Kevin Lee

"Professor Dumpster" to Live Out of a Texas Garbage Can for an Entire Year

by , 10/14/13

Dumpster, Trash Heap, Garbage, Home, Net Zero, Sustainable Living, Jeff Wilson, Huston Tillotson University, Austin, Texas, Dumpster Project, University Research,

What makes a home? Four walls and a roof? Some nice furnishings? Maybe some indoor plumbing? For Dr. Jeff Wilson, an environmental science professor in Texas, a home can be made in something as unconventional as a dumpster. Part of a unique university experiment, the Dumpster Project aims to reveal how it’s possible to live in a dumpster for an entire year without all of the amenities modern Americans have grown so accustomed to.

Dumpster, Trash Heap, Garbage, Home, Net Zero, Sustainable Living, Jeff Wilson, Huston Tillotson University, Austin, Texas, Dumpster Project, University Research,

Dr. Jeff Wilson didn’t lose his job at the Huston Tillotson University in Austin, Texas or his mind. Instead, two years ago while revising a journal article at a Starbucks, Wilson hatched a wild plan to move into a trash receptacle when he saw an eight-yard dumpster outside of the window. A year later the lease on his apartment ran out and Wilson began moving out by selling all of his worldly possessions except for one suitcase of clothes and nicknacks.

Wilson then spent seven months sleeping on a University office floor to prepare for his Dumpster Project, a university-approved educational experiment on low-impact living. As part of the experiment Wilson will teach and live from a used 33 square feet dumpster for an entire year starting this fall.

The idea is to show that people can not only live out of a space that’s just one-percent the size of a new American home, but that modern amenities like electricity or indoor plumbing are also dispensable. Of course, this trashy home will be sanitized and safety-tested. Otherwise, it’s a bare box of metal walls. Wilson will even be gathering his own filtered water from a town lake with five gallon buckets.

Once Wilson has settled into his life emulating Oscar the Grouch, he will start pimping it out until it resembles a real home. This includes installing energy-efficient bulbs, nano-insulation, and even energy-producing toilets. He also plans to take the “Professor Dumpster” show on the road in order to introduce life in a trash heap to other schools.

The year-long Dumpster Project made its initial debut in New York at Times Square and Maker Faire.

+ The Dumpster Project

Via Fast CoExist

Images © The Dumpster Project

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1 Comment

  1. confusedx50 October 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Sure it can be done, but what is the point? People aren\’t willing to give up luxuries just because \”it can be done.\” Not entirely sure what his goal is here….

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