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Orderly Dumpster Diving: An Excursion in Wetware Manipulation

By DIzzIE [c]opyleft 2004

One problem that I'm sure many dumpster divers have faced is disorganized dumpsters; dumpsters with wide open bags/boxes, the contents strewn all over the place.

While on the other hand this may benefit the dumpster diver, allowing him/her to clearly see the contents of the dumpster, it may also have an adverse effect when the time comes to take the goods out (as any seasoned dumpster diver will admit, it is much better to haul as much as you can and inspect the bounty later, versus sticking around in the dumpster itself), or when one wants to look deeper than the first layer of 'trash.'

Thus, here is an experimental solution that may ensure that your favorite dumpsters will remain orderly.

For our sample scenario, let us say our favourite dumpster is that of a bookstore that regularly tosses away its magazines and books straight into the dumpster, without bothering to put them into sealed boxes, thus making the life of the dumpster diver unnecessarily difficult when he/she has to waste time putting the literature back in the boxes (if there even are boxes in the dumpster at all). The solution then, is relatively straightforward. All one must do is place a call to the store (in our example, the bookstore) that utilizes the dumpster in question, claiming to be a representative of the city's waste disposal department (for the specific name of the waste disposal company, look at the stickers on the dumpster) and complaining about all the loose trash. A sample conversation follows:

Clerk: Hello, thank you for calling Bookworld, my name is Marshal, how may I help you?
Dumpster Diver: Hello Marshal, this is Gary Vinton [pseudonym here], managing supervisor of BFI Waste Removal Services [name of local waste disposal organization] for Phoenix, AZ [your location here]. Could I please speak to the manager?
Clerk: Just a moment please.
Manager: Hello, this is Cindy Smith, manager of Bookworld, how may I help you?
DD: Hi Cindy, this is Gary Vinton, managing supervisor of BFI Waste Removal Services for Phoenix, AZ. I'm calling today about a concern some of my regular employees have repeatedly expressed. It seems, Cindy, that every week that my pickers empty your dumpster, there are loose papers flying all over the place. As a result, my men have to get out, and pick up all the extra papers and magazines and such. As I'm sure you understand, this takes up valuable time, making them behind schedule, which, in turn, makes me look bad to my boss.
M: I see...
DD: So I'm calling today to ask you to please start enforcing a policy of securely placing your paper waste in sealed boxes. We've been having this problem with lots of book/newsstand chains, and I've already talked to most of them and they've all agreed to cooperate. I hope you'll do the same Cindy?
Cindy: Oh, alright I suppose...
DD: Thanks so much for your cooperation, just be sure to inform whoever is in charge of taking out the trash to pack the recyclables into boxes, and to make sure the normal trash bags are properly sealed as well; this will help us all run more smoothly. Have a great day.
Cindy: Will do, goodbye
DD: Bye bye


For any questions/comments, feel free to drop me a line:

Copyright 2005, EuroHacker Magazine