Believe it or not, when I was in high school, I did an entire project in AP English (like, the biggest writing assignment of the year) about dumpster diving (and subsequently I flunked/dropped out of said high school, but that's another story). Then again, growing up surrounded by scientists and engineers in Los Alamos, there was a lot of interesting stuff in the trash, so maybe the paper was pretty good. I can't remember, and I certainly don't still have it.
Regardless, my lifelong love of dumpster diving was born. I've scavenged all kinds of random stuff - and I live about 1 mile from the main Boulder recycling center, which is "closed" on Sundays, which means there's nobody around to yell at you for jumping into the dumpsters and digging around in the sharp rusty metal. It's worth it, though - in the last couple of years, I've found:
-XT/517 wheelset, perfect shape.
-Complete Bianchi road bike that someone drove into their garage - broken frame and fork, but the complete 105 grouppo, wheels and other parts were all fine.
-The bike rack on our car.
-A welding table and perfectly matching adjustable height lab chair! This thing is freakin' sweet - I can finally retire the old desk that my dad built me in middle school (it's holding the lathe now). The table has a nice set of adjustable feet to let you level/stabilize it, it's super beefy, and it was free! Kickass.