"In my defense... I saw 'Bring It On'..." -Anonymous Board Writer
Question #82587 posted on 05/30/2015 12:30 p.m.

Dear Ardilla Feroz,

What's the coolest or most interesting thing you've found whilst dumpster diving? (Board Question #82522) What did you do with said objects?

-Snouter Router


Dear Rooter,

Well, I guess I did say you could ask me anything...

...so don't judge me too harshly, okay? By writing this I feel kind of like I'm abandoning my last pretenses at being a Normal Person, and frankly people find me weird enough as it is.

With that in mind, let's go have some fun. Most of the stuff I go after is food, but I find a variety of things. Some of the things I've found in dumpsters, on curbs, and on sidewalks include:

  • Food people are throwing away when they are moving out of the apartment complex
  • Perfectly good food a roommate throws away on a regular basis in the kitchen because he believes the "best-by" date is the "eat after this day and die" date. Like sour cream that "tasted sour." It's sour cream, bro. I don't know what else to tell you.
  • A small suitcase (used to take stuff to a job site in the desert and also trips to Southern Utah and the Pacific Northwest)
  • Construction paper (used to make a collage for a friend)
  • Lemon and pomegranate lip gloss
  • Untouched food thrown away by EFY kids. Seriously, last summer I followed these adolescent nuisances like the Plains Indians would follow the great bison migrations, except instead of eating EFY kids (awfully gamy, I'm told) I would grab a trash bag set out by some grounds person before they had a chance to pick it up. I would take it to A Secret Location where I would carefully check the assortment of enclosed styrofoam take-out boxes  therein and extract untouched/only slightly maimed food. I would eat as much of the food as I could before putting a few of the trays in a fridge on the fifth floor of the Widtsoe where I could eat my ransacked treasures at my refrigerated convenience. Sadly, that fridge and building are gone and that tactic will probably no longer work. I guess I'll just die of starvation. Wait, is that EFY outside right now...? 

    teh goodz

    trash 2.jpg
    wai it haz not been eted? o well.
  • During winter semester, I encountered a full catering tray of spaghetti freshly discarded from a faculty get-together which I kept overnight in a trustworthy-looking shrub outside of the HFAC (you know, to make it harder to be destroyed by Things). I ate it over the course of two wintery days.

    Rock keeps the lid on tight-ish.

  • My most calorically dense find was the time my buddy Warbreaker and I recovered a paskillion donuts from A Certain Overrated Bakery Institution. We had heard legends telling of copious amounts of heart-stopping confections free for the taking and we randomly decided to check it out one evening around midnight. When we arrived to our confusion we found nary a donut in the trash receptacle. We turned to go, but not before a worker caught us and asked us what what we were doing. We decided to smooth-talk our way out of the situation. "Uh, so we, um, heard that we could come get... stuff out of this dumpster. That's cool, right?" The venomous, silent glare we received it indicated it was not. We awkwardly excused ourselves and skedaddled outta there real quick to our waiting getaway vehicle. We drove speedily around the block and ended about 100 feet from where we'd started just out of sight of The Angry Person. Warbreaker and I discussed a particular Donut Legend I'd heard as a freshman that suggested donuts appeared magically  and specifically at 3 AM. Hungry and stubborn, we decided to wait. Lo and behold, the oral histories were proven true as a worker emerged from the shop with a garbage-bag laden cart; he strained to lift his mysterious cargo into the dumpster and returned inside. No sooner had he disappeared than we emerged from our hiding place, and lo in the top of the dumpster there was retrieved an exceedingly heavy bag swollen with pastries, verily, we did jack it and peace out of the premises. 

    kk hefting.jpg
    Spoils of our adventure in the safety of the Batcave.

    kk the hoard.jpg

    We counted our prodigious haul. One hundred and forty five donuts, all ours for free. Wasting no time, we ate as many donuts as we wanted.
    Sighing contentedly some minutes later, I wiped a smear of jelly and powdered sugar off my cheek. As incredible as it seemed, only twelve donuts of the hoard had been consumed, and we didn't know what to do with the rest. I took about twenty home, none of which my roommates touched. It didn't matter that the donuts were double-bagged separately and that the bag contained no trash, they said, a dumpster was a dumpster and that was that. I ate most of my haul and tossed the rest when they went stale.

     kk ectstatic.jpg
    Sweet socks, Batman.

    As for the rest of our haul, Warbreaker told me he'd taken some to an Elder's Quorum party but they hadn't really been touched. When I asked him what happened to the rest, he responded that he'd eaten Every. Single. One. 
  • Probably my "kindest" dumpster find I have had was a haul of flowers tossed out by the floral design lab. Warbreaker and I found it one Thursday night in the depths of the Widtsoe. The next day we took the flowers to the JFSB quad and gave them to people we encountered. They seemed oddly touched by our gesture (apparently people like flowers or something) so I felt it best not to tell them we'd pulled them out of a trash can the day before.

Oh, wait. You asked about the "coolest or most interesting thing" I've ever found? Presenting Juan Alejandro.

juan alejandro_1.jpg
Discovered by my dad near my parents' home in Salt Lake, he was a perfect addition to our apartment complex last summer.  

juan alejandro 2.jpg

His origins are a little mysterious, but it quickly became apparent Juan Alejandro is a social sort and seemed to enjoy hanging out at night and meeting new people. From their excited yells I could tell they enjoyed it as well. Before he moved back to Salt Lake he attended a casual birthday party for a silvery friend in the ward. Also in attendance was Fabio, another dumpster rescue.


Well, there you go. Hopefully that didn't leave you too nauseous and I hope your morbid curiosity was piqued.

--Ardilla Feroz
P.S. Did you know there's an entire population of feral cats that survives almost exclusively off of the refuse of the campus waste bins? Watch for them when you're walking around BYU campus, especially at night.