New addition to dumpster home brings relief for the summer heat

AUSTIN -- For the past few months we've been showing you how Dr. James Wilson, a Huston-Tillotson University professor, is going green in a big way: The professor lives in a 36-square-foot dumpster at the university.

On Monday he added something that will make summer inside the Dumpster Project a little easier to handle.

Dr. Jeff Wilson, also known as 'Professor Dumpster,' has been sweating it out inside his tiny steel home for the past six months.

A new air conditioning unit provides some much needed relief.

"We are wanting to test the ultimate limits of what it would be like to live a little bit smaller," Wilson said. "It is definitely a game changer."

Dr. Wilson says at times it could get up to 128 degrees inside his dumpster home. And now with the new air conditioning he won't have to worry about the Texas heat.

The addition moves this experiment on sustainable living into phase two.

"What the point of this phase, which we call the 'studio dumpster', is to plug into the grid and use normal appliances," Wilson said. "So this is a $170 standard unit from Home Depot, we've got a standard light bulb, and we're basically plugged into a wall socket at this point."

There's also an iPhone charger.

This project revolves around using one percent of what the average American uses: one percent of the water, energy and waste.
And students involved with the Huston-Tillotson student organization 'Green is the New Black' say they're enjoying learning what it's like to live with less as well.

"We had this dumpster when there was nothing in here, we actually picked out this dumpster," said Evette Jackson, who helped design the project. "We have schedules, we have to sign up to live in here. So it's going to be pretty cool."

And cool is exactly what 'Professor Dumpster' is happy to have.

"I'm a proud homeowner in Austin, I'm glad to say," he laughs.

In the third phase of what the professor calls 'Uber Dumpster', he plans to build onto his tiny home, and possibly create a composting toilet and an outdoor solar-heated shower.


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