Dumpster diving (Skipping in UK)

I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do this post..it’s kind of a shady area and after alot of research I’ve found that people tend to look badly upon this. But I went dumpster diving this weekend and had some surprising results. 
This is something I’ve done a lot of thinking and research about and before I even went to my first dumpster I realised that I was already lacking certain tools of the trade. I needed a stool or sturdy box to get in and out of the skips, also a hands free light so both hands are free and ready to rummage and a hook of some kind for out of reach bags. So I went to my local poundland and got what I needed. As I was walking home I made sure to keep an eye open for any skips or dumpsters on my journey. I found loads. I ended up writing each of their locations down in a little notebook so I would remember. I was also shocked to see that most of the dumpsters where unlocked and very full. 

I waited until 11pm and set out on my mission. My fist stop was a food store not far from where I live. THIS IS IT!! I thought, my first dumpster dive..I placed my little stool at my feet and jumped up onto the edge of the skip and sat there for a moment a bit bewildered. I was face to face with about 20 black bags and the time limit of 15 minutes I found off the Internet was making my heart race. I probably sat there for a good 5 minutes until I decided to just do it. So under my breath I said “do it…” and hopped in. 

The smell…THE SMELL!! My good god what is that smell I stupidly thought, then reminded myself where I was and what I was doing. I’d only been in the skip for about 3 minutes and the bottom of my jeans were heavy with some kind of liquid (sooo glad I wore my boots) After sifting through a few bags with not much in: the first 4 bags were mainly out of date dairy, mouldy bread, receipts that sort of thing. Then I saw a blue-black bag which was clearly different from the others. I opened it up to find fruit..perfectly good, edible fruit. I nearly screamed “F***!!” but remembered I need to be a ninja of the night so put the fruit in a box I found from the near by recycling skip and moved on. I looked back and thought “Did I really just do that?” I looked down at the box full of fruit I had and nearly started crying. I had to stop and really look at it all before my next stop to get rid of some of the weight, after I done this in still had 3 perfect pineapple, 4 bunches of bananas and a couple apples. I decided not to go home and drop the fruit off because it wasn’t that heavy, half way down the road and a mile from my next dumpster I changed my mind and started walking home. I knew I was gunna wake my mum up and she came downstairs to find me unloading fruit onto the counterside. “They were gunna throw it away.” I said innocently 

She looked at me then the fruit and replied “What else was there?”

I laughed so hard. I told her I wanted to do a few more tonight and she offered to give me a lift. So we kitted out her car with ripped open bin bags and old carpet to protect the car seats. “Where first?” She asked me still half asleep. “That shop on the main road.” I replied (NOTE: I’m not giving anyone specific information on where I go and what I get. Most of the skips I visit are on private land and this could get me into trouble. This is also the reason imy not uploading pictures of what I get.)

When we pulled up to the shop mum asked where the skip was. “It’s there. Right in front of us.” Most of the time people aren’t looking for dumpsters or skips so they just blend into everyday scenery.

This was a department/food store, more of a home ware place. Everything was boxed instead of bagged this time. Mum stayed in the car with the lights on and I can only imagine she was laughing her head off at my skinny legs flailing in the air as the other half of my body sifts through rubbish. Most of it was broken and beyond repair, I found a few things of interest: a shoe rack, coat hangers and a couple of unbroken glass containers. Then I found some black bin bags. I waved mum over with holding onto the dumpster with my other hand. This dumpster was bigger then the last and even my little stool wasn’t enought for me to jump in. “What is it?” Mum asked.”I think it’s food.” I replied thinking I knew it all from my previous dumpster dive an hour before..it was food, but it was fish..I almost threw up when I opened the sealed bag, the stench of fish was over powering..
“PULL ME OUT NOW!” I screamed at mum. I could feel my boots collecting fishy liquids. “I think that’s it for tonight.” She said.

“Nah I want to do this one more I found.”

It was a pharmaceutical shop not far from where I live and was hoping to find some make up I could sell. I jumped onto the edge of the dumpsters and my eyes were on swivels looking for names like Marc Jacobs, Mario badescu and the like. I found a box labeled ‘damages week 3’ I called mum over and jumped into the skip to get a better look. The box was tapped shut and was slightly wet, but at least the skip smelled nice this time. I could smell perfume and shampoo/conditioners. I picked up the box and handed it to mum. She opened it up and inside was a hoard of makeup, beauty products and brushes. But the downside was it was all covered in shampoo or conditioner. I read about this online and it’s called ‘souping’ so that people like me can’t resell this stuff, however, I’ve also read about how to clean all this crap off. 

“Mum we need to go home now. I need to clean all this.”

When we got home I spent the best part of 2 and a half hours cleaning various makeup contour pallets, unopened lipsticks and foundation bottles and numerous creams and moisturisers. Some had been purposely damaged I could tell, pallets with cracked mirrors or slight scratches in the product. All fixable. 

I still can’t believe just how much stuff me and mum come home with and all for free. I don’t understand why these big corporations throw away perfectly good food and the such. Either way I’m going to take advantage of the stupid giant corporation pigs and try do my but to save the planet and if that involves saving perfectly good food from skips, that’s what I’m gunna do.


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