Prof. plans to live in dumpster for a year

  • Thirty-three square foot dumpster to include shower, toilet, WIFI
  • Plans to rinse it out in a carwash before moving in
  • Will exemplify the virtues of living with less

A professor at a public college in Texas is preparing to camp-out and eventually live in a portable trash dumpster for an entire year in order to demonstrate the virtues and possibilities of living with less. 

Dr. Jeff Wilson, or “Professor Dumpster,” who teaches environmental science at Austin’s Huston-Tillotson University, told Campus Reform he plans to begin the “dumpster camping” phase of his project in November, but will soon modify the 33 square foot container into a “fully furnished... normal American home” that includes WIFI, a shower, and toilet. 

We are "taking it to a bit of an extreme level; obviously we don’t want anybody else to live in a dumpster.”   

“Initially I’ll just be dumpster camping, so I’ll just have a clean dumpster and one of our sponsors has donated some dumpster camping gear,” he told Campus Reform late last week.

“Over the course of the year, the dumpster will be retrofitted into a modern dwelling space with all the amenities of a standard American home (shower, toilet, kitchen, bed, and WiFi access),” continues the “Dumpster Project’s” official webpage.

The canister, which will “run through the car wash a couple times” before Wilson moves in, will eventually be outfitted with state of the art solar panels, water filtration, climate control, and waste reduction systems that will allow it to operate off the grid.

Wilson, nicknamed “Professor Dumpster” on the site, explained to Campus Reform that the purpose of the project is to lead by example rather than bashing students over the head with environmental ideals.

“I want to be clear here, this is not a liberal professor, locking all of his students into a dumpster and making them watch ‘Inconvenient Truth’ on our pee,” he said. 

“This project is about less is more,” he said. “[I]n this case, taking it to a bit of an extreme level; obviously we don’t want anybody else to live in a dumpster.” 

With that goal in mind, Wilson said his project will not accept student tuition or taxpayer monies, but be funded through private donations from “friends, family, and the public with no federal or state funding.” 

 The Dumpster Project’s official website says the dumpster is portable and can be transported across the country to raise awareness and encourage active participation on the issues of consumption, waste, and sustainability. 

Wilson will occasionally stay at another location for a single day and night to allow volunteer students in his class to experience a day in the life of “living in a dumpster.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AEdwardsCRO

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