hit or miss
Green Thumb
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: central Kansas

Thieves guild!!

Well, I joined the compost pile thieves guild this afternoon!! My neighbor mowed her yard and dumped a nice pile of chopped up grass and leaves out by her alley so......I loaded up some tubs and helped myself!! It was already starting to cook in the middle of the pile!!

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Cool but,

..
Get it while it's hot.
..

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applestar
Mod
Posts: 27737
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

:lol:

Lunacy
Cool Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:16 am
Location: Los Angeles

Yeap, you're one of us now. My neighbors have caught me stealing leaves from their property and making "friends" with their gardeners. Look for me on the "America's Most Wanted" TV show soon.

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Halfway
Green Thumb
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Northern Rockies

Friends LET friends pilf and compost. 8)
Zone 4a.

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

Self-described curb thief and dumpster diver here. Past capers:

:twisted: Countless fall leaf bags and spring lawn clipping bags @curbside
:twisted: Pots and potting mix from city free mulch site and occasional dumpsters
:twisted: Half dozen 50 lb bags of Potting Mix from farm supply store dumpster last summer - bags were torn
:twisted: 10 bags superfine mulch that collects in a certain spot under the city's yard waste shredding machine - it's like powdered organic matter!
:twisted: This spring, 8 bags leaf mold/decomposed wood humus from INSIDE gigantic hollow oak tree that friends were taking down

Guilty as charged!
Tox

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

Bumping this because there have to be more curb thieves, neighbor pilferers and scroungers out there with stories! Fess up!
Tox

Yogas
Cool Member
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:59 am
Location: Chicago

I fess up too. One person's trash is another person's treasure.

Recently I saw someone raking leaves at a gas station and I slammed on the brakes and pulled in. I asked the man raking them if I could have them for my garden. He was curious and asked lots of questions. I thought he only had a few bags but then he took me to the garbage dumpster and it was full of bags of leaves - a heaven for compost. I am sure he thought I was crazy!

I've also taken landscaping stones from the curb on trash day and seed starter trays from the trash of someone moving out of their house.

I am one of you now! :D

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Halfway
Green Thumb
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Northern Rockies

Bags of shredded cardboard - pilfed

Office coffee grounds - pilfed

neighbors bagged leaves - pilfed

ashes in neighbors burn pit - soon to be pilfed. 8)
Zone 4a.

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Hitched_Gibson
Full Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Conroe, TX

I've really gotta look into that. I haven't been dumpster diving in a while either. I got a lot of strange looks when I asked everyone at school(culinary) to save the egg shells and banana and lemon peels. I've only worked at my current job for two days, so I haven't worked up to taking the goody bits from there.

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swickstrum
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Texas

I think I just got some good ideas for my green shortage! After mowing my lawn this afternoon I'm going shopping for neighborhood grass clippings, and other possible greens.

Also, I can go take the coffee grounds from the office without feeling bad about it. As a matter of fact, our company is really pushing our green program so hopefully I can get my name in the hat for our Quarterly "ConGREENiality" award.

If nothing else I'm showing my wife this entire topic so she knows that I'm not the only one pilfering my own home's trash in order to produce some good compost! Thanks to all my fellow composting Obsessives! :P
Find a job you love, and you won't work a day in your life.

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Hitched_Gibson
Full Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Conroe, TX

Wives are a funny thing. Mine is just happy I found a hobby that doesn't require an expensive purchase I can just throw in a closet.

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swickstrum
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Texas

Hitched_Gibson wrote:Wives are a funny thing. Mine is just happy I found a hobby that doesn't require an expensive purchase I can just throw in a closet.
I'm looking at it this way.
  • Money Spent on Gardening Supplies - $100.00
    Money Spent on Seeds - $15.00
    Money Spent on Water for garden - $50.00 ?? Give or take $20.00
    Total spent (high estimate) - $185.00

    Money saved on vegetables and fruit this year - at least what I've spent, right?
I can't think of too many things that netted positive results that she or I have spent to this point, so I call this a win!
Find a job you love, and you won't work a day in your life.

rot
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Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Dumpster diving

..
Dumpster diving behind the supermarket. Supermarket managers have no sense of humor though. A bunch of nazis really.

Shredded office paper works nice for my operation.

Otherwise I ask and get stuff from the office, starbucks and the neighbors. They tend to look at me funny but I'm used to that and now, so are they.

to sense
..

