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Texas Professor Living in Dumpster

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An Austin professor has spent the better part of 2014 living minimally in a space that’s not as trashy as it sounds: a dumpster. The Dumpster Project — an ongoing project spearheaded by Jeffrey Wilson, an associate professor of biological sciences and dean of the University College at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin — aims to see how humans can live in a comfortable but environmentally sustainable fashion. “If you think about just moving to a smaller space and having less stuff, it creates some voids or spaces in your life that you can fill up with more meaningful stuff, meaningful experiences,” said Wilson, who has been nicknamed “Professor Dumpster”…

Sent to us by Ed Forgotson

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14 Responses to Texas Professor Living in Dumpster

  1. Hope nobody empties it! :D

  2. jan says:

    If you lived in a cold climate you couldnt walk around in it….blood clots in legs maybe……to small to live in might be ok for the homeless.

    • Zouboy says:

      It is too small to live in because in cold climates, you couldn’t walk around in it and might get blood clots — but is ok for the homeless? Surely you did not intentionally imply that they are less worthy human beings.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Interesting idea, but I need a bathroom, running water, a place to cook so I don’t have to eat at restaurants all the time….I’m all for simple, sustainable living, but I don’t think this would be at all comfortable. Maybe a mother-in-law room…

  4. eliza says:

    When I first saw the headline, I thought it was another story about an adjunct living in poverty. The article doesn’t say why Wilson chose a dumpster for the base structure of this shelter, but I doubt many homeless people would think this was funny or clever.

  5. Beth says:

    His ideas are interesting and creative but at least a tiny bathroom is a necessity, in my opinion. Also, I enjoy my pets and need space which is big enough to share with them for quality of life. But kudos to those who are willing to think “outside the box.”

  6. N.M. says:


  7. mavenk says:

    Where would someone who works from home put their office, workshop, tools cabinet, worktable????

  8. Bev says:

    If you are looking at this just being a sleeping area, then its ok if you have several with a common building for cooking, shower, toilet and studying/ working. I’m not sure about the fact that it’s not insulated. I understand that the roof slides, there is probably an elastomeric paint on the walls, and he has an air conditioner, but it’s still metal and metal gets hot.

  9. dave head says:

    But what if…one night when you were in there.. looking up at the stars…and someone comes buy and tosses in a huge paper bag of stinking prawns. Just a thought.

  10. dave head says:

    Apart from the prawns, it’s very nice inside. Wonderful idea.

  11. Roberta of Quail Woods says:

    Not sustainable. You are still using energy when a better design could accomplish healthier environment and use a lot less energy. The idea of living in a dumpster in this fashion needs to be thrown in the dumpster. Back to the drawing board, Professor.

  12. An eight-by-eight insulated plywood sleeping box would be better. Air conditioning means he has electricity, so he could have an electric kettle and a microwave for home cooking. A daily stop at the market would take care of refrigeration. A couple of buckets and some plastic bags for his toilet arrangements. He stays late at the office or takes in a movie, and then retires to his sleeping cube to read and rest. The bum boxes of the California desert are covered in Rancho Costa Nada: The Dirt cheap Desert Homestead.

  13. Lewis Remington says:

    I have never once thought of living in a dumpster as a reasonable or achievable feat, but now I can proudly say my opinion has changed. I didn’t realize how economical it would be. Now, mind you, I wouldn’t want to suddenly change my ways and move there with my wife and kids, but it definitely has an effect on the way I think about my possessions, my home, and the dumpster out front.

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