Monday, July 20, 2009

Dumpster Diving - Ultimate Urban Recycle

OMG - I'm not immune. I typed a lot of stuff here and then, poof, it disappeared! While no doubt user error, excuse me while I huff and snort and tizzy and get it out of my system.
Breathe breathe breathe.......................

Ok. I begin again.

Perhaps you've noticed my absence around the EcoCurious watering hole for the past several days. (In the first version I narcissistically - is that a word? yes, apparently it is - hoped out loud that you had, in fact, noticed. And I do hope you noticed.)

Anyway, another school year looms, and as both student and prof, I have a boat-load of work that I must complete before the second week of August. That and I had an offer on my house - ending my friendship with my realtor, and foregoing a sale over disagreements about negotiation styles. My idea is that she should be massaging the other side into submission. Her idea was to beat me into submission. Sigh...

But moving right along to happier things. Even though I'm not here, my very good friend and Newshound Extraordinaire Linda Ramo is watching out for us. She forwarded a New York Times article featuring this trendy new urban renew, recycle, reuse idea: Dumpster Diving. No, not transients diving into other people's trash for reusable items, although surely that qualifies for the designer 3R label. But come on. That's passe. It's been done. This is neuvo and improve and shiny, especially under la lune.

No, apparently, the chic thing to do with a New York dumpster is to turn it into a swimming hole. Yes, really. You read that right. There is, we are informed, a dearth of pools in the metro. Conversely there are dumpsters abundante. And the swimming soirees held in these dumpsters are private, invitation-only affairs. It's shabby chic squared! Brilliant. I hope they are cleaning these things out really, really, really well first.

I give you a couple of paragraphs from the story to psych you for more, and a video clip of a private chi chi dumpster party:

"The idea, said David Belt, a real estate developer and the president of Macro-Sea, the company behind the pools, was not to create an exclusive party destination but to experiment with underused space and materials, repurposing them with urban renewal in mind.

“It’s a very simple concept,” said Jocko Weyland, Macro-Sea’s project manager. “There aren’t that many places to swim in New York.” And Dumpsters “are everywhere; they’re ubiquitous.”

Ubiquitous. A lovely word, don't you think? Below is the definition from Check out the pronunciation. You may need someone to pronounce the pronunciation for you. Apparently this word can be vocalized without access to a single vowel. By the way, Linda, this is how my brain works. Darting here, there. Lists, kids. Memory substitute. I could get nothing done at all if I didn't have a list by my side.

u·biq·ui·tous (y-bkw-ts)
Being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent: "plodded through the shadows fruitlessly like an ubiquitous spook" (Joseph Heller).

u·biqui·tous·ly adv.
u·biqui·tous·ness n.

Back to topic. You know, while I like the novelty of Dumpster Diving, I am thinking this isn't the best idea to come out of New York City. I predict dumpsters will soon begin to disappear at an alarming rate. Creative camouflaging contests will spring up. The city will be forced to find unique ways to discover and reclaim their expensive dumpsters. Requests for proposal will go out to programmers to develop software able to sort through citizen water bills for sudden spikes in usage. Garbage bills everywhere will go up to cover the costs of purchasing replacement dumpsters for ... well... garbage. Average Joes will take to the streets to protest their rising garbage bills and to demand access along side the elites who are slumming, er, swimming at invitation-only dumpster events.

On second thought, whatever. It is New York. I live in Kansas this summer. If I don't want to swim in the neighborhood pool, there's a cow pond every half mile or so, and the bovines don't mind sharing. Tres Kansas chic and very green, don't you think? So where is all our publicity?

Here's the link to the story:

Here's the video clip. Glad I'm not THAT guy, aren't you?

Picture above from, where they apparently have already christened other utilities for the humble dumpster.
Cow pictures are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service,, and the,

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