Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Dumpster Diving - Campbell Live tonight 7pm

My friend Nick features on Campbell Live tonight - Tuesday 7:00pm.
Dumpster diving... Hunting through other people's rubbish to see what can be usefully reused. Those who do it say they're just taking from the rich to give to the poor. They call themselves 'waste crusaders' and say they find enough food in the supermarket skips to feed two or three families per night. But the police say it's illegal… legitimate recycling or burglary?
You decide

(ODT - front page - newspaper clipping from last year)
Lets also think of the DCC's Zero Waste to landfill policy
Comments appreciated, even you Neville ;0)

Three minute news item Channel 9 3rd march 2009
Three Arrests in relation to Dumpster Diving

UPDATE: link to Campbell live item


Neville said...

Legally speaking the guys a Criminal!
that much is simple!
On an Ethical basis
using waste when everybody else is too lazy to deal with what is a serious waste of usable resources in an apparently environmentally conscious society is defiantly not a crime!

Anonymous said...

Theft is taking something that belongs to someone else... so I fail to understand how something can still "belong" to you if you've put it in a bin. Regardless of the legal niceties I think the arrest of these guys in these circumstances is a huge waste of Police resources that should be spent on real crime committed by real criminals. Surely they have the discretion to be sensible. I think the Campbell Live segment reflects very poorly on the Police (and on supermarkets too for that matter).

Cyril said...

Anon is right but who is to decide "real Crimes"?
Breaking a law is breaking a law !

Neither the police or the "freegans" made any headway in the story ,why weren't the supermarkets more expansive in their efforts to explain the reason for the waste?

once again Dumb and Dumber reporting by the media to fit too the short attention span of their audience.

"freegans will be ruing the publicity which has just made their "shopping" a lot Harder.

db said...

Indeed anonymous, cops didn't have time to come and scope our house after a break-in, yet might quite conceivably find time to book someone for stealing rubbish?!!

Anonymous said...

I guess the main issue with the 'theft' label is that some of the dumpsters are inside fenced supermarket property ... wonder they didn't get charged with tresspass. Supermarkets are bound by law regarding use by dates - hence the wastage. A solution might be for supermarkets to contact foodbanks who can collect food that has only a 24 hour shelf life left. That way it is a win-win. Supermarkets remove their unsellable product and the needy get fed. Food for thought!

Anonymous said...

Food for thought!
i'm going to memorize that!

nic on 11 March, 2009 18:47 said...

Re; supermarkets donating to food banks.
One agency I spoke with this week who run a food bank have more than enough food donated by supermarkets than they can handle, the real issue the agencies have is in getting the food picked up and delivered to to them by volunteers, as they don't have the funding or means to collect themselves.
Volunteers anyone?

Nick Holmes on 12 March, 2009 00:02 said...

OK, a couple of things they conveniently left out...
1) There are 'best before' dates and there are 'use by' dates. Use by is a legal limit for food sale, best before is a guide only. 95% of the food we find is not only well within it's best before date, but physically and nutritionally perfect.
2) There is a LOT of non-food items disposed of also in perfect condition. Clothes, appliances, tools, electronics etc. No excuse for these things going to landfill.
3 Who owns the rubbish? It can only be theft if there is a definite owner. Mitre 10 explained no one owns their rubbish, hence the theft charge on Edi being dropped.

This is a national problem. WINZ granted $1.2M in food benefits NZ wide in Jan 09 alone, yet all this PERFECT food is being discarded, purely out of laziness and profit. Why am I, a 22yo Australian, having to stand up for this is YOUR town, alone? Stop bitching, get off your arses and do something Dunedin!!!

Anonymous said...

Is That You Grover ?

nic on 12 March, 2009 19:47 said...

you are not alone Nick.
for example, There is the Dunedin Waste exchange, who try to marry up industrial waste to community groups etc so it doesnt hit the landfill

Anonymous said...

