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PostIs it Scavenging? Or Recycling? (Randy Black, USA, 05/24/15 2:30 am)
John Heelan's and Bienvenido Macario's dumpster diving posts (May 21-22) brought back fond memories of my wife Olga's first year or two in Texas after a lifetime in Russia.
We had purchased a home in a suburb of Dallas. It's was an older neighborhood where residents were likely to remodel from time to time. As they bought new furniture, they typically put the older stuff on the curb or by their paved alley if they had one.
We moved into such a neighborhood where all of the homes had rear-entry garages off the alleys. On a pretty regular basis, Olga left for the grocery and returned later with not only something for dinner but with a chair, a lamp or a small bookcase.
If she could lift it and squeeze it into the trunk of her Ford Taurus, it came home with her. She seems particularly puzzled by this American custom of putting discards by the curb with no "for sale" sign, just giving it to whoever came along.
She once said, "America is a wonderful place. I can just about furnish our home without spending money!"
Fortunately, our home eventually filled up and her dumpster-diving days along the alleys and curbs became less frequent. If she sees this post, I'll be in a pickle for certain.
JE comments: Reduce, reuse, recycle. For me, bookcases were always the Holy Grail of curbside booty. In Ann Arbor (university town), you could occasionally find them during move-out season in May.
(I launched a new WAIS topic for this post: Recycling.)