You probably already know how to prepare for a trip to the dumpster, but what comes after? You may clean and reuse, repurpose or resell your finds, but do you make a habit of reviewing them?
Design critiques, debriefings and after action reports are all valuable tools. While each is unique, they are all designed to help people learn, improve and avoid repeating mistakes. No matter what you choose to call it, we suggest taking time to review each dumpster excursion and reflect on what made it a success or failure.
This process can be much easier than you may think. All you need are a few moments to collect your thoughts and a journal to record the details of your trip.
Track your routes. Keep your maps or notes on which route you took with some added details. Did you have a hard time accessing any areas? Was your route as efficient as you had hoped? Did you discover a new dumpster along the way? Write it all down.
Study the calendar. Do you generally dumpster dive on a certain day of the week or month? Try switching it up and see if you have more success on different days.
Make note of failures and disappointments. Were you hoping you had discovered a great new dumpster only to find it empty or filled with unusable items? Make a note so you don’t waste time by making the same mistake twice.
Find the patterns. Whether searching through residential trash or commercial dumpsters, you will probably find that everyone has routines. If you keep notes, it will be easier to identify these routines and patterns. Once you know which days retailers fill their dumpsters and when those dumpster are emptied, you can make sure you only make the trip when it’s worth your while.
Tell Us What You Learn
Don’t forget to share the wealth. Come back and visit us at Dumpster Dive 360 and tell us what you learned from your dumpster diary.