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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was a kid we were poor. My mom was a single mother with two boys and no real skills or education. I never thought anything of it, it was just the way it was. One of my favorite things to do was dumpster diving. There was no shame in it at all, in fact I can remember being proud of the neat things that I found. I can remember finding all kinds of stuff.

While driving home today I realized that I drive past an industrial park everyday and while looking in that direction I saw a stack of pallets and wood next to a dumpster. I could tell that some of it was oak.

Hmmmm......

Anybody here cruise places like that looking for wood?
 

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I have a custom speed shop down the street from one of the properties I work at. I have grabbed several pallets off there discard pile. I work for a good sized hotel restaurant franchise and have scrounged light fixtures, lumber, rolling carts and tons of other discards over the years. I have had to really think it through lately before I bring things home lately as I have accumulated a lot of crap.
 

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I would highly recommend asking first, these days. It's the correct way to do it and you are supposed to be adult enough to know that. When a judge explains it to you, it won't be good. Dumpsters are not public property even though the contents are headed for the dump and you may not see any harm in recycling. It's trespassing and larceny. By asking, it might lead to other good stuff but companies are wary of liability and other issues with people going through their trash. Remember, you are always on camera.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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As for pallets.

There is a lot more to wood than species.
 

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Really underground garage
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Yeah,hate to be a downer but.....around here it IS the leading money maker(fines)for small court offences.And I'm NOT joking.

It is a shame,that our society has to be so strictly controlled that a person can't pull recycle'able materials out of a bloomin dumpster without fear?

But yeah,back in the day.....dumpster diving was an absolute hoot.Got way too many good stories on them.
 

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Old School
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I would highly recommend asking first, these days. It's the correct way to do it and you are supposed to be adult enough to know that. When a judge explains it to you, it won't be good. Dumpsters are not public property even though the contents are headed for the dump and you may not see any harm in recycling. It's trespassing and larceny. By asking, it might lead to other good stuff but companies are wary of liability and other issues with people going through their trash. Remember, you are always on camera.
+1. :yes:

Not exactly dumpster diving, but we have bulk trash pickup here once a month. The City will pick up a pile of anything about the size of a car. So, the night before, and the day during the pickup, there are pick-up trucks, pick-up trucks towing trailers, and vans cruising the neighborhood looking for whatever goodies are in the pile.

They might take something from our pile and disorient the whole pile from a nice tight arrangement. Or, they trade. That's right. They might take something from our pile, and leave something from their truck. I might just do a stakeout, and have some fun.:laughing:





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Too many stolen id's came out of dumpster diving. People's privacy were the reason for the laws. Also a lot of people use to throw old medication into dumpsters. Who would be liable for drug overdose or drug reaction if dumpster diving still allowed. Sorry I just can't see it without permission
 

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Too many stolen id's came out of dumpster diving. People's privacy were the reason for the laws. Also a lot of people use to throw old medication into dumpsters. Who would be liable for drug overdose or drug reaction if dumpster diving still allowed. Sorry I just can't see it without permission
Also if you get cut or hurt while attempting the dive the owner is legally liable.
 

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As other people have said, ask permission.

That said, they may well be thrilled to have you take away the pallets... a lot of places have to pay for disposal by either weight or volume, and if you take some of the junk away without costing them anything it may be to their benefit.
 

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Out the back of hardware stores and lumberyards, there's usually a junk bin. If I take a look and see something that's useful to me, I ask if I can have it. Never been refused. Hard steel & plastic lumber strapping, chunks of mahogany, cedar and others.
 

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cabinetman said:
+1. :yes:

Not exactly dumpster diving, but we have bulk trash pickup here once a month. The City will pick up a pile of anything about the size of a car. So, the night before, and the day during the pickup, there are pick-up trucks, pick-up trucks towing trailers, and vans cruising the neighborhood looking for whatever goodies are in the pile.

