Dumpster diving is legal, based on the laws of the United States. If an item is thrown away and regarded as trash, it becomes a target. It can’t be protected by the fourth amendment, which prohibits unnecessary searches of your property and intrusion of your privacy.
But hold on. Although dumpster diving is not illegal according to the laws of the United States and those of the 50 states, you have to find out if there are laws in your local county, town or city that limits the activity.
Look up the ordinances and local laws on the internet by googling your municipality or county and adding the word “ordinances.” Alternatively, you can visit the local library or court secretariat in your neighborhood.
Don’t forget that some businesses may put up signs to discourage people from going through their dumpsters. If this is the case, you can be in serious trouble if you attempt to dumpster dive in those premises.
There is a popular TikToker with the username @dumpsterdivingmama. She is known for her interesting advice on dumpster diving, which she shares with millions of her followers. She has indicated that it is important you exercise caution where you choose to dumpster dive.
She explained that it is not advisable to go through dumpsters with a “Private Property” or ” No Trespassing” sign.
Also, I recommend that you contact your local authorities if you want to find out if dumpster diving is legal or illegal in your area.
What is dumpster diving?
Dumpster diving is the act of recovering thrown-away, abandoned, discarded or unused items from business, residential or industrial trash cans or garbage. It’s the act of seeking treasures in the trash.
While a lot of people may find going through trash and dumpster disgusting, however, let’s explain why some of these items get discarded first of all:
Most big-name supermarkets and retail chains usually regard items with an imperfect appearance as “unsellable,” probably because it has scratches, bumps or an odd shape. They also abandon food items that are close to their expiring date but haven’t shown signs of spoilage. This is why dumpster foods are okay to eat as long as they are properly washed.
What are some examples of dumpster diving?
In actuality, dumpster diving is quite easy: All you have to do is ensure that there are no laws prohibiting it in your area, choose a dumpster without a sign warning you from being there and start diving.
Watch this YouTube video from “DumpBoyz” about their experience of dumpster diving in WalMart.
Which stores are the best for dumpster diving?
Visualize all of your valuable possessions – Cosmetic products, fashion items, foodstuff, whatever you wish. The stores you usually purchase these products are the best places you can begin your dumpster diving experience.
From what we have gathered so far from dumpster divers on the internet, here are the best location for dumpster diving:
- Supermarket and bakeries
- Grocery stores
- Electronic retail stores.
- Game Stores
- Pet stores.
“Aldi normally has pretty good produce. I normally go a little after closing time and find oranges, mushrooms, pineapples, and a bouquet of flowers one time,” jspyke122 says on Reddit.
Another username arnoldwhat says, “I’ve had great luck at the Dollar store, Starbucks, Office Depot, 5 below and Salvation Army thrift store. Gamestop has been neat, but the best thing I’ve found was a 360 kinect.
Avoid anywhere that shares a dumpster with a restaurant. Grocery stores can be good if you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Also, Dunkin Donuts throws away a shitload of donuts every night, usually in a bag or 2 by themselves.”
I recommend that you scout and track dumpsters as much as possible till you are familiar with their “dumping schedule.” This may mean visiting on multiple days and hours to figure out when items are thrown away.
And where should new divers stay away from?
While it might seem obvious, many experienced dumpster divers suggest avoiding thrift stores (they discard the worst of their inventory), hospitals (never!) and eateries. Instead, visit retail outlets and bakeries. A Redditor attempts diving at an eatery and was wrapped in maggots.
Tips for dumpster diving
Here is some advice that will assist you find the exact thing you want on a dumpster:
Dumpster diving for food
Here is some advice for food diving:
- Panera Bread (and some bakery cafes) dispose of many still-delicious baked food items.
- A cheap grocery store, Aldi, is a great outlet to dive for food.
- CVS is a fantastic store to get package snacks.
Dumpster diving for electronics
Best Buy isn’t ideal for dumpster diving since they utilize trash compactors. However, stores like Five Below and Burlington Coat Factory are great places to visit for electronic products.
Dumpster diving for scrap metal
The ideal way to find out scrap metal, even scrap gold. Keep an eye on when stores renovate. They will throw away used parts into a big roller dumpster.
Dumpster diving for toys
Once more, we suggest Five Below, and Burlington look for toys for children.
People have found a lot of lovely stuff, from trucks, play foods, Legos, bathtub toys and even baby dolls etc.