The Dumpster Project is a design experiment. We are using an open-ended, iterative process to convert the dumpster into a home. We’re not sure we will ever get to the ultimate dumpster, but we’re still working towards that goal.
Where are we now? Over the course of the year, the dumpster was renovated inside and out as we started our investigations. We gained 10% in floor space when we added a false floor, 33 to 36 square feet is nothing to sneeze at – plus storage to boot! We wired up the Dumpster with sensors with our nearly real-time streaming weather station (check it out here), and we had to lose the pop-top for a sliding roof model as we fixed some pesky leak issues. We added air-conditioning after six months when we plugged the dumpster into the grid. We’ve been monitoring energy usage every since, and hope to take the dumpster off-the-grid soon, or at least mostly off the grid, with solar.
Still to figure out is how to get most of the amenities of a standard American home (shower, toilet, kitchen) to the dumpster in a sustainable way. We’re figuring out how to retrofit a dumpster and turn it into a modern dwelling space, and we’ll keep plugging away.
By converting a dumpster into a home, we are experimenting with innovative ways to live with less, and giving environmental education an engaging platform. We hope to project will engage the next generation in creative thinking about the important topics of sustainability and science education.