Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dumpster Ride #4 and "Dive!"

Last night Eric and I hosted/attended another freegan event in Pasadena (actually two events). First, we saw, for the first time, a screening of the new low-budget documentary "Dive!". It was a fantastic piece about dumpster diving and waste, in Los Angeles in particular. We picked up a copy, so you can bet there will be a video potluck screening of it coming from us through the LA Dumpster Diving Meetup. This event we attended last night was not our own, but a nice coincidence that we learned about through a friend of ours who knows the filmmaker. He noticed that we had a dumpster ride planned that night and said, "Hey, did you know that "Dive!" is being screened at my church that same night?" It turned out to be a great union of related events. In fact, two of the dumpster spots we toured on the bike ride were in the film.

After the movie screening and discussion, we led a tour of our favorite Pasadena dumpsters. The first stop was a bit dramatic, as we were stopped by a security guard toward the end of our foraging. Eric and I were surprised by this turn of events, because it used to be that the security personnel of this particular store knew and were friendly to us. But it turns out that this guy was a new and zealous employee. He told us to put the "stolen trash" back in the dumpster and threatened to call the police. We had already secured a sizable haul in our various carrying capacities (Eric's bike trailer, a couple of our friends' cars). The best thing to do in that situation is to be amicable and obedient. I was a bit annoyed, and so avoided talking directly to the guard myself.

I was a little nervous about the encounter, only because of the impression I was afraid it would give to our "newbies". But the first-time divers among us were not phased by the experience. I suppose seeing our friend Paul being incredibly polite to authorities in the "Dive!" movie before our own diving was an inspiration?

One friend, whom I had met through the healthcare protest arrest in October, has a job in which she needs a good reputation to maintain it. She was very nervous before the ride about "getting in trouble". But once we started in on the action, she got very excited about the food and fun. She really got into it, and it seemed that the security guard incident was no problem for her. The evening was really great, despite the chilly air and riding without gloves.

We scored a ton of great food. It was enough for the roughly twenty of us to each have our own selection of food, at least a plastic shopping bag each. Eric and I got the leftovers, as usual, which included a medium box of bananas and 6 or 7 dozen eggs. And we did have our own box of selections, too, of course. The "shopping" part at the end is one of my favorite aspects of group dumpster diving. It represents the sharing aspect of freeganism, as we divide the food evenly between us. I love how everyone involved is often quite humble about their preferences, offering their prizes to everyone before actually claiming them. I must admit that I become quite greedy at times for certain items. It's a learning experience.

I will post the very smiley pictures from the ride as soon as I get them out of the camera. Peace out.

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