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
A college professor has found a new home for a year, but it’s not exactly the luxury place that most would want to move into. He has moved into a dumpster with the goal of highlighting the benefits of a green lifestyle.
Jeff Wilson is a professor at Huston Tillotson University in Austin, Texas and he sold off the majority of his stuff as part of his move into the 33-square-foot dumpster, according to MSN. He’s hopeful that hopes his environmental studies students will help him deck it out with everything from energy-efficient lightbulbs to an energy producing toilet.
After the lease ran out on Wilson’s apartment, the professor secretly spent the next seven months living on the floor of his office before moving into the dumpster.
"Keeping that secret for seven months, especially from the 3 a.m. cleaning staff and 24-hour security, much less the students and my colleagues, was interesting in itself," Wilson told Fast Company.
His move into the dumpster is apparently approved by the university as an educational experiment in low-impact living and it’s called The Dumpster Project.
The dumpster won’t just serve as a place for Wilson to sleep. It’ll also be a classroom and students will try to make it livable and environmentally sound.
Wilson has christened himself Professor Dumpster, and he hopes his year-long experiment will lead to energy-saving changes in the university's non-dumpster dorms.
The professor clearly has a sense of humor, which is going to be needed to get through the project.
“I'm essentially becoming part of the 1%. This dumpster is 33 square feet, which is 1% the size of the new American home in 2011,”