16x9 - Freeganism: Living off trash

  • Published on Aug 26, 2012
  • They live for free. They eat for free. Or as close to free as they can manage. They're more than frugal; they're freegans. With recession woes inspiring more people to look for meaning outside the mall, freeganism is gaining ground. But is it possible to live off other people's trash? Mike Drolet gets an inside look at living the freegan life.
  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 3 115

  • kieran james
    kieran james 15 hours ago

    if everyone did this, who would be buying the food?

  • Janine Ewing
    Janine Ewing 2 days ago

    Where can you do this in Chicago? Not much freganism going on here!

  • joseph hansen
    joseph hansen 2 days ago

    U need to be very careful a hippy in alsaka thought he was eating plants that were good but it was a look a like plant that killed him he couldnt get help died on an abanded bus.be careful never eat anything if your not sure

  • ingrid g
    ingrid g 2 days ago

    The land le waste but los dos not just poco Bush and eat it it can he toxic

  • Ashley Saldana
    Ashley Saldana 3 days ago

    Even though I use food stamps and the food pantry I would never go through the trash to get food. I also have been homeless twice I lived of the dollar store food. I have a place now but I still use the dollar store. I also go to the nearby church they have a food pantry. That's the only food I consider free. I can walk there. I do get food from my day program but my insurance pays 59 dollars for me to go. So the food I collect isn't free. It's covered by insurance.

  • Starry Night
    Starry Night 4 days ago

    nastyass cheapskates

  • Power Glove
    Power Glove 5 days ago

    when i used to work for wholefoods they used to waste thousands of dollars worth of good foood at the end of the night. it was terrible

  • Nakia Lindsey
    Nakia Lindsey 6 days ago

    In my neighborhoods the freegans would be scraping with the squirrels😂 first come first served. Very cool video makes me think about how I need to stop being wasteful with food less is more.

  • Abe Rod
    Abe Rod 6 days ago

    She need to clean it nothing wrong with junking but I have a limit.

  • Lindsay Burns
    Lindsay Burns 6 days ago

    "When I say free, you say free!" "FREE!" *out of an entire crowd of people, only ONE guy basically whispers*........ "free." Everyone else..... *crickets* Super awkward lol

  • Diamond Bolques
    Diamond Bolques 7 days ago

    Some ppl do really nasty things in a trsh bag food would not be taken in as food once it's in the trash

  • Diamond Bolques
    Diamond Bolques 7 days ago

    Ugh I draw the line at some point

  • KayKay2513
    KayKay2513 7 days ago

    I'm pretty sure in my city the grocery stores donate their produce to places where people can get free food. I don't think it is possible to have this much success dumpster diving here.

  • golden majestic
    golden majestic 8 days ago

    Trash pandas

  • kitkatcoco67
    kitkatcoco67 8 days ago

    How about bed bugs and roaches to go with that trash

  • Jennifer Dawson
    Jennifer Dawson 9 days ago

    Taking from a box the raises money diabetics association seems extremely unethical. It is actually a crime where Iive.

  • Jason Viper
    Jason Viper 9 days ago

    yet the mac was not "free" she paid for that

  • Lil Day
    Lil Day 9 days ago +1

    Welcome back to why was this in my recommended and why did I watch the full video

  • Angry Clouds
    Angry Clouds 9 days ago

    You know what? Good for them.

  • Misiek Shego
    Misiek Shego 9 days ago

    They even look like garbage

  • Audaciously Me
    Audaciously Me 9 days ago

    LOL So many Canadians ! I love it !

  • Heather Coates
    Heather Coates 10 days ago

    No one could ever get a half of s meal or of my trash. No one's wasteful in this house.

  • Jerilyn Bridges
    Jerilyn Bridges 10 days ago

    Remember when the Vegetable Truck refused to sell all of their produce because they feared it would be thrown away! Remember the gardens?

  • Concord
    Concord 11 days ago

    Enjoy that dog piss salad.

  • Vicki Ross Tudor
    Vicki Ross Tudor 12 days ago +1

    They have no idea if mice, roaches and flies landed and crawled on that produce... if the restaurant that threw it out recently failed a health inspection... if the hands that prepared the food was clean...
    This is disgusting. If these people end up with gastrointestinal diseases 10 years from now, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

  • Mingkay Ming
    Mingkay Ming 12 days ago

    When they get sick they should use medicine from the trash along with used syringes etc see how they like it

  • Liz Rivera
    Liz Rivera 12 days ago

    Maybe a few things but her house looks Like everything was found on side of road .everything should not be old and gross...

