Yap! You read it! Freeganism!
I came across the term for the first time in this great NYTimes article Not Buying It. The folks in the article were involved in some serious end of college term dumpster diving, I know Ottawa always yields great loot, from feathered duvets to table lamps or cheezy teddy bears at that time of year.
In my neighbourhood there is an unwritten code where we strategically put stuff in full view on the curb slightly away from the refuse as we know others will want those treasures. Sunday nights are always an interesting evening where can & bottle collectors do their rounds (often very elderly Chinese Ladies), and people walk about looking for finds. My neighbour Megan collects our weekly reading of trashy magazines on paper nights (Harpers, MS, People, and so on), often I find chairs which i have distributed to friends as far away as Montreal, tables for decks, pots for plants, lawn chairs, fabric, desks, lamps and so on!
When I organized the peace walk in Japan in 1993, we fed 200 people for 1260 KM for 2 months with dumpster dived, or discarded food. We used to get bread crusts from bakers, noodles from 7-11 bento boxes, fruit and veg behind grocers and collected wild vegetables along the walk. Japan was ideal for this as there is such a high sense of aesthetics with food that the smallest of imperfections will land the product in the gomi. In fact we found the 48 hour shift of collecting and preparing food for the walkers to be a most impressive and fun learning experience. And well i was considered the Queen of Recycling in Japan! I still luv collecting things in that way!
Freeganism is an anticonsumerism lifestyle where people employ alternative strategies for living based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."  The word "Freegan", is a portmanteau of "free" and "vegan".  Freeganism started in the mid 1990s, out of the antiglobalization and environmentalist movements. Groups such as Food Not Bombs, served free vegetarian and vegan food to that was salvaged from food market trash. It also has elements of Diggers, an anarchist street theater group based in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the 1960’s. They also gave away food and social services. [2
Am i a freegan! Nah! I like nice things, good food and comfortable shoes, and I am not very ideologically driven with the collecting, i just do it for the luv and pleasure of it. But I most certainly appreciate the folks who do make it a pursuit.