, and going through an individuals garbage can. Homeowners dispose of personal information such as bank statements, pill bottles, and a lot of items that were meant to be kept private. Many people would find a person going through their garbage an invasion of privacy even if it is now pubic property on the street. A person’s garbage reveals a lot about their identity. Eigher’s writing is very persuasive because he describes scavenging as being “surprisingly pleasant”, unpredictable, and rewarding. Scavenging makes you independent and self- sufficient. A lot of knowledge is required to separate what is garbage and what is not, also what is needed and what is something simply being held on to. Eighner ultimately states how dumpster diving has provided him with two valuable lessons and a different way of perceiving ones trash. Hold onto what is needed and set aside the rest for someone who may need it more. Also, material items have a time when they need

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