  • Kirsten Lyndsey Staley
    Kirsten Lyndsey Staley 12 days ago +1

    Most of my furniture and stuff at my house I got for free (: or from going to the transfer site and getting furniture. But I definitely would not get a couch from the transfer site they more then likely have bugs, metal or hard wood furniture on the other hand can be cleaned and sanitized so bugs won't be on them. I wouldn't eat off the streets tho even if I was homless 🤢

  • Alisea Nicole
    Alisea Nicole 13 days ago +3

    I work at Dunkin’ Donuts they throw a wad BAGS of donuts and bagels at the end of the day instead of giving it to the homeless

  • Edie Smalls
    Edie Smalls 13 days ago

    you don't know what a person is going through until you walk in their shoe so be careful what you say because that could be things happen people

  • hottiescotty Last
    hottiescotty Last 13 days ago

    evrything should be free and equally distributed so no one has to steal or scavenge

  • Kithri Melonfear
    Kithri Melonfear 13 days ago

    The whole free food thing really hits me. Why doesn't that get sent to a shelter or something.

    GABA GABA 14 days ago

    Shouldn't it be 16:9 the bigger aspect ratio? lol

  • Thick Fine
    Thick Fine 14 days ago +3

    This is beautiful ✨look how they come together

  • Prima Murdock
    Prima Murdock 15 days ago +1

    Ha, I’m a “freegan” and didn’t even know it. Been using a website called Freecycle.org (.ORG not .com) for a few yrs now. Not only have I received everything I’ve ever requested (from a lawn mower, to pet supplies, to an artificial Christmas tree) but I’ve also passed on several things. Everything I’ve gotten has always been totally useable, functioning stuff in good condition. It’s amazing how much & what kind of stuff ppl will just give away for free or sad to think where it all might end up otherwise if it had just been tossed out in the “trash”!

  • Amy Jodrell
    Amy Jodrell 15 days ago

    I get taking free stuff, like the piano and the mirror, it's a great idea!.....but why not take the time to clean them properly?!

  • Royall Veins
    Royall Veins 15 days ago

    2:04 that’s called henbit 🧚🏿‍♂️

  • Budbarian
    Budbarian 15 days ago

    It doesn't look like penny pinching to the extreme. It looks like a bunch of bums rummaging through trash. I don't care how edgy they try to come off as, because at the end of the day, they are eating out of dumpsters.

  • Kay King
    Kay King 15 days ago +3

    Mad respect, reuse, recycle, upcycle. Stop buying crap you don't need. It's draining your bank account, stealing your freedom, al the while lining others pockets.

  • dark13fantasy
    dark13fantasy 16 days ago

    I live in Ocala Florida. Iv seen these people in the Ocala forest before. They call them rainbow people.

  • dark13fantasy
    dark13fantasy 16 days ago +1

    It's called start your own garden.😄

  • Ryanne Barlow
    Ryanne Barlow 16 days ago

    I used to work for a Meijer gas station, we got in trouble by management for putting expired food out in a cart by the dumpster for the homeless, corporate came down and told us to put it in the dumpster, so we put it in the front and put the garbage in the back so it was easy for them to get... Then unbelievably corporate came back down and told us we had to open all expired goods and dump them into the dumpster.. Just sick, mean, and wasteful

  • Dee Zuniga
    Dee Zuniga 16 days ago +3

    When he said "tossing a freegan salad" 😂😂😂

  • love Fire
    love Fire 16 days ago

    I get the furniture but not the food

  • Cynthia Wade
    Cynthia Wade 16 days ago

    Omgggg I love this ideas. !!!!!!!! Ugh ❤️

  • david koenig
    david koenig 17 days ago

    For the salad that's has the orange day lilies, go easy with the consumption. They are delishious but if you eat to many like 15 to a single salad. You can get diarrhea, like water through the eye of a needle. They taste like mild onion and green bean combo

  • mrsjuiceyj8
    mrsjuiceyj8 17 days ago

    Ah... what about the Roundup she is consuming that is sprayed on those public land weeds?

