Urbandumpsterdiver's Blog

October 1, 2009

The Valet

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbandumpsterdiver @ 12:30 am

Tonight found 2 big bins of pretzels, adult diapers, 1 night light for my bedroom, tons of cookies, Ritz crackers and saltines. Now have a good stockpile of snacks. When I retrieve snacks they have to be sealed. If there is a tear or a break, I put them back into the dumpster, can’t risk contamination.

The other night I retrieved a brand new IPod car charger. I don’t have one, so I figured I’d keep it for either a garage sale or to give it to someone.

Today on my job, I had to stop at a local high end hotel. Didn’t have any cash on me. Was there for my job. I thought ruh roh. What do I do now? I was honest with the valet guy. I said I’ve been in out and of work for a while. This is a temporary job, I have to be here to do work, where can I park for free outside of the hotel area. He said park here for free, it’s on me.

I thought how nice. When I got back out I had NO cash to give him as a tip. He didn’t even cop an attitude about it, he was extremely gracious. So I asked him if he had an IPod. He said I do but mine runs out of juice. I said how about a new car charger for it? He said great! I went home and brought it back to him with a huge bag of cookies I had found the night before. I said a big thank you for being so gracious to me today. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it.

Dumpster diving has it’s plusses. That IPod avoided a landfill, the valet now has one to charge his IPod in his car, I didn’t have to fork out a ton of money to park for just a short while and we’re all happy.

I used to work as a valet. It’s tough work. It’s even tougher when you get stiffed by a customer. That is why I was hell bent on going back there to give that young kid that charger. My word means something. I grew up in the generation you meant what you said and backed up any promises you made or you didn’t make them.



  1. I have been following your blog for a few weeks now–wish I had known about it last spring when I wrote an article for our weekly arts newspaper about scavenging, I was looking for someone who did it regularly to interview but couldn’t find anyone around here. I used to get a lot of art materials, especially scrap matte board, put out for the garbage, and I often bring back furniture and storage stuff that I think I can use or someone I know can use–all our porch furniture and several items in my daughter’s apartment are scavenged and cleaned up. You’ve inspired me to take it up again on a more regular basis. Thanks for sharing your stories of finding good ways to put the things you find to use–and out of the landfill.

    Comment by JNHotch — October 1, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

  2. JN – You’re most welcome.

    I’m so glad my blog has inspired you! Dumpster diving and curbside recycling is a vapid passion of mine. That valet was really surprised I brought that charger back to him. I really think he thought I’d blow him off. Can’t say I blame him, we have a disposable society. A society that discards the elderly, our spouses and sometimes even our children.

    I find it morally repugnant to allow so many things to wallow and lie in the landfills, when there is no good reason for something to be destroyed. It’s really like pouring money down a rathole (that’s an old southern saying).

    Comment by urbandumpsterdiver — October 1, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

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