Guerrilla swimming pools made from dumpsters

Katherine sez, "A group called Macro/Sea is taking used construction dumpsters and lining them to create swimming pools. It's throwing pool parties at undisclosed locations in Brooklyn (I think what they're doing may technically be illegal). One of the people involved is skateboarding legend Jocko Weyland. The current dumpster pools are phase one in a more ambitious plan to reclaim disused strip malls."

Dumpster Diving (Thanks, Katherine!)


  1. I know I’m stupid, but my first thought was, “why do gorilla’s need swimming pools” and ” can’t they escape.”

  2. @Acker

    Actually, when I was a kid, and I only knew the word “guerrilla” from TV news reports of “guerrilla fighters” in third-world countries, I thought that rebels there were training gorillas to fight for them…

  3. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “dumpster diving”… eh… eh… (nudge nudge).

  4. “Used Construction dumpsters”? It’s not like these are on their way to “the dump,” it appears they rent them from trash companies, so there is no “re-use of what would otherwise be trash” aspect to this.

    Now, it looks interesting, but I’m not sure how safe it is (a nefarious litte kid could open the end of the dumpster and pour all the fun right out of it), and public pools require (I assume) lifeguards, safety equipment, etc. – typically for good reason (though there are no guarantees).

    To “technically” break the law is not an example of “sticking it to the man” or “standing up for the underprivlidged”, it is a case of gambling with the safety of those who may have no other option for a pool

    It’s safe enough for them.

  5. this would be more awesome if they were using shipping containers — which there are a crazed abundance of because the US trade deficit.

  6. My Father owned a solid waste disposal firm until literally last week – a garbage company to put it bluntly. I worked for him as a kid in the 1970’s and would often dream on hot summer days while I was scrubbing malodorous dumpsters about lining a brand new hunter green (the company color)”30 yarder” with plastic sheeting and filling it up with cool, cool water. I’m glad to see that someone has made my daydream a reality. My goal would have been to fill it up while it was on the truck, however, so you could swim while being hauled slowly around town, picking up friends and cute soon-to-be friends along the way…

  7. Good luck Magilla, King Kong and the rest of the gang dealing with the multiple exposure to harmful components from the dumpsters and their whereabouts.

  8. the title should be “Disposable swimming pools”.

    the pools apparently have tarp linings which would be impossible to keep clean, and no filtration units to clean the water – they appear to be one-use only party pools.

    yeah, i love a pool party (very much!), but as nearly all the commenters on the linked site noted:

    1. dumpsters are valuable and not destined for the landfill – they are already re-used
    2. a disposable swimming pool is a *colossal* waste of water.

    this project promotes the disposable status quo much more than any re-use revolution.

  9. @ # 11..

    Precisely what I was thinking. Had to re-read the article to find they were dumb enough to not use shipping containers. Go figure.. .

  10. Hello folks. My name is Andrew Wagner and I’m the guy who wrote the little piece over at ReadyMade (

    I’ve been talking with the Macro-Sea folks some more and they have provided some answers to the various questions above – including how they made the pools. Hope this helps and I’ll be reporting more on them again soon once I see them in person the week after next.

    From team Macro-Sea:

    “They are not containers, but two 30 yard and one 20 yard trash dumpsters. The bigger ones are 22’ long by 8’ wide by 6’, the smaller one is 22’x8’ by 4.’ Of course they are “related” to containers, but they are not containers.

    The way it was done was simple. Seal the seams, put in some 6 ml. lining, then some sand (so you are walking on sand, not metal) and then a 30×40’ tarp. Then the water.

    As someone pointed out, the dumpsters themselves are not destined for the landfill, what is inside of them is. The dumpsters are fairly cheap, and ubiquitous. Especially now, with the general slowdown in construction.

    To the person who said they weren’t revolutionary, we don’t claim they are. We just claim what we said, that we are reusing something in an unusual and fun manner.

    As far as it not being “eco-friendly” I ‘m not sure what to answer. Ok, so we’re using water. But it’s not a waste. The pools are already being used a lot, and per health concerns they all have filters, chlorine, skimmer boxes, and up-to-standard sanitary conditions. We also have a pool expert making sure the ph and the chemistry is right, and lifeguards.

    to quote you [Andrew];

    ‘I don’t want to put words in the Macro-Sea folks’ mouth but from my conversations I took the dumpsters to be more representational of all the trash that surrounds us and how so much of it can be reused but rarely is. Again, this is part of a much larger project having to do with abandoned strip malls and their reuse.’

    Yes, correct.

    And to the person worried about the 67,000 pounds, believe me, the dumpsters can handle it.

    To the person that said: ‘A group called Macro-Sea is taking used construction dumpsters and lining them to create swimming pools. It’s throwing pool parties at undisclosed locations in Brooklyn (I think what they’re doing may technically be illegal). This is dangerous, as there might be waste that is harmful, dangerous or toxic!’

    There is nothing ‘technically illegal’ about what we are doing. As an aside, you don’t need a permit for a dumpster, or for an above-ground pool. Ergo, they’re isn’t anything ‘illegal’ about what we’re are doing.

    And it’s not dangerous at all…….or toxic, or whatever. The dumpsters were almost brand new and freshly painted, plus on the inside there are two layers between the water and the actual metal.

    And as far as the person who thinks they are on a rooftop, they are obviously not looking at the pictures.”

    Thanks Macro-Sea! Hope that answers some of your questions!

  11. Andrew Wagner claimed:

    There is nothing ‘technically illegal’ about what we are doing. As an aside, you don’t need a permit for a dumpster, or for an above-ground pool. Ergo, they’re isn’t anything ‘illegal’ about what we’re are doing.

    You may not need a permit for an above-ground pool, but pools, above or in-ground, are very closely regulated in the state of NY. Their definition of a pool that falls under their supervision:

    The term “Swimming Pool” means any structure, basin, chamber or tank which is intended for swimming, diving, recreational bathing or wading and which contains, is designed to contain, or is capable of containing water more than 24 inches (610 mm) deep at any point. This includes in-ground, above-ground and on-ground pools; indoor pools; hot tubs; spas; and fixed-in-place wading pools.

    These links to the regulations overview page and the actual regulations should make interesting reading for anyone interested in determining the legality of a “Guerrilla Swimming Pool”…

  12. @ Timothy Hutton-man, what a buzzkill. This looks like fun! Remember fun? From when you were a kid?

    You must be a real downer at parties. Just sayin’.

  13. no one will get in trouble regardless of how technically illegal this is…

    Until there’s nudity….

    Then it will be like the sky is falling and they’ll come up with all kinds of laws to “protect the children”

  14. Any good local pool company will sort you out with an up and over filtration system and some water treatment products to keep your skip crystal.

    Now who sells those silver colour tarps please, can’t sem to find them in England.



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