  • AK S
    AK S 17 days ago

    I reuse, recycle and re-purpose things all the time as much as I can, in my own home as waste bothers me too so I try my best to do my part to reduce it but I draw the line at dumpster-diving and such. I only somewhat respect the idea of freeganism because it looks great in theory but in practice: exposing your family to a risk of bedbugs and bacteria/disease just seems irresponsible. Also wildflowers and random flowers on the street are often covered in pesticides and CO2 from cars passing by and are therefore not fit for human consumption. Never even mind dog urine, feces, vomit, blood-spatter and such they may be covered in that you can't see with the naked eye. Unfortunately that is the reality especially in big cities like Toronto or New York. Furniture that looks too good to be thrown out is usually thrown out for a reason: bedbugs-and people who bring that stuff into their house only spread the problem. I have witnessed this way too many times in multiple apartment complexes downtown. People bring in furniture and old appliances from the garbage, end up with roaches or bedbugs or both and then later beg the landlord to fumigate for $1000 a pop and it doesn't even guarantee a solution. Then their neighbors get it out of no fault of their own and the drama continues throughout the property. All the landlords I know frown upon it and for good reason.

    I squirm at the thought of using a pillow someone else threw out and could never bring myself to do it because even if there are no bedbugs there are nematodes and residual skin flakes and body fluids...God knows what the person using it before may have had or what their hygiene habits were like. I doubt you can get sanitizer and bleach to clean the stuff for free unless you steal it so isn't that a bit counter-intuitive? Second-hand stores usually vet their products and I have never had a problem with anything I bought in one and I wash the stuff first before I use it but things left in the trash are at risk of getting contaminated and saturated with the bacteria from other refuse/decomposition and so forth. In this day and age if you want clean you gotta pay something even if it's $5. Free often comes with other problems. Is compromising your health really worth it? And I can't help but wonder...was the lady's laptop second-hand and free too? If not isn't that a bit hypocritical?

    Speaking from experience: the idea is great in theory, not so in practice, especially in a big city. You're not really helping anyone or the environment if you put yourself and your family at risk of getting sick and spread infestations to your neighbors. There's frugal and then there's dangerous and disgusting. And in the end it costs more to clean up the mess than you could ever save by grabbing garbage.

  • mike will
    mike will 17 days ago +1

    Stealing from a donation box should be a federal crime.

    • Kay King
      Kay King 15 days ago

      You will be arrested in my area. Happens all the time

  • s c
    s c 17 days ago


  • Aleah Lane
    Aleah Lane 18 days ago

    Wow I live in buffalo and this sucks.

  • Tom Roman
    Tom Roman 18 days ago

    Not sure eating flowers along a inner city park trail is wise if not toxic or pissed on by dogs & now homeless..I raised pigs to pork chops on Safeways toss out fare 30 years ago..I used to keep Artichoke out for myself as pigs won't mess with it and is boiled well ..Pigs favorite food is ...HAM ...Budig brand thin sliced ham lunch meat ! They would fight over it.

  • Saint Sinner
    Saint Sinner 18 days ago

    What ever let's you sleep

  • Lizzy Pittarelli
    Lizzy Pittarelli 18 days ago

    Honestly, good for these people. We waste insane amounts of food... not to mention consumerism, everything gets thrown out because there’s something better. It’s disgusting

  • bananamary
    bananamary 18 days ago

    That free market idea is great, especially the lessons, that's so sweet

  • neha desai
    neha desai 18 days ago

    I did homeless outreach and there were so many Rapid 311s in regards to squatters but they get a pass because they follow "freeganism?"

  • jazdj04
    jazdj04 19 days ago +3

    They are gleaning. No issue w that. I'll stick to Goodwill though.

  • Tenicia Williams
    Tenicia Williams 19 days ago

    America so freaking wasteful it's sad ,

  • Karen Maxwell Eddy
    Karen Maxwell Eddy 19 days ago

    That lady in the first clip was stealing donations to the diabetes assoc??

  • AmvUnity
    AmvUnity 20 days ago

    i remember those purple flowers, we used to pick those at school and pick out the petals and suck out the honey

  • TiffanyJess Anglin
    TiffanyJess Anglin 20 days ago


  • Leah Smith
    Leah Smith 20 days ago

    Have they lost their freegan minds?! Hahaaaa!.......its...no? Ok sorry bout that, it was a bad one, I know

  • Clementine Monroe
    Clementine Monroe 21 day ago

    Maggots ants nats flies rats roaches?? 🤮

  • Clementine Monroe
    Clementine Monroe 21 day ago

    So long as aren't particularly worried about cleanliness I think great!

  • MiMi fLyZ
    MiMi fLyZ 21 day ago +4

    What if someone spits in the trash 🗑 where they start picking food? Not sure how sanitary this is.

