once a year this college town has it’s move out day, August 15th.


this blog post will be like you’ve come along for the adventure but just the fun parts. no walking door to door looking for gold, no 15 hour drive there and 15 hour drive back, no sleeping in a cramped car for you.


there’s a lot of curb diving, lots of piles and a life time supply of mattresses. this year due to rain all of the mattresses were dragged through the mud. fuck it! who shows up to this  woodstock of dumpster diving wanting mattresses?!

dumpsters (as pictured above)  for apartments were the minority, it was mostly residential trash cans for apartment buildings/large houses and curb diving.

my goal was to 100% fill the car which we did in 20 hours. thank god we could only be there for less than a day before we had to come back to texas. i would cry me a river if we had more days to dive and our car was full by the first day. i’d either cry or pay to ship items home. this way we got our feet wet and did the most with the least amount of time and car space.


this is about 48 items of clothes, mostly cheap mall brands and 3 jackets. the picture on the right is the jackets. the top jacket is a leather jacket we bought from the thrift store for $10 because it was 59 degrees when i woke up and many of the sweaters we dumpstered were wet from the rain. DSC_2548

sweet ass shoes


the foil looking art we dumpstered but the water color on the left we bought from a thrift store to resell. a piece by the artist has sold for over $200 in the past so we figured why the hell not, only $25 investment.

DSC_2571trashed posters


random shit.  we still need to test out everything. i’m hoping the keyboard works.


not a whole lot to say about this. i imagine it has resale value.


half of a bottle of sailor jerry spiced rum without a lid.

5 bottles of unopened wine and a bunch of beer. mark was thrilled.DSC_2630

the electric scooter doesn’t work but we *might* be able to fix it. this raleigh road bike (bottom left) was a curb find. as mark was taking it apart to get it in the back seat this college guy comes out of his apartment building and was like “i have a bunch of tires and a raleigh mountain bike you can have too”. yes please. very tight squeeze but 2 bikes in the back seat made the car 100% full.


this is the list of everything we found. about 70 items  not including booze or menstrual pads. with 70 items if we sold everything at $10 each we’d make about $700.  gas cost about $320 so earning $700  for this experiment / adventure is a success in my mind but it’s likely that the 2 bikes could sell for the amount we spent in gas. *if* the scooter works (and that’s a big if) that’s $300-$500 right there. one of the nikes is worth about $40 resale and the other about $80. the dress shoes might be $50. so $700 an item is likely the lowest we’d get. plus this was a hella good vacation is we want to start throwing that word around. we really LOVED the town. super bike friendly, bike paths, bike lanes, bikes you could rent sitting on every corner. madison couldn’t make it any easier to just show up and start riding. very cool, we’ll have to go back to bike the town.

as far as dumpster diving goes i was expecting more GOLD-GOLD but as you can see we didn’t find any. no apple products, no diamonds or jewelry, no bags of fancy clothes. nothing like i was thinking but we were only there a day. one day out of a week of trash picking so i’m very happy and would like to go back with a van or truck next year. there was a fair amount of scrappers rolling around in their trucks but there’s more than enough to go around. the trash that week is so much that the city has multiple dump trucks collecting trash DAILY! i was sad to see all of the dump trucks get most of the city before i could but it really wasn’t a problem. i heard about this annual event from the 7th interview we did for our podcast about a guy who lived on a commune for 13 years in texas but currently lives in or near madison wi. so glad he mentioned it and very glad i wrote it on my calendar last november.


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