Waste & Recycling Workers Week
Arwood Site Services - Residential and Commercial Services You Can Count On
Waste Industry Job Listings
Waste Industry Equipment for Sale
Recycle Guide - A Resource for Responsible Disposal and Recycling
Let's Take Out the Trash
DD360-Logo-Page

The Pro Dumpster Diver Who’s Making Thousands Off America’s Biggest Retailers

Malone, head down in his work, behind a Bed Bath & Beyond in Austin, Texas.

The prevailing law comes from a 1988 Supreme Court ruling in California v. Green-wood, which held that when a person throws something out in a public space, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy. In other words: Most of that stuff is fair game. Trespassing, however, is a different story. If you dig into a dumpster on private property—one that’s up against the side of a building, within a fenced enclosure, or marked “No Trespassing,” for example—you could get ticketed or even arrested. In Matt Malone’s experience this is uncommon: “I’ve never even had a cop ask me for ID.” Most police couldn’t care less about dumpster diving, Malone says, “though I have encountered a couple of cops who did care about what I was finding. I usually give them something, and it makes them really happy.” A few municipalities have passed ordinances against dumpster diving that have not yet been tested in federal court. Malone encourages divers to follow what he calls the Move Along Rule: If a store employee, security guard, or police officer tells you to “move along,” you should—without arguing or trying to explain the law to them. —R.S.

ff_dumpsterdiver_3_illo

Posted in

Post Your Dumpster Finds

  • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.