by David Abramson
Davis area folks: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year(TM) is nearly upon us...no not that holiday!!
I’m referring to Dumpster Christmas, Raccoon Holiday, Dumpster Hanukkah, Trash Treasure Tidings, or as known in many secular or agnostic Davis/Yolo traditions.
Friday July 30th- Sunday August 1,
peaking on Saturday the 31st
August 30th-Sept 1 also peaking on the last day of the month!
Ring in Dumpster Christmas!!
*see historical Dumpster Christmas Photo Gallery
There will be couches, beds, bookshelves, and frames!
There will be Versaci and other types of clothes, shoes, and other wears!
There will be packaged food, spices, and kitchen supplies galore!
There will be laser printers!
There will be phone charging cables!
There will be musical instruments and art!
There might be air fryers (2 years streak going)!
There will be antiques and people loading antiques off in trailers to sell at antique shops for hundreds of dollars!
There will be magic and manifestation!
There will be untold gems that come once in a blue moon!
What to Do About it?
You have the answer in your own way!
This “guide” was drafted by a longtime celebrator of Dumpster Christmas, but please please feel free to make it better, do it better, collaborate, and engage in a way that makes sense for you.
Please add your needs/offerings and share this document with your network!!
🎁Dumpster Christmas Mutual Aid Organizer🎁
Contents: Needs, Offerings, Places to Dumpster, and Rideshare
Some Simple Actions & Ideas (please add your own flavors)
take what you need!
distribute what your community needs
pull out useful things from dumpsters that you aren’t going to take and set them aside and/or create a on-the-spot donation station if one doesn’t exist
Document and take pictures (then upload them here)!!
Wear a homemade badge or nametag to identify yourself as a member of the ‘Davis Waste Recovery Network’ (is anyone good at drawing raccoons???)
-map out who is already working on this kind of thing and potential partnerships for distribution and transport (e.g. Davis Night Market | Freedge | Davis Bike Collective(?))
-Organize an “awards ceremony”, write-ups, create content and culture locally to highlight the apartment complexes who did great, and which ones flubbed. Take lots of pictures of the amazing stuff that is getting thrown away and what you’ve recovered.
Safety and Security
You are solely liable for any activity that you partake in during the beautiful holiday of Dumpster Christmas. All info in this guide is simply for informational purposes only.
Be safe, stay hydrated, wear gloves, watch out for sharp objects, be mindful of your surroundings, and be courteous to those who are moving out.
Do a proper inspection of any furniture for bed bugs (how-to article), mold, and structural integrity, and make sure appliances are in safe and working condition.
When you are finished with an area, leave it cleaner than you found it!! Do not block roadways
Legality of Dumpster Diving
I will not give any legal advice here, but if you google search “legality of dumpster diving” or read this article, you can see various perspectives and landmark cases. Decisions have largely ruled in favor of Dumpster Divers and Good Samaritans, including the Supreme Court case of “California vs Greenwood”.
Sometimes an apartment manager will ask you to leave. I usually don’t have that much of an issue. note: my experience is of a white person dumpstering in Davis.
My partner has experienced discrimination as a person of color while dumpster diving in Davis and she recommends that if you are a POC, you go alongside some white friends. It’s a shame that this has to even be a thing, but it’s the world we live in, even in Davis :/
I normally have a conversation with the apartment managers and let them know that I’m from the Davis Waste Recovery Network and that I am there documenting waste for a report on move-out waste. Most of them want to be known for doing the right thing.
Usually apartment managers just want to know what you’re doing. Be kind and respectful...this could be an opportunity to build bridges to apartment complexes and no longer be complicit in the insane wastefulness of move-out. Maybe they will voluntarily put up a donation station.
Do what you feel comfortable with personally. Nobody can choose that for you except yourself.
You can have an apartment manager call David Abramson at 530-902-8223 (informational purposes only), and you can also reach me at this number at any time if you have any other issues or questions.
If you are asked to leave or experience any discrimination, please call or text David Abramson at 530-902-8223 and/or add that information to the ‘Places to Dumpster’ in the Mutual Aid Organizer.
And happy dumpstering!!!
Dumpster Christmas Mutual Aid Organizer spreadsheet
(add your needs, offerings, and support capabilities)
Please share this guide and organizer with anyone who might have a need or an offering and likes to get down with trash treasures!! Happy holiday!