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Is dumpster diving illegal in New Jersey? Get a Better Understanding!

Is dumpster diving illegal in New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the richest states in the country, meaning there will be high-quality trash from residential units and shopping malls. That’s what attracts people to dumpster diving here.

Is dumpster diving illegal in New Jersey? No, it is completely legal, but there are a few things that you need to be careful about.

Dumpster Diving in New Jersey

New Jersey is on the verge of becoming the richest state in the country, and it is also among the most popular destinations for dumpster divers.

The reason behind that is rich residential areas and abundant shopping centers. Around 70 shopping malls with more than 6605 stores make New Jersey a place with a lot of valuable trash.

Because of the abundance of stores and variations, New Jersey dumpsters can provide you with all sorts of trash, including stuff to eat, things to use, and items to sell on online marketplaces or at garage sales. Some of the best cities for dumpster diving in New Jersey include:

  • Allendale
  • Ridgewood
  • North Caldwell
  • Rumson
  • Haddonfield
  • Westfield

In these cities, you can go to the malls or retail stores or even try the public dumpsters in residential areas.

Dumpster Diving in New Jersey

Dumpster Diving Laws in New Jersey

Although there are no laws about dumpster diving, New Jersey is very strict about trespassing acts. It is considered a serious offense, and nobody is allowed to go into someone’s private property. The private properties can be protected by gates, fences, or “No Trespassing” signs.

However, even when there are no protections, nobody is allowed to enter that place because they will be committing an offense for which they will be charged for the crime.

Different types of trespassing charges in New Jersey

The following is a list of different criminal charges against trespassing into a private or unauthorized property:

  • If you enter someone else’s property without permission or a license, there will be fourth-degree trespassing charges, which can cost you $1000 and 6 months in jail.
  • If signs prevent trespassing and you still enter that place, there could be 30 days of jail time and a $1000 fine against the act. In the worst case, you may get your driver’s license canceled.

Even if you are planning to visit the property of someone who knows you, ensure that you inform them as if they call the cops, you can be in trouble.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in New Jersey?

No, the dumpster diving laws in New Jersey are mostly about trespassing and not about dumpster diving itself. So, if you are not going into someone else’s property without informing them, you can be in trouble.

The state has no prohibitions regarding the dumpster diving act, but there could be slight variations in the rules for different cities and localities.

With different statutes and ordinances, you can face issues, so staying up to date with the local rules where you are planning to dumpster dive is best.

According to the dumpster diving laws in New Jersey, a person has ownership of the waste as long as it is on their private property. However, as soon as the trash is moved to public property, they lose all the rights of ownership of that trash.

So, whenever trash is moved into public garbage collection units, it is completely safe to dive in. It can also be safe to dive into the dumpsters on private properties if you get permission from the owner.

In the case of commercial properties, you can get banned from that mall or store for diving into their dumpster without permission. The criminal charges held against you will be additional.

However, taking permission first and then dumpster diving on private property will increase your chances of finding the best stuff.

Whenever you go dumpster diving, look for signs that prohibit trespassing and stay away from gated and fenced properties.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Hoboken?

No, dumpster diving is permitted here, but there are strict trespassing rules in Hoboken that can get you in trouble. So, always dumpster dives at public properties.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Newark?

No, it is legal as long as you are on public property. So, if you want to dive into a mall’s private dumpsters, ensure to get permission from the owners.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Paterson?

No, dumpster diving is allowed here, and there are no restrictions on it apart from the dumpsters on private property. Those need permission to proceed.

Is dumpster diving illegal in New Jersey

What happens if you get caught dumpster diving in New Jersey?

When dumpster diving, there is nothing to worry about if you follow all the rules. There are no rules about dumpster diving, as it is perfectly permitted in New Jersey.

However, there are other rules:

  • Trespassing
  • Littering
  • Creating disturbance
  • Theft from private property, etc.

So, if you are unauthorized to visit a place and are caught dumpster diving there, you can be charged for any of the following offenses. Remember that dumpster diving on private property is considered theft. Similarly, creating too much noise can result in disturbance charges.

Best places to go dumpster diving in New Jersey

New Jersey is where you can find a lot of rich neighborhoods and commercial sites for dumpster diving. Below is your list of top places to go dumpster diving here.

  • Yard sales and garage sales
  • Toy stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Cosmetic and accessory shops
  • Shopping malls
  • Public garbage collection curbs
  • Bakeries and restaurants (if you are searching for food to eat)

You will find the best range of stuff to collect for personal usage and selling by visiting these places.

How much can you earn with dumpster diving in New Jersey?

Unlike jobs or side hustles, where you can state a specific figure about your earnings, you cannot say anything about dumpster diving without considering all the factors. The earnings from dumpster diving depend on a few different factors. Those factors include:

  • Your goal from dumpster diving is to find stuff for yourself, or are you doing it to find stuff to sell?
  • How much time are you putting into this hustle? Are you dealing with it as a side hustle or giving it full time?
  • What methods do you try to sell the stuff that you find?
  • Which places do you visit, and what are your local rules about dumpster diving?

Considering these factors, if you think about the best case scenario, you can make around $3000 every week by taking dumpster diving as a side hustle. However, if you deal with it as a full-time job, you can earn over that.

In this case, you need to put over 40 hours of work every week and go dumpster diving at the best locations. Even when you can earn this amount through dumpster diving, it is not a reliable source of income.

Best time to dumpster dive in New Jersey

When you are in New Jersey, you need to consider where you are visiting for the best time to dumpster dive. For example, going at night might not be the best option for the residential areas as most trash pickup services visit early in the morning.

So, visiting those places in the morning will be better.

When it comes to commercial areas, going late at night or early morning will make a better choice. At night you can get better privacy, but the chances of getting caught are also higher if you are on private property.

Is dumpster diving illegal in New Jersey

Tips for Dumpster Diving in New Jersey

Dumpster diving here in New Jersey can be easier than you think if you do everything correctly. So, here we have some of the best tips for your New Jersey dumpster diving journey to make it easier:

  • Always stay updated with the locality rules where you are dumpster diving. Even if it is allowed in the state, local rules may sometimes prohibit you.
  • Whenever you go dumpster diving, carry all the essential tools, including a bag and a cutter. It will help find and collect stuff easier.
  • Try to plan your dumpster diving trips at a time when you can easily stay low. You do not want to attract people; staying silent will also help.
  • Instead of going to the dumpsters randomly, plan the places that you will be visiting and always go at the time when the trash is fresh. Otherwise, other divers will get most of the stuff.
  • If you have to go to private property, get permission to avoid any issues.

These tips will surely help you have a much better dumpster diving experience.

Final Words

While dumpster diving is not illegal in New Jersey, there are a few things associated with it that can make the act illegal for you. In the worst case, you may get banned from the place or get charges held against you.

It usually happens because different cities or municipalities inside New Jersey have different rules. So, always make sure to stay aware of the latest rules.