---Tech Trash--- | entry page| who we are | what we do | what we find | legal issues | experiences |

Our group is dedicated to scavenging computer and electronic trash from the dumpsters and trash bags of corporate America. To the uninitated, seeing the glee with which we view a damp pile of trash bags in the middle of San Francisco lon g after midnight, we may be viewed with at best mild curiosity , and at worse as criminals with an ulterior motive (see experiences for more about this.)

Yet within those bags lies an unbelievably rich treasure trove. Not every pile of trash produces something useful or interesting, however with the amount of trash we go through during the course of an expedition, we almost always have a major find. Equipment is simple. All we use is a tough pair of gloves, backpacks, a flashlight, and often a shopping cart or broken office chair found in the trash to carry heavier items. We assemble in a common area about 6-7 in the evening, almost always on a Friday, just as the sun is going down, and the trash is being put out. We have a number of spots i n the general area that we know usually produce good results, so we check those out first, and return to them at various times during the night to check for new items. We don't follow a set route. We just walk until we find a pile that looks interesting. You can tell from a few yards awa y whether a pile is even worth touching. Piles that have folded wax produce bo xes stacked alongside them usually belong to restaurants in the vicinity, and contain only food scraps and broken plates, so we avoid them. If a pile passes the look test, we start by feeling the bags to get an idea what's inside them, so we can decide if we want to open them. Bags with hard surfaces within, such as boxes, tubes, etc get opened to see if they contain objects of interest. Bags that are totally soft and squishy get studiously avoided. The majority of the time they contain bathroom trash, which is not only useless, but the most disgusting category of trash that we have to deal with, so we try and touch it as little as possible. Interesting items are passed around the group and examined. The gen eral rule is "finders keepers", however many exceptions are made where the finder will give the item to anyone who asks, because the object has no use to him, or his parents have banned him from bringing home any more equipment!. Many of the items we find are donated to the Marin Computer Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to repairing and redistributing donated equipment to schools or under-priviledged individuals, where many of us volunteer on weekends. Expeditions last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the weather , items found, and enthusiasm of the participants. At the conclusion of the evening, we drift back towards our original meeting spot, or the nerdmobile, and examine our finds in greater detail.

The results ---> what we find

contact. fib@leaf.lumiere.net
created. 11.2.97