This is the last year we throw trash.
August 14, 2004 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Mongo is the treasures people discover in garbage, and Ted Botha has written an excellent book about it and talked about it. If your curiousity is peaked, you might want to try it yourself.
posted by drezdn (11 comments total)
Piqued perhaps?
posted by dakotadusk at 10:23 AM on August 14, 2004

While I have done an entry on the word "mongo" for my site which takes the term back to 1984, a trip to the Library of Congress a couple of weeks ago to look at some of the papers of the Works Progress Administration revealed that the term goes back to at least 1938. There's a bit of field reporting there which defines "mungo" as the person who salvages items from the trash. Both forms of the word come out of New York City.

FYI, citing Urban Dictionary for your definitions is like citing the Turner Diaries when talking about international politics. Most of it's wrong and much of it is inappropriately offensive. I'm all for curse-words, obscenities, and breaking taboos, but there's a subculture of people at UD who post entries and definitions invented solely for the purpose offending, demeaning, or derogating.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:14 AM on August 15, 2004

similarly, found magazine publishes "anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life", including letters, lists, notes, drawings, and photos found by its readers.
posted by register at 7:54 AM on August 15, 2004

By far the best time to do this is as students are moving out of dorms at any college campus. Typically the university will simply place large, open dumpsters in parking lots, and students will throw out the most unbelievable stuff. I've gotten hundreds of DVDs, a good chunk of my wardrobe (leather goods, mostly; obviously I'm not collecting other people's underwear), two seperate 5.1 home stereo systems, many computers, and most of my kitchen appliances this way.

It's shameful, really.
posted by ChasFile at 8:20 AM on August 15, 2004

Thanks for posting this -- I ordered the Mungo book from Amazon last week and I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive -- this helps.

Love to dumpster dive! What people throw away is, as ChasFile says, shameful.
posted by sugarfish at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2004

Mongo. Damnit.
posted by sugarfish at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2004

What about if it's piqued my interest?
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:28 PM on August 15, 2004

I figure you're not truly a part of Generation X or Y unless you've salvaged something from someone's garbage. I have a little rocking chair that my mother reupholstered for me. I had a guest rave about it and ask me to sell it to her once.
posted by orange swan at 7:54 PM on August 15, 2004

Why did they have to use a derogatory word for this practice?
posted by agregoli at 6:44 AM on August 16, 2004

It's not derogatory. Some of the definitions at Urban Dictionary, which are not accurate, are derogatory.
posted by Mo Nickels at 2:36 PM on August 16, 2004

Sorry, Urban dictionary was the only place online where I could find that particular definition of mongo. I'd never heard the term until I read the book.
posted by drezdn at 11:22 PM on August 16, 2004

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