A Texas woman is finding makeup in Dumpsters and selling it to help pay her college loans.
Photo: Manuel Medir/CON/LatinContent/Getty Images
Photo: Manuel Medir/CON/LatinContent/Getty Images

Dumpster-diving woman turns trash into cash

When school loans loom, post-college graduates have to make up ways to earn money to pay them off.

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So a Texas woman goes Dumpster diving to find makeup, and then sells it to help pay those loans, WGN reported.

Shelbi, who did not provide her last name, works full time in environmental regulations. At night, she and a friend go undercover, looking for makeup.

"We leave the house around 9 because most businesses around us close at that time," she told WGN. “We will basically go to the back of the stores with our headlamps and gloves and protective gear, protective shoes and see what we can find."

She finds food, vitamins, perfume, furniture, full bottles of unopened alcohol and cosmetics, WGN reported. She says that is the treasure of all treasures in trash bins near her home. She's so good at it, she regularly posts videos on YouTube all about the hunt and all about her finds.

"For me, if you're going seven nights a week, hitting five Dumpsters a night, you'll be successful at least four of those seven nights," she says.

Shelbi said she targets stores like Ulta Beauty, Bed Bath and Beyond, T.J. Maxx and even grocery stores.

She says the trick is to know the schedules of your favorite stores and be persistent.

Shelbi says her adventures first began in college, she says, when she was really broke. She sold discarded furniture on Facebook, but now focuses on makeup. She told WGN that she probably collected between $10,000-$15,000 in goods.

Shelbi says she doesn't do it just for the money or the thrill. She says it’s about the environment and keeping what she calls perfectly good items out of landfills. She claims she wants to make people aware how wasteful corporate America can be.

"To get people's attention and get them involved it usually takes a visual representation and I’ve found that Dumpster diving is how I can really get that message out there,” she told WGN.

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