Don't dive or straddle that dumpster without packing a DORK, also known as a Dig Out to Reuse Kit. Here are the items to include in your DORK. Some of this stuff can be found fairly cheap at a thrift or dollar type of store.

* A sturdy pair of gloves. Something that will resist an easy tear.
* A broomstick with a hook screwed into the end. You'll probably want
to cut it down to a size that makes digging easy.
* A decent magnet with a piece of rope tied to it. You might consider
this more like dumpster fishing. It reminds me of those arcade games,
except you actually have a chance to snag the prize. For added leverage,
try tying it to your broomstick.
* A small flashlight or clip light. Try to rig this so it can be used without
having to hold onto it. Glue a patch of Velcro to it and attach it to your sleeve
or shoulder. Combine this with a headband light to really illuminate the dumpster.
* A few basic first aid supplies: bandages, rubbing alcohol, and water.
You don't need to overdue this, just something that can quickly disinfect or rinse
your skin if you encounter or get poked by something questionable.

Divers, (or skippers as they are referred to in Great Britain), have varying opinions on actually going into the dumpster. It comes down to a personal preference. Many of the more seasoned ones have no problem with total dumpster immersion. If you decide to go that route be sure to wear a thick pair of shoes or boots. Broken glass, nails, tacks, and jagged sharp edges are common items that you'll be stepping on.

Dumpsters filled with discarded food present a different set of challenges. First there's the smell. Some people will gag while others maybe reminded of exotic barbeque. Just remember that odors signify airborne bacteria. Breathe though your nose if possible. Your nostril hairs act as a natural protection filter and you're less likely to "taste" the smell. If you are still paranoid, wear a surgical mask. Worried about the way you look? Don't be - hey buddy, remember you're in a dumpster!

Finally, stay focused, be quick and efficient. Do your digging and then get out. Don't leave a mess and do know your local ordinances. If the dumpster is locked or fenced off, find a different one. The chances of being cited for trespassing are much greater if you go inside an enclosed area.