Dumpster Diving 101

With the prices of many things continuing to increase and other economic circumstances more people are embracing thrift store shopping and dumpster diving. When you think of dumpster diving you may come up with images of people going through dumpsters collecting cans and bottles. Many things are thrown out that are still useable. 

Pick a location

Determine what you are looking for. Some commercial sites will have their dumpsters secured, and may also damage or destroy items so they cannot be resold. Many retailers have started donating their unused items to thrift stores instead of throwing them out.

College dorms and apartment buildings may be a good place to consider. People moving out may have items that they will not have room for or not have a way to move items to their new location. Since most apartment leases end at the end of the month, around this time would be a good time to look for items. At the end of the college semester is a good time to look at college dorms.

Some cities have a “cleanup week” where the garbage department will collect items other than just weekly garbage. Some people lay items out on the boulevard in the days leading up to their garbage collection where it can be picked up by individuals rather than being collected by the garbage department.

Some people check the garbage cans and recycling centers for extra coupon inserts. If you do, make sure you leave the site in the condition it was in. Don’t scatter garbage all over.

Check the items

Just because it was by the dumpster or on the boulevard doesn’t mean it may be garbage. Some people put items out that can still be used, although some things may be actual garbage. Be sure to check items carefully such as mattresses and furniture. These things may be more difficult to be clean for reuse.

Some grocery stores may place items by the dumpster that is still good, but they could not sell anymore. It is important to check the freshness of items before consuming them. It will devoid the money you saved on the items if you end up getting sick from them instead.

Be prepared and safe

Be sure to respect local ordinances and private property boundaries. Wear protective clothing, shoes, and gloves.

Dumpster diving may not be for everyone, but may be a way to obtain items you can use for free.