Wednesday, November 6, 2013


“I always believe that to be the best, you have to smell like the best, dress like the best, act like the best. When you throw your trash in the garbage can, it has to be better than anybody else who ever threw trash in the garbage can.” Lil Wayne

I am a princess. If you travel to Ireland, County of Cork (I think) or maybe Sligo? Anyway, what matters is that I am a princess. My 10th grandfather was head of one of the largest clans in Ireland: The O’Connor clan. So, should you ever travel to Ireland to that county, you will find a pile of rocks where once stood a grand medieval castle; that would be my royal lineage. And then the castle fell to ruins, the potato famine hit, and we fled to NYC, poor and destitute. My family was left rummaging to survive. There, in me blood, runs royalty; and also dumpster diving. I am a dichotomy.

So it should come as no surprise when I confess that I am a Princess Dumpster Diver. I take my own garbage to the dump. Of course, I do not take my garbage to just any dump. My dump, fit for a princess, is one of the finest in the land. I only know of one other dump of such fine real estate and that, my subjects, is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; and I think they just take recycling. Here, this dump takes just about everything. Situated on a lake, what fine real estate she is with water front property, just a mile down the road from one of the most prestigious country club you have ever seen.

I could offer many reasons why I visit the dump on a weekly basis, but the real reason comes down to this: I am cheap. Why pay someone when I can do it myself? Many a time I swear that “when I get home I am arranging for garbage pick-up!” The dump is not a fun place. It is gross, smelly, and just nasty. Christians relate Hell to going to the dump, contrary to the image immortalized in Dante’s Inferno of flames. So for a good Irish princess like myself, nothing feels better than a good trip to the dump! Always feels good to get rid of that junk in the trunk. However, there are rules to the dump, and as any good princess would follow protocol, I will share the top ten rules that I have learned over the years:

#1 Always have wipes and sanitizer readily available.

#2 Gloves are important too as they protect not just from slime but also venomous spiders that lurk under the handles of trash cans.

#3 Itemize and organize trash so that you can get in and out in a flash.

#4 Make weekly trips to dispose of trash. During summer perhaps twice a week. Winter is great because you can skip a few weeks (a former neighbor, of great legal mind, shared this tip).

#5 Make sure that when you ask your son to take out the trash he places the lid back on otherwise when it rains you will have a soupy, nasty mess and you will be left dry heaving trying to contend with a zone of contamination.

#6 When scamming and perusing trash from other dumpers, be mindful of two things: one, they are planning to get rid of it. Two, is it worthy of humiliating yourself into retrieving? Trust your instinct though. Don’t get cold feet. If you see something and it looks like a treasure, go for it. You can always throw it out. Don’t let pride stand in your way of a good find! You know what people say, “Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure!"

#7 Back vehicle into the dump so you can be in and out quickly. No one EVER, I repeat EVER, drives their vehicle head first. You Never, Ever see this and if you do, they are an idiot.

#8 Be friendly to the workers. What a shitty job they have!

#9 If you are about to lose your grip on your trash can when dumping cause you are not so strong and you waited too long to visit the dump, just let it go, let it go. It’s just not worth trying to save. Trash cans are easily replaceable.

#9a Good rule of thumb is to bleach cans frequently and also replace every so often.

#10 Never wear flip flops.

Rule #10 is a recently learned tip. A few weeks ago I went to take a quick dump, I mean trip to the dump. I threw on some flip flops, hair up, just had a quick bag to drop. I backed into my spot, garbage itemized and organized, sanitizer on hand, gloves on, and this man, this fellow independent garbage disposer, stops me dead in my ricochet (oh yeah, I am mastering throwing my bags, kind of like garbage basketball).

“Ma’am, you should not wear flip flops to the dump. Do you know what a vile and disgusting place this is?”

As if this were my first rodeo.

He proceeds with his diatribe, “You cannot even imagine the filth and bacteria and scum that is on this ground. Just filth and maggots, just awful.” His face was curled in disgust and repulsion. Just looking at my choice of foot attire made him cringe yet, fool he was, he thought I was a novice. I was getting ready to explain to him that I am a princess dumpster diver, been coming here for years, and he does not know to whom he is speaking.

Instead, I climbed into my pumpkin, a maggot dangling from my freshly manicured pinky, and retorted, “Sir, I am well aware of the filth of this place. In fact, I sometimes wear heals when I take my dump!” And with that, I straightened my crown, waved him goodbye, and rode off on my horse.

I dedicate this posting to my brother, "Prince of Dumpster Diving" and my mother "Queen of Dumpster Diving"


  1. You'll always be my princess.

  2. One man's trash is another man's treasure. I have 6 kids bikes I got out of the garbage, that saved me $360. I have $1700 worth of free swing sets in my backyard. I saved $50 on a light because I took one from your attic. I hung shelves in my garage for free by rummaging through my neighbors garage.

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  4. If you're Irish you're already a princess.

  5. It's been a long time since I've been to the dump. As a kid I wasn't allowed to go because I always wanted to drag home nearly as much stuff as we dropped off.