Every city at night differs substantially from its life during daylight. Most of the people disappears from the streets and sits comfortably at home instead. Shops are closed for a long time, so it’s the right time for dumpsterdivers who come outside to save thrown away food from decay in garbage bins.
Food waste is a serious issue. According to the European Commission, over 100 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the European Union. The situation in Norway is not better in this regard. You don’t have to convert into amount of bread or potatoes to realize that the number is too high. Therefore, the Spire’s local chapter in Oslo decided after hours of debates about legality of dumpsterdiving, that didn’t bring any clear resolution, to arrange a dumpsterdiving session.
After a meeting in an unspecified time on an unspecified location we followed our guide, whom I will call A. (for the sake of anonymity and because of my lousy memory), into the dark backyards of supermarkets where are the dumpsters.
Our group were lucky and the bins of the first supermarket we visited were full. So A. dived into it and the rest of us followed. The whole process of dumpsterdiving is easy. Find a garbage bin. Open. Look for edible food. Repeat. Done.
After approximately 15 minutes we left the place with full bags of food. We found so many bananas that a monkey pavilion in a zoo could survive on them for months, few kilos of tangerines, oranges, limes, carrots, some sweets… and one potato.
Sometimes doing the right thing is far away from pictures of princes in shiny armours, but consists of doing little bit disgusting actions like raking the garbage. But eventually there is no difference between banana cakes made from goods bought in the supermarket or found in its garbage bins.
Written by: Michael Škvrňák, Oslo local chapter