At one time in my life I thought of myself as one helluva talented dumpster diver and a professional son of a bitch with an eye for detail who, in a micro-second, could spot a rare trashed treasure at a hundred paces. Since I have some history and knowledge on this subject, and since these are tough economic times when many of us need to find ways to cut corners and you may be tempted to take up the hobby of dumpster diving, I thought I’d suggest some rules of etiquette and some safety measures that novices may not have considered. Here are some tips:
#2- Never climb into a dumpster at a hospital; you don’t mess with medical or hazardous waste. That’s a job for HAZMAT. Between sick sheets, icky crap and errant needles, it's not a good place to hang… besides, I’m pretty sure you would find nothing worthwhile. If there was any good stuff to be had, like furniture or books, it’s already been pilfered by hospital employees, that’s why they work there.
#14- Beware of dumpster lids, they’re heavier than you think and lids have a tendency to slam down suddenly and unrepentantly in windy or even slightly breezy conditions. As with many aspects of the dive, shit happens quickly, and when you least expect it. I’ve always blamed accidents on the "garbage ghost," that nasty invisible demon that lurks in many a dumpster, protecting its secrets, seeking revenge for all its stolen and landfill-destined artifacts.
#11- Wear protective clothing that covers your legs and arms. Gloves are always a good idea, if for no other reason than you won’t leave any fingerprints. Wear good shoes or boots with solid soles: sharp objects are not a lot of fun and are inevitably hidden.