Photo: Shutterstock

My Trash

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

If you want something cool but don’t have the dollah bills to buy it, man do I got the solution for you.

Ready? (Imagine me leaning in really close — so close you can smell the stale Guinness on my breath…) Trash. It’s alllllll about the trash, baby.

“W-what?” you splutter. “Trash?”

Yeah, you heard me. Trash, rubbish, garbage, or, as I like to think of it: the solution to all your problems.

Throw on some boots and gloves: your homies have moved in and it is time to expropriate some loot for the motherland. Many well-off St Andrews students, flush with daddy’s money, don’t have the best understanding of how recycling works.

Photo: Shutterstock

This means that their overpriced junk, bought for the sole purpose of flexing on their working-class classmates, is now free game for resale and reuse. Plenty of money can be saved and made through the recycling and resale of what other people consider trash, and as an added benefit, this is also good for the environment. Excess clothing and books found in bins can be kept for personal use, sold, or given to a local charity such as Barnardos which helps vulnerable children. If you’re feeling creative, you can also use scrap wood thrown away by local hardware stores and building sites to build your own furniture and decorations.

Most of my personal items are second-hand and I have greatly benefited through this type of recycling. Aside from the profit factor, dumpster-diving can also fuel hobbies such as making art out of recyclable materials, and woodworking (nailing a bunch of stuff together until it’s kinda functional or looks cool.)

Photo: Joe Ehrlich

What’s the best time to go dumpster-diving, you ask? The best time to get good, usable items from the trash is at the end of each semester, when all the students are moving out and headed home. Halls of residence are always a prime place to find some thiccc loot, because all the trash is centralized to one location per hall. Aside from halls, commercial bins throughout town can also be profitable, and as an added bonus if you’re looking for cardboard boxes to move out of your term-time address, you’re likely to find plenty at no cost to your sickly, debt-ridden bank account.

For this last bit of advice I would recommend using caution and common sense. Many students throw away perfectly good sealed food, tea, coffee and other items at the end of the year which you could, in theory, reuse. Reusing thrown-away, relatively clean food products not only benefits the environment, but also your bank account.

A final note, courtesy of my legal adviser, Jimmy “Tax-evadey” Jameson:

Familiarise yourself with the local laws before you go dumpster diving, and make sure to ask the owners permission before entering private property to remove thrown away materials.

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