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Dumpster diving at Costco: Everything You Need to Know!

Dumpster Diving at Costco

Dumpster diving is only fun when you find the right items to make a profit or to use yourself. If you are a beginner, dumpster diving at Costco will be a great way to start.

Here you find stuff for personal usage, and several things can help you earn a decent amount. However, there are certain things that you need to be careful about, especially when you are diving into dumpsters at Costco.

Dumpster Diving at Costco

Costco is one of the biggest chains of retail stores that work on a membership-only model. It is an American Multinational Corporation that provides a wholesale shopping experience to customers. Costco stores have a huge variety of products, but some other qualities exist.

One of the best things about Costco is its refund/return policies, which greatly improve customers’ experience.

So, whenever a customer comes with a product valid for the return or refund policy, Costco will accept that. However, if that product is not immaculate, it cannot go to the shelves with new stock. So, those things end up in the waste at Costco stores.

What do Costco stores do with their waste?

Two types of things end up as waste at Costco stores. The first ones are those that are occupying shelf space but are not selling well. The second ones are those returned by the customer who is not in good shape to return to the shelves.

The returned products may be new, but they go to waste even if their packaging is damaged. Mostly this waste goes through the compactor.

However, sometimes the compactor does not have any capacity, so the waste goes straight into the dumpsters.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dumpster Diving at Costco

Dumpster diving at the nearest Costco store will bring several advantages, but there will also be certain disadvantages to it. Here are some of those that you need to be careful about.


The advantages of dumpster diving here include the following:

·         Free items

Finding free items is the first benefit because if you want something, you may buy it from the inside. However, if you are lucky enough, you may find the same item in a dumpster from where you can take it for free. Those free items can also be sold for profit.

·         Huge variety

Costco stores have products from almost every category related to our lives. So, there will always be a huge variety of items in the dumpsters here.

·         Beneficial for the environment

With dumpster diving, there won’t be a lot of waste left in the dumpsters to end up in landfills. Thus, it will benefit the environment significantly.


The disadvantages of dumpster diving here include the following:

·         Costco dumpster diving is risky.

From sharp and pointy objects to heavy things, the dumpsters at Costco stores will include all types of stuff. So, if you are not careful enough, you may end up hurting yourself.

·         You may face legal issues in different states.

Some states do not allow dumpster diving at all. Similarly, some places have strict private property law enforcement. In such areas, you may find legal issues.

·         Hygiene issues

Finding things in dumpsters means that they may contain germs from other trash. Those germs can cause hygiene issues whether you pick something up for personal usage or selling. So, you need to be very concerned about personal hygiene and the cleanliness of the items you find.

All you need to know about Dumpster diving

Dumpster Diving at Costco

Dumpster Diving Laws at Costco

Costco is a private organization, and its stores are also on private property. In the USA, there are strictly private property laws that prohibit trespassing. So, when looking for dumpster diving laws at Costco, you will find:

  • Gates and fences protecting dumpsters on the private property
  • No trespasser sign was installed.

These make it clear that anyone cannot visit the dumpsters if they are present on private property.

Is dumpster diving illegal at Costco?

Is dumpster diving illegal at Costco? It is a common question among beginner dumpster divers. Depending on state and local laws, it may not be illegal to dumpster dive at Costco stores.

However, if you find the dumpster present on their private property and they have rules prohibiting dumpster divers inside, then it will be illegal to go inside.

The best you can do is ask for permission from any official, but if they ask you to leave, you must leave immediately. Otherwise, it may result in a fine, prison time, and a lifetime ban from the location.

What to do if dumpster diving is not allowed in your area?

Some localities have rules prohibiting dumpster diving. If that’s the case with your area, you cannot afford dumpster dive in any dumpster, whether it is present at Costco or any other store.

If you still want to go dumpster diving, you may find a nearby area with good opportunities to find valuable stuff that isn’t too far away. Otherwise, you will be in a lot of trouble if you get caught.

