Who’s in the Can?
A house is not a home without inhabitants, right? That why we started with Professor Dumpster in the Can. When he’s not testing sustainable technologies and low-waste living principles in an oversized trash can, Professor Dumpster sometimes goes as Environmental Science Professor, Dr. Jeff Wilson. Professor Dumpster made the Dumpster his home-sweet-home for a full year from February 2014 to February 2015. During the beginning phases of the project, Professor Dumpster was essentially “dumpster camping” in the bare-bones frame (don’t worry, we ran it through the car wash a couple times).
First attempt at exiting a dumpster…. #FAIL.
After four months of practice…. #GOLD
We’re still working on the ultimate dumpster, but over the course of the year, the dumpster was renovated 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.
Still to come are many of the amenities of a standard American home (shower, toilet, kitchen). We’re figuring out how to retrofit a dumpster and turn it into a modern dwelling space, and we’ll keep plugging away. Stay tuned for Dumpster 2.0, 3.0, and beyond!
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.