Dumpster diving. I have to say, I really love those two words together. It never ceases to amaze me what retailers will throw away, expensive stuff, stuff that could be used elsewhere or repurposed. The corporate blockheads force them to throw everything away versus giving it away. The logic? If you ask the people in the stores why they pitch perfectly good items in the trash, the response will be something along the lines of, “…the corporate office told us we have to…”
I went dumpster diving a few months ago behind Target. They had the largest trash dumpster / container possible and it was starting to overflow. I’m guessing they might have been doing a remodel, however I’ve seen this large container return on a regular basis. Scheduled waste? Take a look at the few pics I took.
Fixtures & more…
Brand new stainless handicap restroom stall door…
Let’s label our trash…
So what is the logic behind this? I don’t understand it at all. I’ve worked for many large retailers and they all seem to operate like this. Although there is one exception I’ve seen. I’ll tell you the story, but without names.
A Giant Retailer, Red Cross and Damaged Goods
I worked in the Miami area during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The place where I worked was mostly destroyed by the hurricane, the building filled with water and debris, still mostly full with merchandise, although the expensive stuff fell into the hands of the looters.
The needs were great, as over 117,000 homes were destroyed and most of the others having severe damage. After the looters finished, the price gougers came in. I saw a gallon of water going for $9. Ice lines were 40 people long, and no telling what they were charging.
The bottom line here is that we had many supplies that would help people, food, diapers, medicine… all products that were still good, but were in the building and the packaging wasn’t good. All of the stores were closed, and no place for people to go to get the food and supplies needed to just survive. The insurance company would not allow us to help with any of the supplies we did have. They needed to inventory the merchandise, then it was to be destroyed. It makes me angry almost 20 years later to even think about it.
Having a most amazing person running this division, he somehow, under the radar, got a truckload of supplies to the Red Cross for immediate distribution. He was willing to risk a lot to do the right thing. I wish I could give him credit and tell this story, with names, to the world. Unfortunately, I can’t, but I do want you to know there are many good stories out there too. At least now we know why we hear more bad stories than good.