Nas Daily features S'porean freegan dumpster diver, gets blamed for being cheapskate

Not a lifestyle for everyone.

Belmont Lay | August 24, 2018, 03:57 PM

An extreme-living Singaporean freegan dumpster diver has been featured by super vlogger Nas Daily on episode 866, one day after Singapore got featured.

The subject? A Singaporean, Daniel Tay, who doesn't spend money on food and other daily use items despite living in one of the most expensive cities in the world -- all because he digs through thrown out stuff for anything usable.

In the video, he is seen eating leftover food at a food centre.

Turned off by his antics

Even though the Nas Daily video highlighted Tay's case as an example of turning away from consumerist culture, it drew many negative comments -- which doesn't happen quite often for the positive and affirming vlogger.

The negative sentiments include:

• questioning why Tay is hoarding $150,000 in savings and opting to dig through rubbish for a living

• accusing Tay of being a cheapskate

• accusing Tay of benefitting from items that others give away when those things can go to the worse-off in society

Nas Daily defends dumpster diver and freeganism

As the video failed to touch on many unanswered questions as it is only 1 minute and 13 seconds long, the vlogger Nuseir Yassin came to Tay's defence:

Nuseir wrote that he highlighted Tay's case as it undermines the consumerist mindset of many people these days.

He also defended Tay by saying that another video will be out to highlight how Tay donates 90 percent of the things he finds and collects.

Tay's background

Tay is a member of a community that combs the rubbish bins for food and other useful objects.

He previously said he keeps only about 5 percent of the stuff he finds, and gives the rest away to individuals or the needy.

Here are some of the things that he can pick up on a daily basis:

Source: Quora

"Why is Singapore expensive?"

In April 2018, Tay elaborated on his lifestyle on Quora (a peer-to-peer question-and-answer site) and answered the question "Why is Singapore expensive?"

In short, Tay thinks it's the price of convenience — for example, being able to stroll into a supermarket and getting any individual item you desire — that is driving up costs.

However, the food that Tay procures are not only those scavenged from dustbins -- he has a number of ways to get perfectly edible food that would otherwise have been thrown away.

And these are food from supermarkets and F&B shops.

Food thrown away by stores

Many times, supermarkets, wholesalers and food stores throw away or reject food because they are too small, bruised, or blemished.

For example, this is the amount of bread thrown away by a bakery in one night:

According to Tay, a vegetable seller once revealed that he bought half a tonne (that's 500kg) of cucumbers for S$24.

He then sells 10 cucumbers for S$2 — a bargain to most customers.

As Tay's group has made its foothold in the community, he regularly receives unwanted fresh produce, so much so that they once fed 5,000 people in an event.

Afterwards, they even had 600kg of food left to giveaway:

S$8 on food for the whole year

Through his efforts, Tay only spent S$8 on food in 2017.

The only physical items he buys are cat food and cat litter.

Tay said previously that he only spends money on services such as transport, electricity, water, gas, financial, legal and medical fees, mobile internet subscription, and home cleaning.

He also pays for insurance, investments, and mortgage.