Moreover, the use by dates must include a safety buffer of at least two days. That is, the food is still consumable even two days after the printed use by date.
I think what this story shows is a problem far deeper then what's presented on the surface. Time and time again the police remind us just how incompetent, pedantic, and unjust they really are. They are a disgrace. Serious crimes are not taken seriously and yet the responsible allocation of resources is shutdown as illegal activity. Example, a bar that was burgled a few months ago, the police took 3 days to show up and yet here they arrest and process, and charge instantly these guys for helping others. This goes to show just how much we don't really care about resources, the enviroment, and our underpriveledged. We bang on how we are a 'socialist' nation and yet we do our best to prevent someone from helping others. As for clean and green, no way! If the government was clean and green and actually believed it there would be an intervention from them in this case and demand charges are dropped and support Nick in his cause. I could go on for hours about the clean and green image we hold up because that is plain bullshit.
What this case does is set a precedent. It first of all highlights the true opinion of government, local government and corporate views on the use of resources. That is, it's not a concern to them. Secondly, it shows what a disgrace the police are in the upholding of what they call the 'law'. The 'law' shouldn't be just technicality we need to think critically about this and examine what's actually being done, not just follow a code book to the letter. And further more it shows how us, the people refuse to speak out and be heard, rather we comment quietly about how Nick and his friends are 'technically thieves'. The large majority feel that it's ok to do nothing or keep quiet because these problems 'don't affect' them. It affects all of us! We have to speak out!
This is our country! We should have our say in how its run and not bow to some bogus law enforcement that would rather do it's job based on technicalities than actually protect the weak. This is more than just about being heard, I demand action. I demand to not be pascified by government and law enforcement with the words 'we're looking into it...', they have a duty which they are not performing.
It's the saddest thing when this country stamps out those who are doing something good and force those who are in need to start stealing from hospitals. This country has gone mad, it's a god damn joke.

nic on 13 March, 2009 10:34 said...

previous poster.. here here!
so how do you propose is the best way to support Nick and ensure this case doesn't set a precedent for future convictions?
Lobby government?
A picket outside the court house?
Damn tell me, and I'll act, but I honestly don't know where to start and what to do!

Neville said...

If you set a precedent to ignore some laws and prosecute others Anarcy would reign!
The employees were advised to call police if people were seen going over the fence onto private property and taking what was not theirs!

Anon put your address up and i'll pop over your fence and take what is not mine
Anyone who works in food knows what damage can be done by their product being seen as "tainted" so lets get hypothetical on your A$$

situation A)
The foods recalled and contains glass (opps sorry mates i shared it with) no its not shipped back to manufacturer due to freight costs!

situation B)
"Dave a 'Dumpster diver' saves a packet of of hellameat sausages from filling landfill and all is good hes so good at it they're still cold and 2 weeks before their use by date
So being a "Environmentally conscious" guy dave shares with some other students. sadly 2 days later 2 students are in hospital and one is dead!
investigations happen and the sausage packet is tested and found to have ultra high counts of @#&^%(some bacteria)the students are questioned and in order to cover for dave say the got the sausies at the hellameat shop.

See dave didn't know those sausies fell behind the fridge in the shop and stayed nice and warm for a week until the cleaner found them and put them in the bin with the frozen beef bones he was told to put in the skip (explaining them being cold-i'm trying to help you here )
subsequently word around campus about the sick and dead students stopped people shopping at hellameat and that made 2 people unemployed and their famlies hungry and cold as for the dead students family and friends who cares as long as dave gets free food/media attention and a feeling that hes the only good guy in the city !

Nick Holmes said...

Neville, your argument is ridiculous!

We were all born with 5 senses. I can smell see and taste a food, and decide from that encounter whether it is fit for consumption. No other animal in the world has a date to adhere to! I am just saying, I use my common sense.

"Anon put your address up and i'll pop over your fence and take what is not mine"

That is only a fair comparison if you take Anons rubbish off his/her property. You put out a broken Tv onto the curb for collection, no longer wanting anything to do with it. If a man sees this Tv and thinks he may be able to fix it and subsequently takes it, would you jump out of your house point a finger and say 'aha! gotcha!' NO! You don't want the Tv!!!!!! You might say 'get the fk off my lawn' but not 'don't touch my Tv!'....

The ownership of this rubbish is hard to determine. In some cases it might still belong to the supermarket, yes. In some others it belongs to no one, as in Mitre 10's case. Thats why Edi's theft charges were dropped, because they didn't give a fk!

