Forget dumpster diving for food — the lure of free shoes had these thrifty sandgropers raiding a skip bin outside the head office of a popular shoe retailer.
A crowd of people were spotted outside Betts’ headquarters in Osborne Park on Saturday afternoon after word spread of two big bins full of shoes.
“I’m sure it’s already been shared on the Perth feral community pages … but hurry on down to (Betts’) head office in Osborne Park and help raid the two giant skip bins full of shoes,” a social media user posted on Facebook.
“Or if that’s too much work check out any of the markets or some IGAs around Perth tomorrow.”
Betts Group chief executive Todd Wilner was on his way to the office with another senior executive to clean up the mess on Sunday when he told The West Australian the shoes were samples, some of them with holes drilled into them, and none were in pairs.
Mr Wilner said the company was very conscious about waste and had reached out to charities in the past but were told the shoes were not wanted unless they were in pairs.
He said if there was a charity who would be interested in using the samples he wanted to hear from them.
“If there is an organization out there who is prepared to work with us and take single shoes, we are absolutely happy to work with them to reduce our waste,” he said.
Dumpster diving — when people rummage through bins to find edible food, usually discarded at shopping centers — has made headlines recently after a City of Fremantle councilor was caught in the act last month.
Cr Rachel Pemberton admitted she had taken mince and a “few small tubs of yogurt” from a South Fremantle Woolworths bin, where she was spotted, filmed and photographed by a bemused resident.
“The amount of food waste in Australia is shameful — if I and others save some of it from landfill is that really an issue?” Cr Pemberton said.
“I know of many people who dumpster dive, not just hippies and backpackers but people on extremely low income who wait by the bins when the staff close the shop and throw out the day’s unsold stock — right through to well-dressed older people who drive Mercedes in the leafy western suburbs.”
While taking food out of bins can be grounds for trespass and even stealing in WA, Cr Pemberton said she believed the “extreme amount of food that goes into landfill” that should be illegal.