Time Out Melbourne

Dumpster diving and cost cutting are an artform, you know

Go Freegan

The skinny on dumpster diving

Why eat out of a bin?
Why not? Skips contain food that has reached its use-by date, day-old bread, and fruit that is just too ugly to sell by supermarket standards. Swallow your pride, and snag a free bun!

But why doesn't it go to charity?
A lot does. Most of the big supermarkets donate safe produce to SecondBite, who redistribute the goods to food programmes. Coles spokesman John Church says: “We’ve diverted 7,500 tonnes of produce from going to landfi ll since 2010.” But there’s always overfl ow, and sometimes a lot.

So is diving illegal?
No! According to Inspector Ian Geddes of Victoria Police, “The owner has relinquished their rights to the goods by throwing them away.” City of Melbourne’s spokesperson says, “From a civil perspective, the issue of a person removing material from a dumpster is between the supermarket and that person.” So, if you’re not trespassing, breaking locks, and the store doesn’t ask you to leave, you’re OK. Although Church says, “It’s not something we encourage – climbing into big heavy bins simply isn’t safe.”

Getting started
You’ll find plenty of divers through sites like Facebook and Couchsurfing who can give you maps and good times to go. Just search for “freegan”. Been a hot day? Maybe you don’t want that ham/sushi/milk. Use your nose first, mouth second.

Live green

Want to go green but not sure where to start? Think it costs the earth? Well, Live Green has the answer: swap your energy-sucking lightbulbs for CFLs, avoid huge water bills with water-saving showerheads and save money with standby controllers on your powerpoints – and all for free! Yep, they’ll bring free bulbs, showerheads and controllers – and even pop round at your convenience to install them in your house for you. A way to save $$$ on electricity bills and save the environment? That’s a win. See Live Green, or call 1300 781 998 to make an appointment.

Updated on 14 Feb 2013.

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more