Dumpster Diving for Fun and Profit

Adam Business, Economy, Random, Side Hustle 4 Comments


I recently read a Wired profile on Matt Malone. This guy is not your typical dumpster diver. He’s highly educated and makes a six figure salary. 

Apparently Best Buy’s, Office Depot’s and other big boxes are incredibly wasteful and just toss out tons of perfect (or near perfect) condition items of all shapes, sizes and values. 

“If he were to dedicate himself to the activity as a full-time job, he says, finding various discarded treasures, refurbishing and selling them off, he’s confident he could pull in at least $250,000 a year”

Holy shit. That’s some recycle for profit right there. 

What does he find and sale? Printers, paper, toner, bikes, computers, stereos, and all manner of high end electronics. I can’t believe this is possible, not because the companies can’t be wasteful. I can’t believe it because I would have thought the hourly employees would be leaving with it all. 

I like that he feels he’s both helping the environment, helping the poor, and making a profit. That’s my  kind of business. 

“Maybe one way to ward off the dystopia of contraction and decline that William Rathje, Edward Humes, and so many others have foreseen in this wasteful country’s future is to recognize, as Matt Malone has, that while America’s streets have never been paved with gold, these days they are certainly littered with it.”

Go check out the whole profile. It’s eye opening.




Comments 4

  1. Tawcan

    That seems an excellent way to make some good side income. If you can repair these gadgets easily you’ll benefit greatly from dumpster diving. Maybe I should look into this a bit more. 🙂

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  2. The Mini Millionaire!

    Thanks for sharing an article I would of otherwise never found. This is fascinating, and yet so believable.

    It’s not just companies, but offices, and general consumers who are throwing out anything and everything from food to stationary to electronics. This isn’t something that was done 20 years ago, we’ve become the throw away society.

    I live in front of a large office block here in the UK and I remember as a kid going out and dumpster diving in there trash. I thought it was the coolest thing finding office chairs, tables, blank CD’s, ring binders, printers and more. This has certainly reminded me of these times and spurred me on to pursue them again!

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      It’s amazing what companies throw away and even more amazing that their employees don’t take the stuff home. I’m trying to find some time to do some looking myself. Thanks for stopping by!

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