Dumpster Diving, Tel Aviv Style

dumpster-diving-tel-aviv dumpster diving in Israel

We saw all the signs: the ararchist gatherings at Salon Mazal and the little old ladies picking through the Friday-afternoon veggies at the Carmel Market. Social activists in Israel have joined the international movement in protest of our consumer culture. They are dumpster-divers, and living off of just about everything and anything that you might throw away.

Dana from Tel Aviv, who is a 21 and a waitress, spends more cash on feeding her dog, than herself. That’s because Dana finds most of her food in the trash.

Some who do this complain of getting belly aches (occupational hazard), but “we hate money and this is our alternative,” says T. a 20 year-old musician.Tel Aviv, Haaretz reports, is pretty high up there on the list of garbage-producing cities — something like 2.5 kilos of garbage, per person per day.

And along with that comes (still?) edible, wearable and usable castaways. While we don’t condone or even recommend our readers to eat tossed-out food, some pretty decent finds can be relinquished from the trash.Compared to Switzerland and or Canada (places where we have lived), the goods thrown in Israeli trash tend to much further along in terms of use, but we managed to furnish our home in Tel Aviv mostly with shiz we found from the street (see here). People in Tel Aviv also tend to leave bags of clothes by sidewalks, and we have enjoyed quite a few items that we have rescued from the trash (after a good wash).

In south Tel Aviv, carpentry shops throw out partly finished furniture; the textile factories there toss out a lot of fabric odds-and-ends as well as t-shirts, belts and other clothes (good for the disco).And one of our friends even had a life-changing experience in a dumpster. While digging around in Jaffa, he looked up and was surprised to see someone in there with him. It was a little old lady who handed him a stone, as a charm.

“This will bring you luck,” she said. Since then, my friend has been married and has had two children.

He credits this lady, whom he met in the dumpster, for bringing him good fortune. (This lady can be found on the corner of Sde Jerushaleim and Rehov Erlich, in Jaffo, where she sells stuff she has found.)”It’s a bag full of surprises. You will never know what you will find,” concludes T.May the force be with you.


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41 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving, Tel Aviv Style”

  1. Le-Chat says:

    It’s ‘normal’ in New York and they call it Freeganism. See http://freegan.info

  2. Karin says:

    I know, it’s gross eh?

  3. Ilana says:

    Okay. Furniture from trash, I get. Clothes from the trash…if they’re in a separate bag, I get it. FOOD??? No. Just, no.

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