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It's a Great Time to Dumpster Dive in New York City

By Emilie Ruscoe | May 26, 2015 1:36pm

New York takes to heart the adage about one man's trash being another man's treasure.

Starting with spring cleaning and peaking as college students move out of their dorms and June 1st moving dates approach, the city's sidewalks are currently fertile ground for those willing to do whatever it takes to transport a good sidewalk score home.

Dumpster diving had a moment of high visibility last week, as the set for the David Letterman show went into the trash outside of the Ed Sullivan theatre and superfans swarmed, seeking souvenirs.

But last week also marked the annual observation, among neighbors of the city's instutitions of higher education, of "punk christmas" — dorm room moveout at NYU, Columbia, and other places where the student body leaves behind its furnishings, textbooks, and other possessions not worth shipping home.


Dumpster Diving on Broadway. New York City, 2015.

A photo posted by Ed Aycock (@infoed) on


Much is made of the novelty of dumpster diving in New York City, especially when its practitioners are fairly normal-seeming people:

But going through the trash is a long established part of life in the Big Apple. Just ask the day trippers who visit Dead Horse Bay (a trip which is perhaps more fun than going to Manhattan Criminal Court).