    • MiMi fLyZ
      MiMi fLyZ 18 days ago +1

      @William Mosley uhh i don't eat McDonald's and that's a very bad comparison so whatever ✋

    • William Mosley
      William Mosley 18 days ago

      What if a McDonald worker spit on your big mac and you never know it? It's the same thing you dont know what happen to your food

  • Rosalinda 123
    Rosalinda 123 21 day ago

    Ok I can’t watch this...this is so not me I’m just mind blown like I love spending money

    SIOBHAN DEGUERIN 21 day ago +3

    I understand and can appreciate the concept, but there are way to many hands touching so many things that are not wrapped or packaged. Who actually knows what the sanitary practices are of each individual that is reaching into a bag of bagels, not to mention the hands that most likely handled them prior to being tossed out.

  • - Alice Gray -
    - Alice Gray - 22 days ago

    A lot of Pizza Huts, I learned, do what they call a "harvest". Everything that would normally be thrown away goes into the fridge (if it's still good) then is collected by homeless shelters in the area every few times a week. I thought that was nice to know.

  • Hikingplate888 Xbox
    Hikingplate888 Xbox 22 days ago +1

    That burrito actually look good though

  • Kris L
    Kris L 22 days ago

    This is so awesome.... and yes, America is broken.

  • Aneshia Dixon
    Aneshia Dixon 22 days ago

    Don't eat plants that your unsure of is all I have to say. Thankfully it was milk whistle but really be careful of plants and flowers you're not familiar with. Trust me and your welcome.

  • Ms Lisa_n_CALI
    Ms Lisa_n_CALI 22 days ago


  • Tiffany Lynn
    Tiffany Lynn 22 days ago

    Only thing I see wrong is the donation Ben's are for those who can not afford food not those who choose this. Js

  • Kadenrich@gmail.com
    Kadenrich@gmail.com 22 days ago

    Yes we do..Stop

  • Angie Thomas
    Angie Thomas 23 days ago

    4:36...that MacBook she’s holding is new and EXPENSIVE 🧐

  • Risse Wright
    Risse Wright 24 days ago

    If i buy something with the money i worked for and dont want it or choose to throw it out who tf are you to tell me what to do with it. I work hard as should others what i do with my money and food is my business and not your problem #Simple

  • Kaleb Divney
    Kaleb Divney 24 days ago

    Liberals is a nutshell

  • Yvana Lucia
    Yvana Lucia 24 days ago

    A PhD in freeganism😳😳😳😳😳huhh

  • Aliana Wood
    Aliana Wood 24 days ago

    I don't even want this shit in my USclip watch history.

  • Michelle Paradis
    Michelle Paradis 24 days ago

    This is a great idea, and good for them! Nothing wrong with that! We do over waste and it doesnt mean they're poor or cheap it's just a way they choose to live. Its recycling. In rural areas like where I choose to live, this isn't at all possible. We grown our own food if we want to save, hunt and fish. I definitely do that part! Can our summer produce, freeze our fish and game. It's my lifestyle and we all choose something different...no right or wrong.

  • MondoBeno
    MondoBeno 25 days ago

    I'd get some pigs and chickens, fatten them up on free dumpster food, and then eat the meat.

  • Meghan Monk
    Meghan Monk 26 days ago +2

    Haha I'm from buffalo and just saw a bunch of familiar faces & they were filming down the street from me. Very cool Doc.

  • El Pancho
    El Pancho 26 days ago +2

    once in a life time recession ..... this guy has got to be kidding

    • El Pancho
      El Pancho 18 days ago

      @Pantsalonis ya and before that and before that and so on lol :D

    • Pantsalonis
      Pantsalonis 18 days ago +1

      Didnt we had one in 08

  • LoonToon
    LoonToon 27 days ago

    My friend and I hit Aldis Grocery store 3 nights week. All fresh food that has not expired. Cops caught us one time and asked what we were doing. I told him getting groceries to make Jumbalya. The cop was like seriously? I showed him our haul and I know he sent his sister down there the next night. He told us to make sure to come before ten, that is when the outside movement security kicks in. I eat much healthier now and get some good exercise.

