Dumpster Diving 101

Searching for buried treasure is one thing, but writing a celebratory how-to book about sorting through garbage takes dumpster diving to a whole other level. In “Mongo: Adventures in Trash,” author Ted Botha explains the art of finding treasures in the trash, known as “mongo” in slang. When Botha was able to furnish his entire Manhattan apartment with salvaged goods, he set out to learn more about the trade. Anecdotes in the book include the stories of a man finding a $9,000 Revolutionary War hat in a landfill, and a man who found Victorian jewelry buried under a portable toilet. In the book, Botha claims that anyone can be a mongo master. “All you need,” he says, “is a good pair of walking shoes, a shopping cart, a route, a timetable of the city's garbage-collecting days, a capacity to deal with looks that can be more severe than the smells, a willingness to go out at 3 in the morning … and most of all, a sense of adventure.” With this kind of adventure around, who needs Lewis and Clark?
Source: The New York Times