Some facts on garbage: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds per week and 1,600 pounds a year; multiply that by the United States population of about 300 million, and you have one hell of a mountain of trash. And this average only considers households and not industrial waste or commercial trash.
The garbage produced in a year in the U.S. alone could fill enough garbage trucks to form a line to the moon… or cover the entire state of Texas two and a half times … or bury more than 990,000 football gridirons six-foot deep in compressed waste. Also, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire fleet of commercial jets in the US.
And for those inclined, here are a few more dumpster diving tips.
Tip # 1 - Never, and I do mean never, climb inside a dumpster that is equipped with a trash compactor. Sure some of those tales may be just urban myths, but once in a while down at the ol’ landfill a grisly discovery finds some poor sucker, flashlight still in hand, squished like a bug.
Tip # 22 - I always avoid climbing a fence to reach a dumpster. Here are a couple of reasons why: first, if there is anything worthwhile to be had, chances are middling to good that the wares will be lying around outside the fence. The fact is most people are lazy and won’t take the time to put their trash bag down, reach in their pocket, fiddle for some keys, struggle with selecting the right key, unlock the fence, pick the sack of garbage back up, open the dumpster, drop it in and the relock the gate unless they absolutely have no other choice … and even then they’ll find an excuse. And the second reason for not climbing a fence: As a kid, my little sister slipped climbing over a chain link fence. She caught her arm on a spike, and as she dangled there, frantically clawing at the air and at the fence, screaming “there’s a hole my arm, there’s a hole my arm!” every thrashing twist ripped a bigger gash in her bicep, until finally it tore loose. The sight of a dripping hunk of skin hanging from a spike on a fence and the blood soaked cement below has stayed with me for many a decade. Simply put -- I don’t climb fences.
Tip # 25 - Though this might sound odd, after you’ve been dumpster diving, leave the area cleaner than how you found it, don’t make or leave a mess. Remember, keep America beautiful: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.