Professor to live in dumpster for year
by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE
Posted on February 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM
Updated today at 9:27 AM
AUSTIN — Dumpster diving is taking on a whole new meaning at Huston-Tillotson University. It’s all about a professor and the number “one.” The dean of Huston Tillotson’s University College will live on campus for the next year.
His goal is to live in a space one percent the size of the average home, while using one percent of the water and energy used by an average home and producing only one percent of the waste an average home produces.
“This is what’s called an eight cubic yard dumpster, also with windows and doors,” said Huston-Tillitson environmental science professor Jeff Wilson, Ph.D.
Wilson made those comments back in October when he checked out dumpsters, not for trash or treasure, but rather to size them up as a future home.
“Telling people you have life dreams, you want to live in a dumpster, it brings sympathy your way,” Wilson said.
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Texas university professor moves into a DUMPSTER on school campus for a year to show students that they can live with less
Dr. Jeff Wilson, a Harvard-educated environmental science professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, moved into the dumpster Tuesday
The experiment is designed to show students, and the world, that humans can live on a smaller scale and lessen our environmental footprint
Thankfully for Wilson, who’s now known as Professor Dumpster, his new home isn’t your ordinary smelly dumpster
It will be getting kitted out by his students so it includes creature comforts like a shower, kitchen, bed, WiFi and toilet
By Helen Pow
A university professor in Austin, Texas, has moved into a 33sq ft dumpster, which he plans to call home for an entire year.
Dr. Jeff Wilson, a Harvard-educated environmental science professor, took up residence in the trash can Tuesday in an effort to show students at Huston-Tillotson University, and the world, that humans can live on a smaller scale and lessen our environmental impact.
Thankfully for Wilson, who’s now known as Professor Dumpster, his new home isn’t your ordinary smelly dumpster but will be getting kitted out by his students so it includes creature comforts like a shower, kitchen, bed, WiFi and toilet.
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Dumpster time: Dr. Jeff Wilson, pictured Tuesday, Dean of the University College and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Huston-Tillotson University, moved into a 33-square foot dumpster on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas on Tuesday
Outfitting the tiny space is step one in the trash can challenge, and the goal is to design the dumpster to be as energy efficient as possible, with solar panels and an energy producing toilet.
‘The idea here is to ultimately show one can have a pretty good life in a dumpster,’ Wilson told Fast Company.
However, the dumpster is starting off modestly. Tuesday night, the 6ft 1in Professor Dumpster posted a picture of his new abode on Twitter with a maroon sleeping bag laid out tightly in the small space with little else in view.
If occasionally Wilson needs a break from the box, students can opt to take his place for the night.
One student, Evette Jackson, has already signed up.
Mod cons: Thankfully for Wilson, pictured, his new home isn’t your ordinary smelly dumpster but a special version customized by his students that includes creature comforts like a shower, kitchen, bed, WiFi and toilet
Not very big: Wilson posted a picture of his new home on Twitter Tuesday with the comment ‘Bird’s eye view of dumpster home at bedtime’
‘I think it’s pretty intriguing,’ she told KVUE. ‘It’s pretty cool. I want to live in it too.’
After the year of dumpster living is up, Wilson plans on taking the bin across the United States, educating students about the possibility of following in his ‘less is more’ footsteps.
Wilson said the project idea came to him two years ago while he was sipping a latte at Starbucks.
‘I looked out the window into the parking lot and saw an eight-yard dumpster and had some sort of strange flash that I was definitely moving into a dumpster,’ he told Fast Company.
So when the lease ran out on his lovely, full-sized, apartment a year later, he posted an announcement on Facebook, which read: ‘Starting at 6pm, I will be selling all of my home furnishings, clothes, kitchen appliances, and everything else in the apartment for $1 an item.’
Help: Wilson, right, had help from students and other educators including Dr Karen Magid, pictured