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You'll be happy to know that I am still cutting copper previously obtained and inventoried.

I was not as lucky last summer as in years past with obtaining the amount of copper from the dumpsters as I was used to. Due to a promotion at work there was less time available to go diving. Because of the increased recycling prices, for me as high as $2.85/lb, last summer there was increased competition among the divers. Instead of the copper you went looking for you sometimes had to settle for the the aluminium can leftovers. This wasn't that bad as this still paid $.60/lb. You also had to balance the time spent looking and finding nothing with the $3.00+ price per gallon of gas.

I was recently disappointed with the $2.10 per pound I had recently received from the scrap dealer. While driving home I then remembered that I put in the same energy and effort when the price was at a low of $.52/lb and I was stockpiling for better payoff. Because I was running out of room for both cut and uncut copper I took the 600 lbs I had and turned it in and invested the approximate $300 I received in MO (Altria) when it was in the mid $20's. I have since been handsomely rewarded for this DRIP purchase with high dividends and GREAT share appreciation. As I get older, 43, I find I have less and less time to to devote to dumpster diving. Each time I take the trip out to dive I imagine it is like people chasing their future buying lottery tickets. Will their next lottery ticket purchase be their first/next win. For me as I stopped the car, got out and approached the looming dumpster would this dumpster be the ONE filled with the copper bounty I was seeking or would I be disappointed with an empty dumpster or worse yet one filled with rotting grass cuttings or garbage? I was only really surprised twice in all my years of dumpster diving. Once I peaked over the edge of 1/3 full dumpster and found a living black cat. I don't know who was freaked out more me seeing something moving in a dumpster or the cat seeing someone peak over the edge. I can tell you the cat jumped about fieve feet in to the air and frantically tried to get out of the confining space. The sound of it bouncing off the metal walls and clawing on the metal sides was something I will not soon forget. The other time was when I was searching near dusk and I peeked in to a dumpter and shaw a large racoon rummaging through a neighbors garbage bag neatly deposited in to this dumpster.

Finally it has been discussed many times on this board how we in turn use some of the stuff we find while dumpster diving. This past August I came upon a 40 yd dumpster filled with paper work and other contents from someone either moving out of their new home or someone moving in and cleaning out some of the things they just moved to their new house. I wasn't having much luck this evening and it was getting darker so I knew I didn't have much more time to look. As I routed through this paper work I found a partial box, approximately 8 or 10, neatly decorated / created Christmas cards. They were still in their original box and had matching envelopes. What cuaght my eye about this cards is that they were the kind that had cutout shapes of snowmen, xmas tress, sleds and snowflakes on different cards. In these 8 or 10 that I found there were two of each of the four or five different designs. My wife and I have a group of friends called Dinner Club that get together each month and go out to dinner some where. In December it was our Holiday Dinner Club at a fancier restaurant than normal. For this ocassion my wife decided to use these dumpster dove cards because the women of this group could appreciate the care taken to create these cards. I said great you are using my dumpster dove cards. I said I am going to tell everyone since they already knew I dove for copper. She said "DON'T YOU DARE" tell them where I got these cards. I agreed that I would not, but was happy to know the women would be impressed with my FREE cards. As dinner would down we began to exchange cards. As our three cards were opened the women all oohed and ahhed that they had never seen holiday cards like this and wondered where my wife got such beautiful cards. I was bursting at the seams to tell them where they had come from, but gave my wife my word I would not. Finally my wife said I got them and the women all started in on me for the store I had found them at. Still nothing from me until my wife said go ahead and tell them where you got them. I told the group of seven people I had dumpster dove them in August. They were in shock and laughed nervously as I explained how I had found the sealed package of 8- 10 cards plus envelopes in the waning heat of an August evening. We all laughed more as I told the story, paid our bill and left the nice restaurant. About a week or two later I was over at one of these friends house. They had all their Christmas cards displayed on top of their piano. And our friend acknowledged the most visually beautiful card she had received this holiday season was the one I had dumpster dove four months earlier. We all had another laugh about how one man's trash is another man's treasure and went on our way shopping at a busy near by mall.

Happy diving.

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