Can you find new items while dumpster diving in Costco?

Yes, it is very common to find products that are in new condition. Sometimes they may have immaculate packing, while sometimes, the packing might be damaged. Sometimes you can even find slightly used items with perfect packing.

What kind of things is present in dumpsters at Costco?

Costco stores have almost everything you need, so when dumpster diving, you can find any of these items:

  • Electronics and their accessories
  • Gadgets
  • Furniture
  • Beauty products and cosmetics
  • Decoration items
  • Outdoor accessories
  • Furniture items

What you find from these depends on your dumpster diving goals. For instance, if you want something for personal use, you will always look for that in dumpsters.

Similarly, if you are finding stuff to sell, you may find items from different categories. Remember that you may find a different thing every other day, and it will be a completely unexpected experience.

Is dumpster diving at Costco profitable? How much can you earn in one month?

Dumpster diving here, being profitable or not, completely depends on your luck and knowledge about products. Here you can find the most unexpected items. On average, if you work full-time as a dumpster diver putting in 40 hours per week, you can earn around $150 a week, which is around $600 a month.

It is the earning from one store; if you visit multiple stores, the earnings can go up. The trick to earning more is finding things that are in high demand. Additionally, you need to look for cheap things even if the profit is less. Cheaper things sell quickly as compared to those with huge price tags. However, ones with huge price tags can help you earn good profit.

To make a living from it, you either need to spend a lot of time at different stores or work at your full-time job and take it as a part-time source of income.

Best time to dumpster dive at Costco

During the weekdays, these stores open at 10 in the morning and close at 9 at night. However, during weekends this time changes from 11 to 6 during the day. While there is no fixed time at which these stores will restock their shelves, shelves are restocked daily during weekdays, and any trash is thrown right away.

So, visiting Costco when the store or a few hours afterward will be the best. Otherwise, you may not find good stuff as other dumpster divers will take things, or the garbage truck may take all the trash.

Tips for safety Dumpster Diving at Costco

When diving into Costco dumpsters, you must be careful about the law, safety from dangerous objects, and hygiene concerns. Here are some tips that may help keep yourself safe all the time:

  1. Never go to Costco for dumpster diving without checking the local laws. Sometimes state law allows dumpster diving, but local laws may prohibit it. Not following such laws may trouble you.
  2. Before you dumpster dive, ensure you have all the protective accessories, including eye protection, gloves, mask, cap, etc.
  3. Always go prepared with some cleaning supplies. Having a hand sanitizer is essential because you can clean your hands right after you get out of the dumpster.
  4. Keep a flashlight along to see what’s inside the dumpster. It will help you stay safe from sharp objects that can cut or scratch your skin.
  5. If you ever get any injury from the dumpster, get medical assistance, and get any vaccinations if recommended by professionals.
  6. Due to personal hygiene and cleaning issues, it is recommended to keep a separate dress whenever you go for Costco dumpster diving.

A complete guide on Dumpster Diving Tips that you never knew before

Dumpster Diving at Costco

Upgrade your wardrobe with this comfortable shirt, perfect for dumpster diving

So, if you are looking for the right dress to wear while you go dumpster diving, this “Dumpster Diving Ain’t Easy” shirt will be your perfect choice. It helps you stay comfortable and stylish.

Wearing this shirt helps you spread the positive word about dumpster diving and its importance to our environment.

Additionally, you may select one that matches the variations’ weather demands. Thus, you will never need to worry about what to wear while you dive into dumpsters, and you won’t ever damage any other dress again.

Check this out: Dumpster Diving Ain’t Easy

Final Words

Dumpster diving at Costco means you will find lots of items for personal use and for selling online. Remember that such stores are skeptical about their safety and don’t allow unwanted people on their property.

So, to stay safe from any legal issues, make sure to respect private property values. You can enjoy a great Costco dumpster diving experience with all the right safety measures.