One thing I know for certain is that there is a lack of ACCOUNTABILITY within these systems. How do you feel knowing your local supermarket that feeds your family is putting hundreads of litres of perfectly good shampoo and other toiletries into landfill each year ONLY because of packaging imperfections??? This is much more complex than food safety Neville!

Neville said...

Maybe popping home and fixing your own backyard instead of poking holes in a culture that is hosting you as you increase your carbon footprint over winter warming your cold dunedin flat might make your cause more relivant!
but no every drunk scarfie you share your spoils with has all their 5 senses and who manufactures the majority of toiletries on our shelves in NZ ? Australia!
How does mitre 10 mega fit into your crusade? some Nails and wood to publicly crucify yourself for the greater good ?
The "rubbish" is the supermarkets property Check it out a little deeper and open your mind in an empathetical way and you might get what the whole story is!

Instead of Dramatizing a non issue and destroying "freeganism" for those who RELY on it to live you selfish PRICK!
Crusaders -The death of the REAL.

Guy Ryan on 15 March, 2009 14:09 said...

Massive rant follows:

Shame on you Neville. Shame on your lack of sight into the complexity of this situation. Shame on your attempt to demoralise Nick for his commitment in attempt to publicise some of the massive waste issues facing our community and society. Shame on you for irrelevant allusion to Nick's association with drunken scarfie behaviour - I have known Nick for a year now and know for a fact he doesn't drink alcohol, nor condone its use. How are you opening your mind empathetically? To empathise is to understand. To understand we need to collectively comprehend the consequences of our wasteful actions both as individuals, businesses, and organisations, and do something about it.

Our commitment to solving some of these problems relies around inclusivity, not exclusivity - the fact of whether you're 'freegan', a 'waste crusader', or anything else is insignificant. Consider the day when our 'landfills' are so bloated with waste they poison all of our waterways, our beaches, and our drinking water. These are the implications of our current actions. As a relatively small country we have an amazing opportunity to get some positive systems in place to enable future generations to experience Aotearoa as we might have [liked to].

As some of us know the scale of this waste we are experiencing right now in Dunedin; and more broadly New Zealand and the globe is unprecedented. I have been dumpster diving in Dunedin now for over 12 months and can confidently agree the amount of perfectly reusable items our confided corporations are discarding is disgusting and disgraceful.

This is a massive issue and damn straight it needs dramatising.

As is the waste the majority of us as individuals, organisations and corporations, feel perfectly fit to 'throw away'. Where the fuck is away?

The term 'waste' is a social construct that seems to serve the purpose of justifying both our laziness, and our lack of understanding in the life cycle of materials. In nature there is no such thing as waste.

Would we even need rubbish bags if we did'nt have to deal with all of the ridiculous amounts of superfluous, non-biodegradable packaging?

Everyday we vote with our hard-earned dollars to support corporations who excessively wrap everything in 'packaging' which we as consumers then pay to 'throw-away' in 'rubbish-bags' not only destined for 'landfill's' but to leach into every single corner of this earth. Why are we allowing these systems?

I think businesses throughout the supply chain, especially supermarkets need to be accountable for these systems they facilitate. The hypocritical claims of 'being green' and 'commitment to sustainability' these corporations are allowed preach is wrong. When you see that the majority of the items discarded are within use by dates; or suffering from minor packaging imperfections, their [the supermarket's] primary excuse of food safety is flawed. Their claims of donating to foodbanks are also significantly misleading and extremely minimal in comparison with that which goes to waste - I have discovered this only recently after liaising with local foodbanks.

I am concerned about the lack of commitment from several parties in our community who could be devoting time to solving these problems. I'm interested in getting some dialogue happening for those who might be interested in bouncing some ideas around for how we might deal with some of these waste issues... would anyone be interested in meeting to discuss? I'd also like to get some local/national government involved, maybe some supermarket and foodbank representation later on down the track?

Lets get moving!

Neville said...

Shame! on you guy #Roll eyes sarcastically#
where did i demoralize ? his morals are his i care not what they are but when foodbanks are at the bottom of yours and his list should i believe his morals above reproach ?
A agree with you Guy but not with the legalities/moralities of the situation of shouting from the rooftops about food wastage and Screwing over Legitimate "freegans".
Rotting food as a whole is no biggy in our landfills as you say its the packaging! (something the pathetic 'Greens' failed to change in 6 years) yes there should be accountability and maybe a scheme where the 10,000 packaging industry employees made redundant buy the "Guy Act" could be retrained as refuse sorters to atone for their sins.