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swickstrum
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Dumpster diving

rot wrote:..
Dumpster diving behind the supermarket. Supermarket managers have no sense of humor though. A bunch of nazis really.
I don't understand people. They throw it out, and then when you show some kind of interest in it, it all of a sudden becomes valuable in their eyes. Hey, I'm all for someone going through my trash and finding something they want/need. In fact, I consistantly put large things out there that people drive by and pilfer...good for them, I say.
Find a job you love, and you won't work a day in your life.

rot
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Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Go figure

..
Yeah it's trash until someone else wants it.

I know the supermarkets are worried about the transients that come around and try to eat stuff that the regulators have declared no longer safe but they can't make any allowance for composters. When I got popped and marched to the store manager I looked like hell but one doesn't over dress for dumpster diving.

I will scrounge from dumpsters and discards on a passive basis. I'm not cruising town at the wee hours of the morning looking to score from behind businesses but in the course of the day if I see something, I'll snag it. I've gotten my hands on those big wooden cable reels, scrap lumber and I once nabbed this really neat tall multi-tiered cart that serves as bird feeder we roll into the garage each night.

My concern is the trend between liability laws and municipal recycling it will become impossible to for cheapos like me to simply scrounge things and make use of them. As resources become scarce in general, even compost-able yard waste will become untouchable.

While an occasional Starbucks might pop up to encourage such things, the over all trend seems like more of greed and just plain mean.

It's sometime hard for me not to become jaded. It requires work on my part to remain charitable of people.

to sense
..

toxcrusadr
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Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

I think with the grocery stores it is a percieved liability problem in their eyes. Their produce aisle must look perfect, which means they throw out a lot of trimmings (outer leaves etc.) as well as blemished and spoiled produce. I suspect there is a lot of edible material in there - stuff that, if it came out of your garden, you'd trim it up and use it. They don't want people eating it. If you go into any grocery store in the US and tell them you want their produce waste for composting, you are likely to get the same response. It's sad but true.

Now and then there are probably exceptions. When I had more time for such things I had a juice bar and organic restaurant that would give me plastic tubs full of food waste - all I wanted. Otherwise the owner was taking it to his farm to compost.
Tox

vermontkingdom
Senior Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: 4a-Vermont

I often dumpster dive for wooden pallet material on Sunday morning after church. I've used the stuff to make compost bins, cold frames, raised beds, etc. My wife doesn't like me doing so but she knows at that point, after more than 40 years, it's impossible to change.
"Good gardeners do not have green thumbs. They have brown knees, soiled hands and big hearts."

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Hitched_Gibson
Full Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Conroe, TX

I noticed something has been thieving through my compost pile. I guess what goes around comes around.

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

You set up a buffet there, dude, whadya expect? 8)

vermont: My wife has started helping me sometimes. Sometimes she sits in the car and talks on her phone, but she's cool with it. After seeing all the stuff that comes out - not only pallets but torn bags of potting soil, discarded plants that are still alive, and all manner of other non-gardening stuff.

My best find ever was a brand new $250 air compressor that was returned under warranty. The problem? A 5 cent lock washer missing from a really important spot.

Right now I have an $800 generator at my small engine guy...says he can fix it for a couple hundred.
Tox

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!potatoes!
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

just stopping by to say that I'm in the guild.

ucg, bagged city leaves, etc...

Bloody Boots
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:03 am
Location: Wisconsin

I've found that if I ask right up front, and offer a nice benefit for the employees, most stores/gas stations are enthusiastic about me taking their UGC, old/spoiled fruit/shredded papers/pallets. I explain how I plan to use it, offer them a nice container to hold it out of site (5 Gallon bucket w/lid) and a pickup schedule with my cell phone number if the booty gets to large or they have bigwigs coming. And they are pleased to have me remove heavy waste that they don't have to.

The Benefit for the employees and location you ask? Most places pay a per ton disposal fee. I pull those heavy buckets of UGC, pallets and fruit out of their trash flow and those dumpsters get mighty light. More than a few managers have told me I'm saving them a hundred or so a month, and few complaints about lugging those heavy bags to the back of the store as well.

And then when they toss out some shelves, counters or sinks as they remodel, they offer them to you first!

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gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I sometimes stop by and get bagged grass and leaves from the curb. But I get a lot of grass from 4 of my neighbors. Sometimes like a big trash can full that is plenty.

I also get coffee grounds from various places.

My MIL and my neighbor gives me their shredded paper. My neighbor also puts their food waste in my pile, only the good stuff though they know what not to put in there.

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