Eco-Friendly Guide | SAVE Our Planet | Save Environment | Join Our Green Movement
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories

All you need to know about Dumpster diving

dumpster diving

Dumpster diving is an activity that is performed by individuals or by a group of people for several reasons. Mainly, for the need of developing requirements that include the lack of food, clothes and much more. The main aspects of dumpster diving depend upon the three Rs that are, reuse, reduce and recycle. Thus, for such reasons dumpster diving can be a good impact on our environment.

Therefore, today we will talk about everything that you need to know about dumpster diving.

What is Dumpster Diving?

Dumpster diving is the terminology that is used to describe the search for important products. It also can be described as the process of searching for useful products in other people’s trash. Dumpster diving is something that people do out of need. Especially in those countries or areas that are deprived of basic human needs.

Dumpster diving is mainly done outside of specific areas like large commercial plots, grocery shops, retail markets. This is because such places tend to throw a lot of waste products away that are not used as well. Hence, those who do not have a lot of money to buy similar products at a double price. Search for those items in the dumpster. Hence, it is called dumpster diving.

Dumpster diving social engineering

Social engineering is the way of using human communication to trick the other person into allowing a certain action for the attacker. The main goal of social engineering is to build trust between the two entities that are, the attacker and the target audience. Dumpster diving can also be defined as the pathway for the attackers to gain various information that they can opt for laying out the trust.

While the hackers might look into an organization’s computer systems for the leak of data but they can also search for files on any computer. A checklist of the names, such as the phone lists or the contact records can be used in various ways. Like, the names of the employees can be used for guessing their identity names for attacking their accounts that are present over a network. The names can also be used to defame a specific organization for various reasons. Mostly, the reason for such cases is the personal grudges for that person or company.

Furthermore, the telephone numbers can also be used, with the caller identity to mimic the voice of any employee. Such attacks can be done to make the other side of the call reveal any sort of private or organizational information. Social engineering attacks often use the information that is derived from dumpster diving.

If the attackers find a slip or receipt for the restocking of a vending machine, they can cause problems. They might pretend to be an employee of the service and can arrive at the location. For taking out the wanted information to carry out the attack.

What is dumpster diving in cyber security?

Now, if we talk about dumpster diving concerning information technology or cyber security, we can say it is quite similar but the terminologies are somehow different. Dumpster diving in cyber security can be defined as the investigation of an individual’s information and files. That information then can be used for attacking a computer system.

Dumpster divers are those who carry out dumpster diving cyber security attacks. They often localize the financial reports, government records, medical billing, and other things. Once, the things are in their hand, that particular information can be used to put all the information together. To take out the information for the identification of profiles, that makes the dumpster diving social engineering to be more successful.

In some cases, important files such as account takeover information are found directly in the trash bin. Such data can be the pathway through which hackers can hack into your accounts.

Dumpster diving laws by state

Dumpster diving is a method that is quite distracting and does not seem to hurt anyone. You can get a lot of stuff for free from the stores that are often sold at higher prices in different places. Many retail stores or supermarkets usually throw their unused supplies which people tend to look out for. Other’s trash can be someone’s treasure.

Dumpster diving is a technique that is generally legal in all 50 states. In the year 1988, a hearing was done about dumpster diving laws by the state. That took place in the supreme court between the state of California and Greenwood that dumpster diving is legal only to an extent. That extent states that until any city, country, or state decrees are not harmed or affected in a wrong way, it is legal. Hence, that gave the right to the police and even others to check into the trash that has been dumped away.

How is dumpster diving good for the environment?

The majority of people might find dumpster diving unhealthy for health concerning reasons. It does seem like a daunting task but it comes with some benefits for the environment. It is important to know about how can recycling materials lead to environmental sustainability. Thereby, some of how dumpster diving is good for the surroundings are mentioned below.

Zero waste

The first and foremost benefit that comes along the dumpster diving is a reduction of waste items. Dumpster diving plays a major role in reducing the number of waste products that in return lowers the levels of land pollution.

People often pick up essential items from the garbage or trash bins. Likewise, the picking up of useful products lowers the amount of plastic or other harmful material entering the environment.

Reducing hunger levels

We are witnessing the lack of food due to high poverty levels. People in several places around the world are not getting an adequate amount of food. That is causing severe malnutrition, especially in children.

But with the practice of dumpster diving, the levels of poverty and hunger can be lowered up to an extent. As several grocery stores and retailers throw off the over-stocked products. Such edibles are picked up by the needy who cannot afford to buy food. Or if not food then they can find something useful that can be sold and can get money in return.

Fresh air to breath

With the reduction of waste products by the practice of dumpster diving, our environment can be surrounded by fresh air. The lesser garbage is around you the better environment will be ultimately you can get fresh air to breathe in.