Strange then Nick was busted "Liberating" food from supermarkets skips and not identifying excess packaging and lobbying to have a packaging Tax oh yeah that'd be less Dramatic.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick, I live in Auckland and do a lot of scavenging in bins. I also know a lot of people around the country who do too.

I'd like to help do something to support these guys with their ridiculous charges.

If you email me I am keen to talk about some ideas of what we could do.

tyler.culpepper (at) gmail.com

Nick Holmes said...

Hey Neville, what Supermarket do you work for, and would you be interested in voicing these opinions via interview??? Man up.

neville said...

I Don't work for a supermarket !
i also have no need to fulfill your request in order to feel a man!
i agree on apparent attributes of nullifying waste but agree more with your mate Guy about packaging minimization.

Good Luck on your Crusade just try to remember peoples livelihoods rely on many things in our society be it you see them as wasteful or not.
and lets not forget studies that show greenies have an amazingly equal carbon footprint as the average joe (yep i was shocked by the results)
And i respect each cultures right to live as they wish and would not scream at McDonalds in India "wheres the Meat in my Fucken Burger" i guess that's respect that aussie don't learn in school ;) LOL

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fascinating to read this discussion... The waste issue aside, I have a comment to make. Nick and Guy and co have clearly a genuine concern and are motivated to see a change for the better - hence bringing the issue to public attention. While they may not yet have the full community support or the solution, they have brought the problem to the public attention - and have enlightened us otherwise ignorant. These guys should be commended and supported; they are an example to the rest of us.. and perhaps can help to inspire us all to action. These are the types of people (i.e.leaders) who we need to make positive changes... the how has not yet been established (so whats your issue Neville?) and in a democratic society, the plan of action can be debated and worked through...and agreed upon by majority! What kind of a person would want to SHIT on these guys???
And what is this Aussie-bashing about? Hell, Nick is doing us (or trying to) a GOOD turn... he is a bloody good Aussie for his genuine concern and efforts.
Neville, what IS up with you? Sure you may not agree with their methodology, or their youthful exuberance (I am picking you are up-and-over-the hill)... but thats DETAIL... the POINT is, these guys are trying to HELP!!! They are at the problem identification stage and need all the support that the community will give... Neville you are bitter... (would have called you worse, but this is a family show)!

Guys you have all my support! I hope you do not let A-holes like Neville dampen your spirits!!!

Neville said...

Guy why post as Anon your writing style is obvious ?
Did you read any of my posts? my first post? or the positives in my posts? nope? just as it seems the negatives is all that allows drama in your life otherwise you'd have to enjoy living?
and you call me bitter? read your own post cos your true spirit is showing and unless everyone worships you you are offended? .

Youthful exuberance is just another excuse for not thinking something through and not really a redeeming feature.
As for my apparent picking on the aussie! racism is wrong but ageism (your thing) is fine? that is such a "pot kettle black" it warrants little more than a chuckle.
The warehouse has done more this week to raise awareness on pollution and packaging waste than your little band ever will,and what hurts is that corporations can contribute more than you can just by following simple "packaging Accords" but that's the saying isn't it "truth hurts".

Once again because obviously being Educated is not something that happens in everyday life for you let me surmise my position:
i admire the DOING (despite its illegality) and the sentiment of your little bands stand BUT there is a bigger picture that has been in progress for years and yours band did not initiate it or bring it good publicity nor have you brought it much attention as "cambell live" is about as serious journalism as "Rove" and the negative impact on "Freegans" will be ongoing because you wanted to court the Media in such a simplistic way ,given your young and exuberant that is all okay.
What message does Boasting of committing a Crime send (be the crime right or wrong in you own eyes)?
Abe Gray did not get my support because he went about his protest against an unfair law (in his eyes) the wrong way thereby affecting others.
I am sorry you don't like my ability to have an opinion but that is how society in NZ works maybe a spot on "close up" squaring off against "opinions" is next for your little band?

