A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 10, 2010
Dumpster Diving (Dumpster Pool)

’Dumpster diving” has meant, since the early 1980s, to search through a dumpter for food or other items. What is “trash” to the person who throw the item into a dumpster might be “treasure” to the dumpster-diver.

In the summer of 2009, Macro-Sea turned a Brooklyn dumpster into a small swimming pool. In 2010, the city of New York added “dumpster pools” at Park Avenue and 40th Street. The old term of “dumpster-diving” was used to describe dumpster swimming.


Wikipedia: Dumpster diving
Dumpster diving (known as skipping in the UK) is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the dumpster diver.

Etymology and alternate names
The dumpster diving term originates from the best-known manufacturer of commercial trash bins, Dempsey, who use the trade name “Dumpster” for their bins, and the fanciful image of someone leaping head first into a dumpster as if it were a swimming pool. In practice, the size and design of most dumpsters makes it possible to retrieve many items from the outside of dumpsters without having to “dive” into them.

The practice of dumpster diving is also known variously as bin-diving, containering, D-mart, dumpstering, tatting, or “recycled” food.

A similar term is binner and is often used to describe people that collect recyclable materials for their deposit value.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
dumpster diving, n.
U.S.
[< DUMPSTER n. + DIVING n. Compare slightly later DUMPSTER-DIVE v.]
The practice of searching through a rubbish container (esp. a dumpster or skip) for food, items of value, etc.
1983 Life July 39 (caption) Rat and Mike call rummaging for food in trash bins behind restaurants dumpster diving.
1995 Forum on Computer Risks (Electronic ed.) 25 Aug., It’s easy to get credit card numbers through dumpster diving..and telephone scams.

NYC.gov: Summer Streets
DUMPSTER POOLS
The Dumpster Pools will be set up at Park Avenue and 40th Street, and will be open from 7:30 am to 1 pm. Space at the pools will be limited. Bracelets for timed admission will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you want to swim, bring your suit. There will be showers and changing facilities provided. There will be minimal space to store personal belongings, so please pack lightly or have a friend watch your bags while you take a dip.

New York (NY) Times
Forget the Trash Bag, Bring a Towel
By MELENA RYZIK
Published: July 19, 2009
The only thing cooler than a pool party on a summer night in New York City is a secret pool party.
(...)
The concept itself is borrowed. Mr. Belt, Mr. Weyland and Alix Feinkind, Macro-Sea’s creative director, heard about it in April, when they were scouting a project in Georgia. Curtis Crowe, a musician in the Athens band Pylon, had made one.

After Mr. Weyland had a brief phone conversation with him, Macro-Sea decided to make its own. It took about a month to find a suitably out of the way yet accessible space with an agreeable owner. (The pools are insured, Mr. Belt said, and the lot, filled with junk and machinery, is protected by a chain-link fence.)

ABC News
Dumpster Pools Create Urban Oases
Vacant Lots Become Coolest Spots in Town

By LOREN GRUSH
July 21, 2009
Some New York City residents are diving into Dumpsters this summer – but coming up squeaky clean and refreshed.

In the latest twist on staycations, Brooklyn swimmers have been taking refreshing dips in their newly crafted neighborhood Dumpster pools.

The transformation from waste to water was generated by Macro Sea, a New York-based design company looking to expand the concept around the country.

New York (NY) Post
Dumpsters get in the swim today
By KEVIN FASICK
Posted: 4:04 AM, August 7, 2010
Dumpster diving becomes a city-sanctioned sport today.

Three Dumpsters-turned-urban swimming holes are scheduled to open on Park Avenue, each offering a refreshing dip smack in the heart of Midtown.

The bright-red Dumpsters, part of the city’s Summer Streets program.

New York Magazine - Daily Intel
New Yorkers Cool Off by Dumpster Diving
8/8/10 at 12:31 PM
Three former Dumpsters were magically transformed into public swimming pools on Park Avenue this weekend, and hundreds of New Yorkers lined up in midtown for a dip. While close proximity to so much of others peoples’ sweat and the not-pictured crying babies makes us wary, one 8-year-old convincingly explained: “It was actually really fun. I loved the pool. It was so fabulous.”

ABC News
Dumpster Diving on Park Avenue
New York City Opens Dumpster Swimming Pools for Summer

By AYANA HARRY
Aug. 10, 2010
New Yorkers strolling down ritzy Park Avenue can choose to go for a dip in a dumpster swimming pool this month.

As part of New York City’s Summer Streets program, three pools made of the giant trash bins have opened to the public, right near Grand Central Station, available for those interested in cooling off from the summer heat on weekends in August.

Dumpster diving in New York first became popular last summer in Brooklyn, when Macro-Sea, a development company, started hosting secret swimming parties around the borough, setting up the trash bins in vacant lots.

“Last year we took a junkyard in Brooklyn and made kind of a low-fi country club for our friends and we used dumpsters,” Macro-Sea president David Belt said. “We tore out the insides and covered it with plastic and tarps and we had filters around the edge and built some decks and we had a great time.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 10, 2010 • Permalink