Jeff Wilson lives in a dumpster.
It’s not what it sounds like: Wilson is an environmental science professor and dean at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, and he’s working with his students and a team of experts to transform that dumpster into a sustainable home that costs under $US10,000.
He uses the alter-ego “Professor Dumpster.”
“Professor Dumpster will be spending one year in a dumpster that is approximately 6 feet x 6 feet, or about 1% the size of the average new American home. Professor Dumpster, in his bid to become part of the ‘new 1%’ will strive to use 1% the water, 1% the energy, and create 1% the waste of the average American home,” reads The Dumpster Project website.
We first came across Wilson over at The Atlantic, where they describe his downsizing from a 2,500-square-foot house to a 500-square-foot apartment and finally to the 36-square-foot dumpster. For reference, that’s 152 square feet less than the self-proclaimed “world’s smallest house” in London, 204 square feet less than a typical $30,000 tiny house, and 92 square feet smaller than the tiny house where a Business Insider reporter spent the weekend with her mum.
We were so intrigued by Wilson’s project that we reached out to Team Dumpster to see if they had photos to share. We’ve published them here with their permission.
The Dumpster Project will be completed in three phases, starting when Wilson took occupancy in February 2014: camping in a bare-bones dumpster (shown here); living in a dumpster 'home,' with additions such as storage and a bed; and then fine-tuning the dumpster into the ultimate sustainable home.
Earlier in stage two, the project's current stage, a fake floor was installed to store Wilson's belongings and limited wardrobe.
Later in this stage, the dumpster will be hooked up to electricity and water. Measurements will be taken of how much of these resources Wilson requires to be comfortable.
Wilson told The Atlantic that in the summer, his Texan dumpster can easily top 100 degrees, making it unbearable during the day. Luckily, he can take refuge in his office. Until an exterior composting toilet and shower are installed, he will continue relying on the university's facilities.
This shot from the 'skylight,' 'retractable roof,' or 'lid,' depending on what you want to call it, gives a pretty good idea of the dumpster's dimensions.
In the third and final stage, which hasn't yet begun, the team will continue adding to the home, and focus on making sure it uses 1% of the energy and water used in the average American home.
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