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What hath H&M wrought? When the New York Times found bags of destroyed clothing outside the Herald Square store last week, the news made chain store dumpsters seem like chambers of secrets. That's what motivated one of the Treehugger bloggers to start pawing through the garbage outside Urban Outfitters on 14th Street and 6th Avenue the other day. Inside boxes marked "broken" and "broken glass," she found a morass of Urban Outfitters novelty items: A disco ball, notepads, an iPod stereo system, a hamburger phone (which she grabbed). Shortly thereafter, she went back to find that the site had been discovered:
Now there were five people there, casually rifling through the boxes, their treasures lying at their feet: paperbacks, headphones, hats, calendars, posters, silly home decor items, and many many cheap sneakers, Keds-style canvas ones, neon-colored Nikes, some boots. (these came from boxes labeled "Broken Glass"). Within ten minutes, there were 20 people out there; it was a freegans' feeding frenzy. People were howling in excitement over their finds, trading things, and trying to find matching shoes.
The howling didn't stop until a woman emerged from the store yelling that the cops were on their way. Writes Treehugger:
I asked her what was wrong with people taking stuff that was bound for a landfill anyway. "It's not trash," she said. "It's going to the Salvation Army." I looked around at the mess we had left, a sea of sneakers with random cables and paper and semi-broken plastic toys and gag gifts, and felt bad.But then she began to wonder: Why would Urban write "broken glass" on boxes bound for the Salvation Army? And does the Salvation Army really need boxes of hamburger phones? The mystery remains unsolved. Meanwhile, we imagine chain stores across the city are locking up their garbage as we speak.
· Digging Into Urban Outfitters' Perfectly Good Trash [Treehugger]
· All Trashgate coverage [Racked]