Dumpster Diving FAQ

Streyeder

Cornflake Pisser
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
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This is a general guide for newbies to the sport. Feel free to post or pm suggestions for me to consider/add. Please sticky SS.


1.) What is dumpster diving?
This is the sport of climbing into dumpsters to retrieve objects of value. Most people here go for non-perishable items such as computers, desks, periodicals, and home furnishings. Generally, none here dive in dumpsters containing food.


2.) You mean you actually get into the dumpster?!?
Yup! Most dumpsters recommended here do not have a horrific stench. Some actually smell quite nice (ex. Pier 1).


3.) Is this legal?
It depends on your locality. Check your local laws before proceeding. Personally, I'm always looking for boxes for my friend whom is moving (strangely, I usually am). I'm usually sent to the local liquor store for more.


4.) What do I need to dumpster dive?
Common items include:
Disposable flashlight (In case it needs to be ditched or you lose it.)
Knife (To get into bags.)
Car (Gotta haul that score in somehow!)
Old Clothes (Dark are preferred, usually with non-distinct markings. Anything you can get dirty. I highly recommend jeans to keep your legs from getting scraped up and some full cover shoes. NO SANDALS!)
Gloves (Greeat in case you get into some sharp stuff or questionable liquid.)



5.) Where do I go? Where are the good dumpsters?

Most common places to dive:
Computer Repair Shops
Brick and Mortars* (Best Buy, Office Max, Books-A-Million, Pier 1, REX)
Video Stores (DVD and VHS cases)
Dorms/Apartments**

*Many of these will have compactors. You CANNOT dive in ANY compactor. It is impossible/practical. JUST TURN AROUND AND WALK AWAY.

**Best at the end of the semesters.



6.) What time do you dive?

I usually go after the store's closed, between 11pm and 1am. Others prefer to go during the day. It's your preference. I'm a college kid to so looking for boxes @ 1am isn't strange.

7.) What's the best day to dive?

This might take a few dives, or a few calls to find out. I went a couple of weeks on random days before I noticed a day that the dumpsters were all empty. The night before would be the optimal time to dive since the dumpsters will be their fullest the day before the trash runs.
 

thebro

Gawd
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
645
also might wana add some cotten gloves to the list - dont wana get no aids :p i got cut on some freaky metal thing once and it got really infected. so i would have to recommend it.

and remember if it is locked or shut up [like a compacter] dont even try it, because that has ILLEGAL written all over it.



places to check

rich neighborhoods - since they throw out some cool shit

auto part stores/ shops - some really cool shit there too

drive behind the strip malls since they are all usally open dumpsters


ps: good luck
 

antoniohawk

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
326
Rubber gloves are great. Also bikes are better for getting into back alleys to check the stuff out, you can always get the car later!
 
Joined
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I'm going for the very first time tonight! Wish me luck :)

I'll be hitting Office Depot, Staples, Pier 1, Radio Shack, and a small electronics shop. I just know they are all going to have compactors, you watch. Ugh, oh well, I'll let ya guys know how it goes.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Oh man, I had a SWEET run tonight.


Gamestop:
40+ still plastic rapped in dvd case bonus DVDs (Chronicles of Riddick, Driv3r, something DPS, and more)
A few Xbox magazines


Sprint:
Cell Phone Genuine Leather Belt Clip/Holder

Half Priced Books
Full Encyclopedia set, in like new condition!
Numerous in new condition novels
2 XMen comics from 1992, basically mint condition

Office Depot:
Had Compactors

Staples:
No Compactors, empty dumpster (I really need their trash schedule if they have a universal one, someone please tell me)

Pier 1:
Had Compactors / 3 non compactor dumpsters (were empty)

Payless Shoes:
About 30 rolls with atleast 2000 stickers each of prices ($30, $40, $99, etc..)

Like I said, I think I did decent, and could have gotten much more if I listened and brought gloves! And I really need staples / pier 1 garbage pick up schedule if anyone has it.

Edit: Sorry, wrong thread!
 

antoniohawk

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
326
Just to let everyone know, there is a dumpster diving discussion thread and there is also the Unofficial "Post What You've Found Thread". The later is unfortunately no longer on the first page. Maybe a friendly mod would like to sticky it and make it official... ;)

[http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=768269]
 

scobar

.
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
34,223
I found an old discount store to be the best, like, a store like everything that gets returned, goes to that store to get sold, I scored some decent stuff out of it.

I have found too much broken glass in dumpters, and, the thought of coming across a syringe has kept me out.
 

DRJ1014

[H]ardness Supreme
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Messages
5,727
also look for camera's. most of the computer stores around here have camera's :mad:
 

DRJ1014

[H]ardness Supreme
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pain in the ass. you need some high tech stuff and if you can afford the hightech stuff wtf are you doing DD
 

Komataguri

2[H]4U
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Messages
3,355
Always thought about this, never did it.



Would you reccomend loner trips or should you try to form a small 2 or 3 man group?
 

