In 1775, Paul Revere took a ride through Boston during which he was in too big a hurry to rummage through whatever was being used as a dumpster container in the 18th century. We are all thankful that he continued his ride, but I bet he returned to claim the treasures he passed over. Mr. Revere was not only a crucial activist for the creation of America, but he could have easily been one of the founding fathers of dumpster diving as well. I can’t say that I have any proof, but some ingenious trailblazer cleared the air when it comes to making use of other people’s waste – so why not an original American trailblazer.
In the past 237 years, we have formed a country that accumulates, disposes and often re-uses waste. In some cases, residences and businesses keep their trash in publicly accessible dumpsters that are dumped on a weekly/monthly basis. These are common hot spots for dumpster divers looking for ‘diamonds in the ruff’ in the off chance that food or valuable items are trashed. In other cases, residences and businesses will rent roll off dumpsters that are gold mines for dumpster divers when entire offices or estates are discarded in a cleanup effort. If a dumpster diver, or their forefather, came across an open top, roll off dumpster used for general trash, they could come across great value in their discovery. It is easy to be judgmental of those that lay claim to others afterthoughts, but people have been known to find treasures in all shapes and sizes; i.e. 18th-century artwork, usable electronics, sports and media paraphernalia, etc.
Perhaps trash build-up was uncommon in the 18th century and my assumptions about Mr. Revere are wrong, but since we have been collecting trash at landfills, there have been trash receptacles worth rummaging. If you are in a public area and come across a roll off dumpster in Boston, it may be worth a look because even though one person considered it trash, someone else could claim it as treasure.