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Picking up trash to build stuff, a lifestyle Answered

Hi, I am an hobbyist who likes to build stuff during my time off. Recently, a friend of mine have suggested that I build stuff out of waste products instead of trying to build things out of materials that are brand spanking new. This not only helps the environment, but I think could serve as a better inspiration than going out to shop for those things, as you never know what you might find in the trash. With that said, I am interested in visiting landfills and dumps as I think it would have the most materials in one place. However, the difficulty is that many companies do not like you looking around in there. I know of some scrappers who pick up things by driving around the local neighborhood, but I don't have the time for that during weekdays. Does anyone have any idea how I may visit a landfill to gather materials? Does anyone know of a convenient way to gather waste material to build their projects in general? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


You may hurt yourself while at these landfills, I mean after its all been compressed, there is not much to take... Though I'm sure you can find something... :-)

Check craigslist in the free section or post in the wanted section what your looking for.

Tell them what you want and people will be more than glad to give you their broken stuff if they know your not going to resale it.

On my way home from church on Sundays i drive a couple blocks out of the way and see what people toss out. If its on the curb its public property. I got a practically brand new 6 gal fish tank with filter and pump on the side of the road once.

If you are in the US and near a military base, DRMO, a place where units turn in broken and unwanted stuff, has lots of cool things, they do auctions to the public. Thats how the surplus stores gets their ammo cans.

Anything at the landfill has been crushed in the back of a trash truck- along with everything else- spoiled food, soiled diapers... You might get stuff that the thrift store tosses.

Dumps and landfills don't allow people in due to liability issues. You hurt yourself and they are liable for it. Dumpster diving is a great option. Though many places discourage such activities.

Now what kind of materials are you looking for? Swap meets and flea markets can be great places to buy old items. Also check garage sales.

I mostly like to build machines out of scrap parts such as scrap metals, fan motors, scrap woods, etc. But I like to create creative stuffs too, so generally anything goes. The only things I can think of that I don't want are thrown away foods and paper.