Dumpster Diving is not Illegal

dumpsterdiveAfter the great turn out to the showing of the documentary film Just Eat It, which highlighted the grotesque amount of food that is thrown into the dumpsters across America, the question arose, “Is it legal to salvage food from dumpsters?” I had to admit that I did not know the answer but that I would find out.
The City of Renton Police Department stated that there is no law that exists that would prohibit dumpster diving. You cannot go onto residential property and take things from a dumpster, but commercial properties such as restaurants, grocery stores or bakeries are open market for divers. Salvaging items for resale is illegal but salvaging food for personal consumption is not.
The woman on the phone did say that to be safe she recommended just asking the business if they would mind if their throw away food was taken away instead of thrown away. Seems like a good idea. Happy diving!

Are you a game changer?


While browsing through websites on Transition Town Initiatives I stumbled upon this seven minute video. After watching it I felt compelled to share it with all of you. I have felt frustrated with my efforts at times when it seems that there is no momentum at large and at other times when I cannot seem to live up to my own individual philosophical convictions. This video explains why I feel that way and what might be able to be done about it. It reminded me that what WE are trying to do at Sustainable Renton is exactly the thing that is the solution to our problem-to work in our local communities to effect a positive change and to move towards a more resilient, self-sufficient city, rather than a dependent one. Here is a link to that video: http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-change/  After viewing the short it will take you to a quiz to find out what kind of game changer you are. I was informed that I am a nurturer. I’m not sure how I feel about that, I think I might rather leave the nurturing to others and I’ll be in the forefront changing the rules of how the games are played, but it’s nice to be effective at both I guess.

One idea that has been mentioned at our Board meetings is to make Sustainable Renton a Transition Initiative. If you are unfamiliar with this idea then you can go here to find out more: http://transitionus.org/transition-101

Here is a snippet from the website to pique your curiosity:

“The Transition Movement is comprised of vibrant, grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition Initiatives differentiate themselves from other sustainability and “environmental” groups by seeking to mitigate these converging global crises by engaging their communities in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self reliance and resilience.”

If, after finding out more, you want to get involved in what Sustainable Renton might be doing please come to our Board meeting held on the third Thursday of every month at 7 pm or contact us at sustainablerenton@gmail.com and someone will get back with you.

In the meantime, do good work.

Lara Randolph

Co-President/Sustainable Renton