Benefiting From Waste-Based-Society

Benefiting From Waste-Based-Society

Last Thursday we took a young journalist from an Amsterdam based newspaper out on a diving tour. It was great fun. But unfortunately she missed the Crème de la Crème and didn't stay for the open dinner.

Find a rough translation of the piece below, and there is also a full-resolution version in Dutch. I will leave the content of article uncommented (I love the way this articles portrays a young journalist mind) but please share your comments or impressions, as I am sure you will have some.

Benefiting From Waste-Based-Society

Living of waste. Dumpsterdivers do it out of conviction

A brown cauliflower, some black disguised carrots and a couple of slimy avocados. Timo gets them from deep out of a trash containers and acclaims: "This is what they throw away! Every day! While hundreds of thousand people die out of hunger!"

Together with four others Timo is dumpster-diving today, literally going through dumpsters looking for useful stuff. They do not call it a trend, and not even a movement. "It is rather logical", Christopher says. "They throw is away, and we need it".

Dumpsterdivers are highlighting the waste of food, and waste in general and live with what other people throw away. Food, furniture, clothes, books, anything you need can be found on the street and it would be a waste to ignore that, they say.

That living of surplus works, proves Robin, the axis of the company. He has been able to live without a job for three years now. "I refuse to be a consumer. I don't want to take part anymore. From the moment we are young, the people push us into a system that they didn't even come up with themselves. And when I don't want to join, they get mad on me. Go get a job they say. But why would I help sustaining a system that I can't possibly agree with?"

Robin lives with what others give him or what he finds himself. He is able to deal fine with that dependency. "If money comes into play, the relationship between people is no longer authentic. If I receive, we create a win-win-situation. Everyone loves to give."

At the Ten Katemarket the vendors are mostly a bit confused of the people grubbing through their bins.

"This is simply not normal", Chouffi shouts from behind his stall. "What is up with these people, are they hungry? Then they should simply ask me!"

He takes a couple of bananas, a broccoli and some tomatoes. "Here take this. Why would you delve into the waste!?"

A woman with a automatic wheelchair counterfeits. "Hey! You never give me anything", she shouts at Chouffi. After the dumpsterdivers give her some of the tomatoes, she bitterly hums off.

The waste-manager of the market can't care less. "Dumpster-divers? Whatever. These people we used to have in the past too, but then we simply called them poor people. The stuff is good though, let them have it."

"Not everyone understands us", Timo says. "We often hear that we should act normal and find a job. Or that we are profiting. I don't see it as such. Because we actually do give something back to society: awareness. Al this waste, all the excess. We make it visible how sick this system actually is, but obviously I would rather see myself in a zero-waste-society than this."

In a container at another spot, there is only some waste of yesterday. They are here too early. A dingly looking bag of salad goes with us in case we will need it.

They decide to go home now, three high in Bos en lommer. Casa Robino it is called, Robin's home, that he shares with like-minded people from all over the world who unexpectedly ring the doorbell and sometimes even stay for months. Walkers, skippers, couchsurfers, freeconomists, is how the inhabitants of Casa Robino call themselves. Hippies, an outsider would say.

After the food has been brought in, the divers firstly take time for a spliff. The veggies enter a big bucket with water, to 'wash of the worst slime'. Then they will see further. The divers can eat of this for days.

While the veggies are being washed, David from Mexico bakes some beans to still the worst hunger. Later they will eat, boiled carrots with cauliflower.

"If I don't feel like a bum? Not at all", Chrisopher says laughing. "I feel myself very rich, I get everything for free!"

Infobox: Lifestyle
Dumpsterdiven is literally diving into bins to search for food that had been thrown away but is still eatable. Or searching for stuff that is still usable. It is a lifestyle for young idealists and those who are in their thirty's. Through the finds they would like to show how much unnecessary waste society creates. Many dumpster-divers are turned off by the use of money.


Sma's picture

great, i wonder if we could

great, i wonder if we could do this kinda stuff in contacted them or they you?
bet the "couchsurfers" part made many people cringe :)

mm and personally i`m still having a hard time taking too much from others unless i really need it or if they have to be consumers to be able to give me whatever they do..seems to still be supporting this fuckin society. even shoplifting from corporations seems to contribute less to this society..cause it eliminates the money at yet another level. would love some opinions on this..