One Central Texas professor has decided to convert a dumpster into a home. The next step? He is going to live in it.
Environmental scientist and associate professor at Huston-Tillotson University Dr. Jeff Wilson will begin his experiment inside a 33-square-foot dumpster in order to answer one question:
“Can you have a pretty good life living in 1 percent of the average new American home with 1 percent the energy, 1 percent the water and 1 percent the waste?” Wilson told KXAN.
The dumpster, located on the Huston-Tillotson campus, will go through three phases.
The first is a camping site. Next, the dumpster will become an average American home with appliances.
“For example, we’ll have a washing machine out here that will use 40 gallons on the average wash, so I will be getting my water from Town Lake. So that’s eight five-gallon buckets I’ll have to haul up the hill,” Wilson said.
Finally the dumpster will become a space capsule which Wilson hopes will be a complete self-sustaining Dumpster.
“It will be the ultimate small space ever designed,” he said.
Wilson, an environmental scientist, told KXAN he first came up with the Dumpster idea at a Starbucks.
“I was revising a journal article thinking about how I could make my research more applicable to student learning, and then I looked out the window and saw the Dumpster and thought, That’s it,” Wilson said.
His students, who call him "Professor Dumpster," will be designing and testing each phase.
“They will propose different solutions, do go some research and run it by experts. And we’ll test out solutions,” he said.
While Wilson is away, some of his students will take turns living in the dumpster.
“I feel like when I signed up to be co-chair, I signed up to live in it,” Olivia Sanchez told KVUE. “I think it will be kind of cool.”
The Ford Foundation has given $75,000 toward the experiment. A Dumpster Warming Party will be held on Friday.
Sources: KVUE, KXAN