How did this madness start?
Well, a roommate of mine had mentioned once before that she occasionally went dumpster diving at night by herself on her bike and that she had found some pretty neat food! So, one of my first Friday nights in Seattle, 4 of my roommates and myself piled into a car and hit up some of the dumpster professional’s favorite dumpsters.
First stop: “The Bread Dumpster”
Our first stop was a dumpster in Fremont on the corner of (I’ll insert the exact address once I actually figure out where they took me- for now let’s just agree that it was in Fremont ***After some web research I’m assuming we went to Essential Bakery -5601 1st Avenue South in Georgetown***). This seems to be the famous bread dumpster that is known among the locals. A couple of people in the coffee shop across the street actually took on to what we were doing and raided the dumpster themselves when we were done.
My initial reaction was “Gross, theres tons of dumpsters on this corner, theres not even a bakery around here, where is this bread coming from?” To my surprise we opened the special dumpster amongst the others and found it entirely filled with bread. No other trash to contaminate the food, no mold or weird smells, just wonderful and beautifully free bread.
We got about 8 loafs of bread that were perfectly good and honestly better than what we were buying for ourselves!
Normally we wouldn’t have taken so much, but we’ve got 6 hungry girls in our house and have surprisingly eaten all of the bread already.
Second Stop: “The Chocolate Dumpster”
Oh god, we were SO excited to go to this one. A Chocolate factory dumpster full of chocolate?! We were so there. This magical dumpster was behind Theo’s Chocolate factory. We opened up the lid to the dumpster they specifically throw chocolate away in, and found a 20 lb brick of solid baking chocolate.
A 20 LB BRICK OF SOLID CHOCOLATE!
We ended up realizing that we could only really bake with the chocolate, so we gave a good chunk to the guys downstairs, but it’s still hanging out on our Fridge. I’m planning on having a baking day, using the chocolate, and donating what we bake.
Along with the brick, we got about a bowl full of broken-discarded chocolate bars. And because they were from a chocolate factory they were pretty fancy. The flavors we figured out were Dark chocolate and chilli powder, Orange and Dark Chocolate, and Salted Almond chocolate.
We pretty much scored on this one. I can’t imagine how happy a homeless person would be if they had just donated it. But they didn’t, and we’ll get into that argument later.
Third stop: “The Produce Dumpster”
I was told, depending on when you go, you can absolutely SCORE at this dumpster. It’s on the lot of a local produce market in the U-dist that sells all kinds of fruits and vegetables. We unfortunately either went at a bad time, or got there after it had been raided already that evening. None of the produce was good looking enough for us to bring it back. My dumpster diving professional roommate did however get a little dirty and found a good stalk of Celery. She nursed it back to health by rehydrating it in a cup of water in our fridge and has been happily snacking on it since.
So these are the only places I’ve been so far. I think as our first round, we did pretty good. I’m eager to find out more places closer in my neighborhood and learn when the right times to go would be.
Seeing as how we picked up A LOT of food, and are still working our way through it, I’m thinking our adventures won’t be weekly. But we’ll keep finding more stuff, and hopefully be able to tell you where it is!