The Dumpster Drive: A Way to Share and Reuse Digital Trash

Don't just delete those documents and photos in your computer's trash bin. Put them in a public dumpster for other people to look through.


Dumpster diving, if you haven't heard, is the practice of sifting through other people's trash for discarded things that can be reused or upcycled. Needless to say, it can be kind of dirty and it's not for everyone.

The Dumpster Drive is its less messy digital analog. Created by the Brooklyn-based programmer and interaction designer Justin Blinder, Dumpster Drive is a file-sharing application that lets you share the contents of your computer's trash bin with other users, who can then look through the documents and images you're throwing out and repurpose them. As Blinder says, “instead of simply erasing data from your computer, the software allows users to extend the lifecycle of their unwanted files and pass them on to others.” True to the sharing spirit, the Dumpster Drive code is all open source (though the application only works on Macs for the moment).

It's a fun idea, uniting the ethic of creative reuse and technology's power to connect people. Is it useful? We're honestly not sure. Sign up, do a little digging, and find out. There might be some great stuff lost among those old TPS reports.