Dumpster diving social engineering

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal?

Dumpster diving can be a fun and exciting way to make extra money.

While you may want to rummage through trash cans in the areas you often pass by (and see lucrative stuff dumped there), one question that might keep you at bay from the dumpsters is…

“Is dumpster diving illegal?”

First, let’s look at the laws: dumpster diving is legal USA-wide if you do not violate any other laws. For example, if you are not breaking into a building or stealing anything from it, then it is perfectly legal.

In 1988, the US Supreme Court ruled over the California vs. Greenwood case. At that time, police needed no warrant to check for someone’s dumpsters that were public. Hence, dumpster diving got indirect approval in all 50 states.

With this indirect stamp of approval, one thing was clear. No one should keep privacy expectations from a dumpster or stuff they have dumped in a public place. But, this doesn’t clearly let you understand the difference between dumpster diving and trespassing.

Trespassing is still illegal, no matter what.

You can’t dive into any public dumpster with a “No Trespassing” sign over it or any dumpster with a padlock on, OR it is located in a gated or fenced area. So, you must like to consider such things before you dig into the dumpster and start collecting the trash treasure. 

You must do your research before diving into any project like this to know what’s allowed and what isn’t. If you are already aware, you’ll play safe. On the other hand, if you don’t harmonize with your local trespassing laws, you’ll be given a ticket.

Why Do People Dumpster Dive?

Dumpster diving is a great activity that not only makes some money for the divers but also gives them a sense of pleasure that they have played their part in reducing the landfill on the planet.

But before we tell you a few reasons “why” people dumpster dive, how about letting you know that one primary reason stops people from diving into dumpsters. That is the legality of dumpster diving. They keep on wondering, “Is dumpster diving illegal or not?”

Luckily, the answer is YES!!!

Now let’s get back to the main point and know the reasons behind the dumpster adventures. Here are a few of them:

1. Making EXTRA Money

If you know that old saying, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure,” you’d know why people dive into waste bins. When you rummage through the mess, you might find valuable stuff that can earn you money and some profit.

2. A Few Dumpster Divers Adopt it as a Career.

Do you still have that bubble of a successful career in mind that starts on an office desk and goes on with that typical 9 to 5 rat race? (If so, you have to burst that now).

A career isn’t really about a business company or a well-made office desk, and you can also make a career path out of a dumpster can. That’s how many dumpster diving enthusiasts are doing, and you’ll find multiple examples of successful divers who make a good living only through their dumpster hauls. 

All you need to be mindful of is learning about the laws and knowing the answer to one of the most basic queries, “Is dumpster diving illegal?” and you are good to go to fill up your boxes with valuable trash.

Hope that makes sense!

What are the main risks of dumpster diving?

No matter how many pros dumpster diving might have but the risks associated with it are many as well. There are several risks of dumpster diving that the majority of the mass population seem to ignore or are not aware of it. It is important to keep in mind that no matter how cool the trash might seem to be, there is a reason they are thrown away.

If you pick up makeup from the dumpster, be mindful that it can be expired. You can get severe allergies if you do not look into what you are applying. Moreover, it also includes several bacteria. The products thrown in the dumpster are mixed with all sorts of trash. As a result, the items can be covered from grease, bacteria of all sorts, and other dirt. Such practices can get you sick.

Besides that, do not forget to talk about the pieces of glassware in the trash. There is the trash of all kinds, and while throwing garbage away no one does it a delicate way. Crashing might cause the glass items to break and mix with the rest of the dump. Those glass pieces are quite small in size and can harm you with cuts or wounds.

The best time to dumpster dive

The best time to go for a dumpster dive is around sunrise which is quite early in the morning. It is preferred since there are not many people or employees around. So, it can be easier for people who want to look out for the store’s supplies that have been thrown away.

Best places to dumpster dive

There are various hot spots that you do not want to miss out on for dumpster diving. Hence, some of the best places to dumpster dive are mentioned below.

1. Construction and sites for remodeling

You can find a lot of stuff on such sites. There are a lot of bricks, cement, and paints that have been dumped without coming into use. So, if you need such supplies, you can check dumpster diving into such sites.

2. Grocery shops

Wasting of food is practiced on an enormous level, especially in the United States of America. Hence, the other best site to go for dumpster diving is your nearest grocery store. Such shops often dump a huge amount of food in bulks that can be useful for the ones who have not eaten in days.

3. Retail shops

Retail stores are also an ideal site to go for dumpster diving. They take out unnecessary items daily as well. So, if you manage to find useful items thrown away in the dump by a retail store then you are lucky.

