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The Art & Science Of Dumpster Diving

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1581605501
ISBN-10: 1581605501
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Dumpster diving" is an unfortunate term for a noble pursuit: reclaiming and reusing perfectly good things that are being thrown away by wasteful or lazy people. It is also a political act highly frowned upon in materialistic societies because it removes one from obligate consumerism. And John Hoffman has written the ultimate guide for perfecting the art. A college graduate with a good job, Hoffman doesn't have to Dumpster dive: he loves to, and lives better--and more freely--because of it. In nations like America, there is an incredible amount of great stuff--often in great shape--thrown out every day. And Hoffman tells you how to claim it as your own.

At this point, I have a confession to make: I am a sometime Dumpster diver myself. Almost all of the furniture in our house has been found abandoned on the streets in our upper-middle-class neighborhood or nearby college campuses: sofas, tables, bookcases, lamps... you name it--even some of our several household computers! Personally, I wouldn't do some of what Hoffman advocates (such as diving for food), but as in the tradition of all Loompanics Press books, this is a no-holds-barred, tell-all book that assumes its readers can make decisions appropriate to their own lives. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Hoffman is a bona fide fringe writer and his previous employment is equally checkered - he has worked as a psychiatric counselor, printer's assistant, security guard, pizza cook, soldier, activist, newspaper reporter, hotel clerk, apartment manager and city councilman. He is now studying for a law degree.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581605501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581605501
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,494,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is only a small list of books that has influenced or changed my life, books like the Bible, Dune, and the Boy Scout Hand Book. But this quirky little tome on scavenging would not be on most people's list.
But it's on mine!
This is a hilarious and informative "how-to" guide of suburban survival. The book instructs how to look through a dumpster, what to look for, where to find it, and what you can do with what you find.
The book is also filled with great ancedotes and Ace Backwards comic strips. The stories of the author's psycho brother "Slash" are worth half the cost of the book.
But more than the entertainment value is the information. And once you develop your "diver's eye," you will be surprised just how much stuff we Americans pitch wastefully every day, and that's when you come in. Take it!
I've found some great things in the trash, and this book can show you just what you're missing!
Git divin'! Thar's gold in them thar dumpsters!
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Format: Paperback
This book is all about looking through others people's garbage cans, and finding something useful, valuable, or sellable. A LOT of good tips, especially the part about dealing with good-for-nothing rent a cops or other nosy jokers looking to make you feel guilty about being gainfully employed in salvage. Includes tips on how to minimize such confrontations and shakedowns.
The author of this book emphasizes that most people, rather than finding a way to recycle, just put their burdens in the Garbage can; perfectly good and useable stuff: jewelry, watches, money, coin collections, antique toys, reloading supplies, firearms, even brand new goods still in the original box- UNOPENED!
Carry some soap and water and clean up after a dumpster episode. not hard, maybe potentially lucrative to look. Just watch out for body parts...(some people never find them; I seem to find lots).
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Format: Paperback
John Hoffman's book is not only a thorough "How-To" book on dumpster diving, but it is also chock full of side-splitting stories of his "adventures" while dumpster diving. I would highly recommend this book to anyone pursuing a simpler life, freedom from debt, or those just looking for an interesting (free) hobby. Some of the topics covered in John's book include, proper attire for dumpster diving, proper dumpster diving equipment, useful diving techniques, and where to locate the best most loot filled dumpsters in your town. After reading this book I promptly went out "dumpster diving" to test the validity of John Hoffman's assertions. I returned with "loot" that included a metal 5-shelf unit in perfect condition along with a few other odds and ends. Thanks for a great book John!
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Format: Paperback
Although I was diving before finding John's book, he opened up a whole new world of diving for me. Thanks to John, I'm now saving hundreds of dollars a month in food costs. Money that can be put to better use. John, if you read this, thank you! Email me! I'd love to hear from you. You changed my life.
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Format: Paperback
FUN! RESOURCEFULNESS! CHAOS! EDUCATION! This one has it all! If you are looking for a down-to-earth story for giggles, or you're entertaining thoughts of what might be hiding out in those dumpsters for average joes and janes like many of us, or you (like me) are a salty, seasoned veteran of the dumpster diving scene, YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!

Written in an inviting comic-like style with bold openness and humor that keeps you engaged, this text is hard to put down! Follow "Slash" and friends through adventures in dumpster diving trials and treasures as they share time-honored secrets of the trade, and tickle your funnybone while doing it. A TRUE AND COMPLETE GUIDE for ALL DIVERS (and those who want to laugh, too! :) DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and BUY IT NOW!!!
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Format: Paperback
A fantastic book. Everyone should read this book. Everyone who is concerned about money should read this book even more. Everyone interested in helping the environment should DEFINITELY read this book.

I was an amateur dumpster diver before reading this. Once you read it though, you'll have a much greater perspective on the world of dumpster diving. Recommended for beginners and professionals.

Some things have changed since this book was written. These days all the big grocery stores, unless in a downtown area, use the big trash compactors that are inaccessible. For the most part though, this book is still very relevant.

Book is very anecdotal. It's a fun read. I'm not usually a fan of this style, but this was enjoyable to me. The stories are fun and the advice and info you get from them is great.

It is very political. I happen to agree with a lot of the author's opinions. Plenty that I disagree with too though, including some thoughts on dumpster diving.
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Format: Paperback
This book lays it out all very clear for those who have never even SEEN a dumpster. I go dumpster diving so none of the information was really all that new to me, save for the info he gives on food (especially bloated & dented cans). I really enjoyed reading his childhood stories & diving experiences. I paid roughly $15 for the book after shipping costs over Amazon. I had a gift certificate so for me it wasn't that big of a deal. For people who are really tight on money, it would probably be better for you to just go out and DIVE! If you lack commonsense & any safety precautions at all, than the $15 could definitely prevent any injuries. I loved this book and was considering ordering the sequel, but the reviews I've read on it have not been very positive. Like many have said, there is a lot of things you must look past - profanity, disrespect, etc. All in all I think it's a good book.
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