  • Makyrie
    Makyrie 27 days ago

    I do TOTALLY AGREE with those of you who think eating food that has been thrown away really, really bad... That food may not be spoiled. I have a kidney transplant and food poisoning might cause me to reject my transplant. It’s just to risky to risk!!! ROFLMAO I THINK IM FUNNY! For other things furniture etc. Go For It Baby!!!! It’s strange also how families react to dumpster diving. My father, brother and one of my three sisters would never ever dive. But My mother, two sisters and I are all about the dive!!! You can feel the excitement before a jump into the bin!! ROFLMAO It’s really fun. I live in a small town so I don’t trust the food. But if I lived in a bigger city, I would be right with the group... it would be so much fun to have a group to be in!!!

  • Monique Marquez
    Monique Marquez 27 days ago

    there's absolutely nothing wrong with recycling people's trash obviously it's going to go into a landfill somewhere and if you can use it instead of purchasing more stuff that she's going to go to waste or that you're going to end up throwing away one day might as well use something that is still usable

  • Makyrie
    Makyrie 27 days ago

    I really HATE, hate hate the fact that people are making it hard to go through the trash at the PUBLIC dump I live close too.... I have in the past found many things to decorate and furnish my home. I also can repair alliances. Ie. refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers etc. but I can’t do that anymore. They totally destroy all items brought to be disposed of. For years “I’m 60” I found appliances etc. repaired them and sold them cheap or gave them away depending on the person and their need. I might give a Lady with children all her appliances for free! But at the same time I may charge a single male/female a few dollars ( never more than 15-20 dollars for a range, stove, hood and dishwasher. Still cheap but it helps to pay for parts ifI have to buy or hunt for them!!! I have seen many retailers Police their trash bins, “Michaels craft store” comes to mind!!! I think they pay an employee to peep through their back door spy hole! They’ve caught me many a time. Even after they were closed for several hours!!! ROFLMAO I don’t know why they worry so much about their dumpsters. I had a manager tell me one time it was because “I may be hurt,etc” he allowed me to dive however so he was an ok guy!!! Lol

  • Mary Calahan
    Mary Calahan 27 days ago +1

    Anyone doing this, please be careful.
    While true, there are people for various reasons throw useable/repairable items out instead of donating. There are also times when there are good reasons when some people throw things out.
    Bugs / tiny larva /mold/ mildew/ urine, etc. . All that I've mentioned and more are not always immediately apparent until you bring that item home, and because of the indoor warmth, the odors start to come out, dormant bugs start crawling, what looked like very tiny dust specks start moving, etc etc
    Next thing one knows, one's home becomes infested. Even if items are pest and odor free, some people end up becoming hoarders. Some love to give a new life to an item, and plan on repairing, but often projects never get started because the collector keeps bringing in more stuff for that hoped for project.
    As for food out of the trash, that too is high risk. I can understand being desperate, but to make a habit when there's no need? Nothing is worth spending hours in one's bathroom or worse due to contaminated food. Anyway, to each their own, just be careful.

  • freewaydeath
    freewaydeath 27 days ago

    Friggin freegans

  • Cynthia Powers
    Cynthia Powers 28 days ago

    this makes me very sad

  • Miss B
    Miss B 29 days ago

    Food waste is SO bad in America don't even blame them.

  • Fabian Barnes
    Fabian Barnes 29 days ago

    I hope they get the furniture professionally cleaned

  • Ember D&T
    Ember D&T Month ago

    Well fast fashion and single use plastics are a problem. So to an extent this is good. But the single biggest thing we can do to save the environment is to go vegan.

  • Kasey Estella
    Kasey Estella Month ago

    sis is really eating flowers 😭

  • MissBlack&White MissBlack&White

    Wow thats great!

  • durka durk
    durka durk Month ago

    I feel like I've become a lesser version of this nowadays. I quit my bank and joined a credit union, I stopped wasting money on iphones and got a phone for less than half the amount that lasts years and years and years and I can get the value back on it one day when i sell it. I've quit going to big stores for the most part like walmart and target and started only going to stores like Aldi & Dollar General. The change has been huge. I'm hoping to keep making more. My car insurance is pretty low but my phone bill is too high! Anyone have any phone companies they recommend that arent the big ones but have good coverage?

  • Asassynation
    Asassynation Month ago

    I think this is actually so admirable, we really do waste sooooo much, the fact that somebody is making use out of it is pretty special, to be honest.

  • Jordan Shields
    Jordan Shields Month ago

    They would rather throw out than give it away ,,,, but ask me to send more money to feed the hungry

  • Jordan Shields
    Jordan Shields Month ago

    But caring

  • Jordan Shields
    Jordan Shields Month ago

    Kinda dirty