4. Educational institutes

Dorms and hostels have a huge number of supplies as well. On the yearly basis, hundreds of students are moving in or out of universities or colleges. As a result, they take out several items that can be useful for others.

How to prevent a dumpster diving attack?

However, it might seem like a daunting task but there are various ways in which you can avoid a dumpster diving attack. Thereby, some of the ways that are categorized as basic prevention steps for a dumpster diving attack are mentioned in detail below.

1. Using trash locking

Another way in which you can avoid the dumpster diving attack is to implement the use of trash bins that are safe and sound. Use the trash lockers so that your equipment is in a safe place until you hand it over to the trusted product recycling authorities.

2. Install cameras focused on dumpster

The installation of security cameras where your trash can is placed can be a good way of preventing a dumpster diving attack. You can check the camera alternatively and look out for the dumpster divers nearby.

3. Destroy the paper documents

When you are disposing of your trash into the garbage can make sure to properly shred the paper. This is because while the dumpster divers may search for something they can find something personal. Like, your bank account details, Identification cards, and much more. So, always make sure to throw your paper garbage in a well-shredded way.

4. Put the garbage in a black shopper

To prevent a dumpster diving attack, make sure to first keep your trash in an opaque black plastic bag. This will prevent the divers from searching through your trash. Moreover, while throwing your black plastic shopper do not forget to tie a knot tightly. This also lowers the chances of dumpster diving attacks.

Below are some of the important products to look at.

BAGSTER Bag Dumpster 3CUYD

Gathering waste from different places including indoor locations cannot be easier than this. This bag dumpster ensures that you can easily gather and move a waste of all types with convenience.

Well, it is not all about waste and trash as you can use it for other things as well including small projects like bathroom or kitchen remodeling. Its 606-gallon capacity makes it a perfect choice and alternative to plastic bags


  • Heavy duty material makes it durable
  • Professional grade handles to easily lift it with machinery
  • Made with 100% virgin polypropylene


It is not hard in structure so keeping its mouth open can get frustrating.

BAGSTER 3CUYD Dumpster in a Bag

SmartSign Reflective Aluminum Dumpster Rules Sign

A dumpster sign is an important addition to the place wherever there is a dumpster. It makes people alert about the usage of dumpsters. This engineering-grade sign is made in 12 inches by 18-inch size making it perfect for any type of usage. It also contains all the necessary rules that you may want to follow near your dumpster.


  • It is a 3M authorized to sign for high durability
  • It is a long-lasting aluminum sign that can easily last up to 10 years of weather’s harshness
  • All mounts come along it and holes are pre-made so you only have to install it


It might be a little costly

"Dumpster Rules" Sign

Plastic Toy Dumpster

It is a perfect toy that can tell kids to keep their place clean. Other than that, it can also be used for making people aware to keep their place clean. The dumpster is not huge; it is only 6 inches long, 5 inches in height, and 3.4 inches in width. So, you can place it anywhere as a decoration item, a prop, or anything else.


  • A perfect decoration item
  • Door or lid of the dumpster open to provide a real-like feel
  • Comes with real working wheels


Only available in green color

Green Plastic Toy Dumpster for Wrestling Action Figures

Gorilla Carts Convertible Dump Cart

One of the best products available in this category. This dump cart is not only a cart but serves several other purposes. It has wheels attached for easy movement. It is made with heavy-duty poly material for added durability.

Other than that, the basic structure is metallic to ensure that this has the best structural strength in class. This cart comes with 1200 lbs. capacity which means it can be a perfect addition to your garden, construction, or remodeling site. You can even use it to carry logs from site to home with ease.


  • The handle comes with is comfortable to hold with heavy-weighted objects in it.
  • It can be attached to your mini tractor for easier movement
  • Unloading is easier than ever with its quick-release feature
  • The thick tires and high frame provide amazing ground clearance for easier movement
  • 40-inch length, 25-inch width provide amazing capacity to carry a lot of stuff at once
  • Comes with a limited warranty for 1 year


Its tires can be an issue to manage because they are inflatable and can get flat.

Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Yard Dump Cart

Is dumpster diving worth it?

Yes, it can be worth it. It is a thing that the majority of people, especially those who have less money do to save their cash on items like food, clothes, or more.

What is wrong with dumpster diving?

It does have health risks. It can cause typhoid by eating food from the trash, it can cause wounds and cuts by the glassware accessories.

Why do stores throw away merchandise?

Stores throw away the merchandise for several purposes. While the major ones are that they do not have a lot of space to store it or they are of no use.

How much do dumpster divers make?

On an average level, the dumpster divers can make up to or more than $2500.


Dumpster diving is a popular thing and is practiced by a lot of people for various reasons. It is beneficial and somehow might have cons as well. Hence, if you want to know more details about it do read the mentioned details thoroughly.