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Dumpster Diving Goes Coastal

April 30, 2010

We’ve got a place in Surfside Beach, SC.  And we spend most of our summers there.  I  grew up spending my summers at the beach, then my best friend and I lived there while we were in college.  It’s a great place.  It’s changed so much over the years.  It used to be all dirt roads and families that I knew.  But, in the past ten or fifteen years, it has really developed a lot.   There aren’t many hotels in Surfside, there are some condos and lots of rental houses.  The houses rent from Saturday to Saturday.  Most of the rental agencies require the renter to be out by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  So, it’s tourist turn over day. 

Lots of people fly in, or drive in with cars packed to overflowing.  They buy boogie boards, floats, beach toys, beach chairs, hibachi grills, noodles, coolers, charcoal, umbrellas.  You name it, if you need it at the beach, they buy it.  And it’s just not practical to pack it and take it all home, so they pile it beside their trash cans.  

So, my fellows and I get up on Saturday morning and have a good scavenge.  I am driving my husband stark raving mad with this obsession hobby.  He swears we have nowhere to store all of this stuff.  He’d be right.  But, it’s just going to be thrown away.  And I feel like I’m doing my part for the environment.  I’m keeping it out of land fills, you know?  And the kids LOVE it. 

We get up and ride around the neighborhood, stalking unsuspecting tourists.  As they pack their cars, we see what’s getting put out beside the road.  We try and estimate how long before they pull out.  You see, we aren’t the only locals who do this, you gotta be fast. We circle the block, and circle the block and as soon as they pull out, we pounce.  Fill the car up as quick as lightning, giggling the whole time.  And kind of feeling like an ass, all the same. 

But, we never spend a dime on anything beach related.  Next time I’m down, I’ll take pictures of the whole “lot” of what I’ve scavenged.  It’s a hoot! 

These pictures are from last summer, and they were taken with my phone, so forgive the poor quality.  I just thought you’d get a kick out of them!

Here's the car loaded down, that small head in the backseat belongs to Mack.

The booty from one morning of dumpster diving!

That’s Adam doing the Vanna White impression.  And Sam in the background, for once not interested in having his picture made.  He’s laying claim to a new bucket and shovel!  Mack is perhaps still buried in the car.  :0

The fact that I take joy in this, probably screams latent hoarding issues. But, I love it!  My husband on the other hand thinks that if you can give everyone on the block a chair, umbrella, boogie board, and sand toy, that it’s time to stop.  

We’ll have to agree to disagree, I guess!

Do you any of you do this? Or am I crazy, for real?

Happy Dumpster Diving,

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2010 4:48 pm

    I would totally do that- can’t believe how much you got on just one day! You’ve inspired me to do some end of the semester dumpster diving myself… We live in a university town, and there’s usually lots of good stuff to be found on move out day at the dorms and college housing developments. I never remember, but this year, I’m marking my calendar! 🙂

    • May 1, 2010 1:12 pm

      It’s a rush! lol By all means take some pictures if you do! You can give them a nice edit too! 🙂

  2. May 1, 2010 7:36 am

    It sounds like you and the other locals are kinda like rival gangs!

    • May 1, 2010 1:13 pm

      You really have to watch out for the senior citizen ladies on golf carts with their Maltipoos! They are viscious!

  3. May 1, 2010 9:50 pm

    That’s hilarious! I am quite a germ-a-phobe, so I’ve never dumpster dove, although this story is great, and apparently you were really successful at doing it:)

  4. May 1, 2010 10:51 pm

    Around here you can go to the “wealthy” neighborhoods on a certain day each month (when the haul away trucks come to take big stuff away). People get new stuff and don’t want to bother with a garage sale, so they leave out bedroom sets and all kinds of furniture. And not junky furniture. Nice stuff. It’s absolutely insane! We don’t have a truck, so we never do it, but we have many friends who do. Crazy what people get rid of!

  5. May 1, 2010 11:28 pm

    o.k.-LL-I am totally jealous. I love finding “free” treasures. Seriously…it gave me a rush just reading your post. I so want to come with you on one of these excursions…please??!!
    Look at all the loot your scored!! WOW!

    My sister and I have this small addiction. We enjoy “re-purposing” junk. Or at least that’s what I tell my husband when I drag it home. Of course, most of it is sitting in my garage…not re-purposed yet. BUT..the potential is there..and that’s all that matters, right?!

  6. May 2, 2010 2:33 am

    Oh that is hysterical! It is definitely a form of hoarding, but I’m all for beach toy hoarding!! Too funny!

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