Anonymous said...

oooo dear! this is 'Anon' again... but in defence of poor 'Guy'... I am not him... nor am I a 'he'.. my last post was my first on this discussion... little bit presumptuous no?
And regarding education? that was a nasty call... by the way 'surmise' means to guess or suppose or conjecture.. I think the word you were after was 'summarise' given the context..
My apologies for coming across as hypocritical and no, i do not get offended if I am not 'worshipped'. My last post could be (or is intended to be) summarised (note the word) as 'hey... go easy on these guys... lets look at the issue instead of bagging them!' (bagging them is a side issue). I have no idea who these guys are... never met them... just want to say (again) please, take it easy.. your pontificating paints you as rather arrogant and inflexible... we need to be able to listen (with empathy) for healthy solutions to be found!

neville said...

Who's being hard on Them?
i side with half their plight/fight how is that lacking flexibility or empathy?
Lots of nice big words there but try to feel the spirit of my posts seen as i may not use tone or body language to express in this medium!
and my apology for using "surmise" instead of "summarise" massive phopah that.
Still back to the discussion, when i called Dunedins food banks the "dumpster divers" had made no offer to any to supply their spoils(not a pun)in aid of sharing the wealth so who are they trying to help ? ? ? furthermore does the packaging of the liberated products still enter the landfill just in individual rubbish bags not a skip?
Would not landfill waste be reduced by our little band of activists wandering around their fellow academic friends flats educating how to effectively recycle? then while that may significantly reduce landfill waste its hardly ODT or "Rove" friendly activism and may paint them uncool amongst their educated peers.
My point is ideas are multitude and like the people surveyed by the red shed a majority of the populace wants to help therefore nicks statement:

"Why am I, a 22yo Australian, having to stand up for this is YOUR town, alone? Stop bitching, get off your arses and do something Dunedin!!!"

is a offensive and misinformed comment no one is forcing him (where is the "Having to" coming from but his own mind) and he is not alone in trying to make Dunedin better environmentally by any means for example on this guys web blog i have seen a lot of environmental information and links to submission forms and the same in my local paper and the odt and i have made submissions to local govt as did many other concerned citizens without breaking the Law getting arrested !
p.s How were you alone Nick when 3 people are arrested?

Anonymous said...

im with nick
the laws dumb ass
if people want stuff they shud protect it
robbin the hood is good and me homie nick is right
change the law if its not protected its community stuff!
crime payz look at what ozzies got a sik country warm as for just commiting crimes and dum poms got nz for paying a fare
fuk nev
steal what you want crew!

Anonymous said...

Check it out
Nick holmes does look like Grover

Guy Ryan on 23 March, 2009 21:13 said...

Yo Neville!

Sorry bro it's been a while since I logged on! - haha hows your dig at me!???

Thanks for the vote of confidence too. Why don't you give me your phone number and we can hook up to discuss? Mine's 027 485 0941, or alternatively you can flick me an email at g.ryzle@gmail.com. I live in North Dunedin. I'm a Masters student. And I'm making a film at the moment around some of the issues discussed in this blog - with the intention of educating and empowering New Zealanders to take more responsible action on this issue.

Assuming your willing to take some action I'll forward to hearing from you.

yoyoyo said...

Nevy what have you ever done to promote change and make a difference? Your one of those people who pull down others brave enough to have a go, while never actually doing anything yourself. You make it sound as though you are a freegan - bet your not. No ones perfect mate, its way too easy to drill holes in anyone if you've got nothing better to do..... If your so wise and benevolent why don't you let nick film an interview with you? Whats that you don't want to? your a total coward. Your comments are worthless.
P.S. anonymous totally kicked your arse up there

neville on 23 March, 2009 22:05 said...

Too funny yoyo
Can not you read? i make regular submissions to local and central government (guessing you know what they are)
no i don't commit crimes in seeking publicity and thus your whole argument is undone in one line so good luck with primary school next year.
p.s Your lack of skills above simple attack show you as the simpleton you are .

