One Man’s Trash Could Be Your Treasure

One of the most annoying things about college is moving every year. Not only do you finally get comfortable in your new pad only to have to pick up and move to another one, but you also realize how much crap you have. And if you are like me you get annoyed with all the packing and throw a lot of your stuff away.

Which makes for quite an expensive pile of trash. Add that to all your neighbors doing the same thing and you have yourself a nice little collection of goodies; a lot of it still in very good shape.

Good enough, some argue, to take for themselves.

Who are those people? Well, the Freegans, of course. I was first introduced to Freegan culture while reading an article in the New York Times the other day. “Freegans are scavengers of the developed world, living off consumer waste in an effort to minimize their support of corporations and their impact on the planet, and to distance themselves from what they see as out-of-control consumerism.”

In other words, Freegans are price savvy people who decide to make another man’s trash their treasure.

And it is quite brilliant. According to the article, Freegans in New York City gather in front of the NYU dorms at the end of every school year and wait to cash in on trash the predominantly wealthy student body leaves behind. They have walked away with everything from old Yaffa blocks to working TVs and iPods.

The idea of sifting through someone else’s garbage seemed a little gross at first until I realized the possibilities. If any of the students are like me then they are throwing away perfectly good things that they just don’t want/need/care to take with them. If I have to jump into a pile of trash (or free merchandise depending how you look at it) to get a free iPod then so be it! I am a starving college graduate, damnit. I will do anything to save a dollar.

I just wish I had known about this back in my college days. It is never too late, though; I will definitely be joining those Ann Arbor Freegans when UofM get out next year. Dumpster, here I come!

1 thought on “One Man’s Trash Could Be Your Treasure”

  1. Hi – I enjoyed your article on freegans. Do you, by chance, know any Ann Arbor freegans? I'm interested in contacting them for a story about freeganism in The Michigan Daily Newspaper.

    Thank you,
    Kara Morris

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.