They might take something from our pile and disorient the whole pile from a nice tight arrangement. Or, they trade. That's right. They might take something from our pile, and leave something from their truck. I might just do a stakeout, and have some fun.:laughing:






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You know? That would really make me mad. I don't put anything in trash to hide. But that is mine till the town has it picked up. And the part about them leaving and swapping just ain't Gona float with me. Another mans trash is another's treasure?
 

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You know? That would really make me mad. I don't put anything in trash to hide. But that is mine till the town has it picked up. And the part about them leaving and swapping just ain't Gona float with me. Another mans trash is another's treasure?
It does make me mad. The waste engineer technicians that pick up the trash are finicky about the size and shape of the pile. I've had occasion that they passed me by because of the disorder of the pile. Really, how petty.

I had taken down several palm trees and cut the logs to the proper length, and stacked them neatly. The driver actually came up to the front door, rang the bell, and started to complain. He went on about how much it would cost for a special pick up if he didn't take it. I saw it as a bribe for a cash handout.

It almost got to the point of grabbing my 16' Stanley tape and proving to him it was within the limits...probably right at the limits. When he realized he couldn't intimidate me, he gave in and picked up the pile. It's not like he has to go pick up stuff with his hands. He has this huge truck with an clam shell outrigger bucket, that could likely snatch up a small car with one gulp. He's so good with it, he can scoop up leaves off the grass without any damage to the lawn.






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Where I live if you take something some someone's garbage once it hits the street the county is going to have you by the neck! The county themselves go through (with kids from juvenile hall) pull out all major green waste and recyclables. Then pocket the money from the recyclables, that the state, county, and the city charges you at the store! But don't give back to you like the old $0.10 on glass bottles. They have to do this even know we have 3 garbage cans, garbage, green waste, and recyclables. Then comes the pallets, when I worked for Home Depot, the pallets with blue ends we were charged a $60.00 deposit on from the shipping company, they were even renting it. The cr**py pallets even had deposits on them. Most small companies have 3 dumpsters and keep them under lock and key. And then if your caught will try and detain you then have you arrested, the big companies 1 dumpster hooked up to a compacter. The pallets are kept behind locked gates.

Eric
 

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I find a lot of the small business around where I live will just give you the pallets for free if you just ask. I use them to stack my fire wood on only. I have found out the hard way not to use pallet wood in my shop. I have spent a lot of time making something and have it turn out bad because of some defect in the wood.
 

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reynoldston said:
I find a lot of the small business around where I live will just give you the pallets for free if you just ask. I use them to stack my fire wood on only. I have found out the hard way not to use pallet wood in my shop. I have spent a lot of time making something and have it turn out bad because of some defect in the wood.
I'm all for recycling the pallets, when you can. Before I knew about deposit and all the other baloney on pallets I did the exact same thing for my father. I also find it neat when I see people making things out of pallets. Another item I learned from this forum.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I live in a pretty laid back part of the county. (small town in North Texas) Almost everybody is easy to get along with. I forget some people live in places where people do everything they can to be an A$$.

I missed a chance to get some great wood a while back. The truck stop where I fuel did a renovation and had a lot of plywood and crates the equipment came in stacked out back. All I would have had to do is ask the owner and she would have begged me to haul it off. (I'm sure she had to pay to have it hauled off) But, since I don't own a pickup I passed it up. (Yeah, I know, what kind of Texan doesn't own a pickup):thumbdown:
 

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I have been on the other side of this several times as well. Each of our locations has a dumpster shed area where we store a ton of stuff like empty pickle buckets, garden hoses and what ever else we can't find a home for. We actually save the buckets for our construction division and have been cussed out on several occasions when I tell people that they can not just help themselves. On the other hand I have seen stuff set out after remodels with free for the taking posted on them set out for weeks. You should definitely ask first you might even be able to come to an arrangement where they call you when they have something good you might be interested in. I would also suggest frequenting such businesses as a paying guest from time to time as well.
 
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