Your ageism and anons sexism is so much more moral than my dig at cliche criminal Australians that nick is perpetuating in our backyard.
So I am correct you were seeking publicity by doing this whole venture? For your film? no footage no film, no publicity no chance to sell film? damn your so moral isn't there a law(ethic) against profiting from criminal acts?
Sorry i'm not rich enough to call a 027 number or by theory i would be if i'd been stealing all my food, come on Guy your crusade looks more self centered every comment and now you wish i perform for your little band of criminals then what while i discuss you rob my house?
Come on boys grow up you committed a crime even if well intended activism was present not just your own film crew (you admitted that! LOL)a crime was committed, take the punishment without the Excuses and tears.
p.s Your judgment on who kicked who's arse shows your documentary will be worse than a typically bias Mike Moore documentary and i sympathized with his view but not his impartiality.

p.s.s it was Oscar not Grover who lived in a rubbish bin

nevsagay said...

man you crack me up nev, Your life sucks right? haha suffer in your jocks loser, no one is listening

neville on 24 March, 2009 08:14 said...

And at that point the little band of rubbish eaters showed their real colors as cheap, sexist, ageist, homophobics and Nev left the discussion to call immigration.

Guy Ryan on 24 March, 2009 09:52 said...

Look bro,

for what it's worth I'm only responsible for my own comments which are all self titled - I aint hiding behind some bullshit facade, and am comfortable representing my own thoughts. The film Im making is also non-profit i.e will be available FREE as to reach the broadest audience possible.

I do take pity on how ridiculed you've become in times of late - but dude seriously? check your attitude at the door next time you post on here. This could be a space for some great constructive criticism. For anyone else who might have some insight as how such a film might be most powerful, feel free to flick me an email at the g.ryzle@gmail.com. Chea

Nick Holmes said...

Some more facts for the crowd..

1) The 'crime' in question is burglary. To be charged of burglary you must have intended to commit a crime. This second 'crime' in my situation is theft, warranting the burglary charge. Or does it? To be charged of theft you must be depriving someone of goods they owned. So, who owns the rubbish? In the supermarkets case, once a broken or dated item is removed from the shelf the wholesaler credits the supermarket, regaining ownership. They direct the supermarket to dispose of the items, hence, abandoning them. No one owns this waste, therefore it is not theft, and then it is not burglary. No 'crime' committed. Why own up to something that I genuinely believe to be untrue?

2) Neville you clearly did not contact Presbyterian Support, the food bank we have established a donation relationship with. Or the Otago Hearing Centre. Or the hundreds of students that are putting the food into their stomachs instead of the ground.

3) The Warehouse is responsible for importing the cheapest shittest products ever made in China into NZ. They have a MASSIVE waste stream and a detrimental impact of the NZ environment! They put a 10c levy on plastic bags and they are suddenly eco-warriors? Your clearly easily manipulated by mainstream media Neville.

4) The energy used to produce the products that get discarded every day is insurmountable. THIS is the area I am interested in. Why produce 100L of milk, when on 70L is used, to knowingly and willfully throw away 30L. Even you can agree thats backwards?

The thing is Neville, we are doing. You may not like the means by which we do, but we are. WINZ handed out 38 Million dollars in food support last year. You can't tell me this isn't a problem.

Ordinary people have the power to make incredible change. We can.

Anonymous said...

Mr Holmes, you've made a lot of enemies in this city.

Anonymous said...

WTF so All food makers should employ psychics so no excess food is made?areyoufuckenretarded? howd you go?Guilty or not?

Nick Holmes said...

@ Anon

The supermarkets keep inventories of what is bought, they KNOW the demand. Wtf do psychics have to do with it???

The only enemies I/we have made are people that know they are in the wrong, like the manager of Woolworths Andy Bay road. They know what they're doing is shit and they hate me/us because we're making people aware of it, bringing it to the surface. Free world, free speech, and i'll be damned if I stand around and watch this crap go down without doing anything.

Cath said...

So are there any updates at the moment for the court case?

are they still pressing charges?

do you feel it would be more justified to seek the permission of the supermarket first before just diving into any rubbish?

Nick on 04 June, 2009 13:55 said...


Discharge without Conviction!!!

any reasonable person after seeing the photos of this waste would agree, it's unnecessary and crazy.

thanks for all the support from the community, I appreciate it a lot!

nick holmes

nic on 04 June, 2009 14:08 said...

congrats Nick.
how is the distribution with the local foodbanks going?


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