We have featured books about recycling, composting, and garbage in the past. Today's book is about another form of waste management – reuse!
The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong is the story of Steve the electrician and the kids who live in his building. Steve goes dumpster diving on a regular basis – he climbs into dumpsters and explores them to find salvageable items. Then, he and the kids fix these unwanted items up in creative ways.
One day, Steve gets hurt while dumpster diving and the kids come up with an idea – they go to every apartment in the building and ask for unwanted items BEFORE they end up in the dumpster.
This book does not glorify dumpster diving. Rather, it is designed to get kids thinking – is the thing I am throwing away really trash? Can it be fixed? Can it be turned into something new?
After reading The Dumpster Diver with students, have that conversation – what can I do with my waste rather than putting it in the trash?
At the end of the conversation, you might want to organize a swap exchange in your clas, where each kid brings in an unwanted book or toy and trades it with a classmate. You could work with the Parent Coordinator to organize a school-wide swap or participate in a Stop N'Swap.
The goal here is to get kids and adults thinking about ways to use their waste to prevent it from becoming trash… after all, one kid's trash is another kid's treasure!