DRJ1014

[H]ardness Supreme
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Messages
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its good to have 3 people.

You. Looking
2nd. Driving
3rd. Help looking and loading

if on foot get somone slower than you so you can out run them so they get caught and not you :D
 

Komataguri

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Messages
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DRJ1014 said:
its good to have 3 people.

You. Looking
2nd. Driving
3rd. Help looking and loading

if on foot get somone slower than you so you can out run them so they get caught and not you :D

Hrm, I don't think I have anyone that'd go with me. And I'm not going alone, Theres to many gangs and druggers around here in my part of Orlando.

I might do it during the day, I have a blockbuster right down the road. And the area behind the store is a common cuthrough, so its not suspicious being back there.

I don't think they have a dumpster behind them, tho.. I'll have to check it out.
 

AMV

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
154
my wife works at blockbuster.... I don't think you need to bother as far as I understand they actually ship everthing to be distroyed to a recycling plant or something
 

Streyeder

Cornflake Pisser
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Feb 26, 2001
Messages
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AMV said:
my wife works at blockbuster.... I don't think you need to bother as far as I understand they actually ship everthing to be distroyed to a recycling plant or something

They throw out a great deal of cases, this is documented fact. I believe there have been a few successful movie recoveries made as well.
 

Komataguri

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Anyone in Orlando doing any dives? I'd like to get in with an experianced crew for my first time.


I've got no one I can ask and I ain't going alone, My luckI'll end up running into a few onery homeless guys who want to take my tender young virgin behind.
 

DRJ1014

[H]ardness Supreme
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Messages
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Komataguri said:
Anyone in Orlando doing any dives? I'd like to get in with an experianced crew for my first time.


I've got no one I can ask and I ain't going alone, My luckI'll end up running into a few onery homeless guys who want to take my tender young virgin behind.
lol wear steal boxers :D

if you dont want to go alone because of things (like getting punched in the but) go early early in the morning like at 4

what would be cool is to have a police car..... like on ebay buy one and drive around in that and DD :) no one would suspect anything...... living in california with a washington police car:p
 

Komataguri

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DRJ1014 said:
lol wear steal boxers :D

if you dont want to go alone because of things (like getting punched in the but) go early early in the morning like at 4

what would be cool is to have a police car..... like on ebay buy one and drive around in that and DD :) no one would suspect anything...... living in california with a washington police car:p

I think I'm going to cruise tonight for DD and CC on my bike, if I find something good I'll call in the calvary [ Someone with a car :p ] and load up.


I have a highdollar hobby shop I'm hopping to get something good from, if they have a dumpster.
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
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Komataguri I live in O town close to the 408, I DD at least once a week always solo but I wouldn't mind you coming along its cool...
 

jellysandwich

Limp Gawd
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Dec 4, 2003
Messages
210
Would someone mind explaining what the difference between
a compactor and a dumpster is?

-jellysandwich
 

Rogue4mula

Gawd
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Aug 30, 2004
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I think that a dumpster is just a metal thing that garbage goes in.. and a compactor is a dangerous machine.. hence.. it compacts.. people ..
 

CptTrips

[H]Lite
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Jan 14, 2005
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Anyone know where I could find some local laws for Florida/Tallahassee area? I've googled and googled to no avail.
 

Kaiga

Gawd
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Best lines to tell a cop if he sees you DD'ing:

I am looking for boxes for blah blah, ya, that'll work alright, but something even stronger hit me 2 days ago.

really good thing to say when a cop sees you (esspeacially when you are hitting the huge stores.)
An officer stops me and my friend for suspected Dumpster Diving. He had seen what we found in the back. I had 3 empty full rack towers (this was all found at some big stores, bt won't mention) some hard drives, 3 cd-r drives other stuff. he told us he saw us getting out of the dumpster.
and i said a nice big:
"Well officer, what we're actually doing here is looking for PC parts big stores throw away and build PC's out of them, and then we Donate them to our local charity center for people in need of a computer."
luckily i had a thank you note from the charity from when I donated my old Packard Bell. I showed it to him, and That just sent him on his way. completey, no iding, no checks on liccenses, no nothing.
just thought i'd share that with you, just in case you need a good cop sending line.
 

manflesh

n00b
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Apr 27, 2005
Messages
17
Some additional info. Yes it does vary from town to town, county to county, and state to state. So check all levels of law: State, County, Local. Check with the local cops, see what they think. Some will mess with you anyway, even if its totally legal. Avoid the locked & closed fence dumpsters. Those can get you in trouble. Trespassing or theft comes to mind when I see those. Expect to get dirty, smelly, etc. Wear good work gloves, long sleeves & think jeans or work pants as sharp objects can be the norm. Tetanus shots? Make sure yours is still within its experation date... Do NOT go alone. This way if you get hurt you have help. And having a lookout while you legs are sticking out of the dumpster is always a good idea. Always check out your target dumpsters beforehand. You do not want to accidently bump into the "wrong" crowd in the alleys. Drug dealers get a bit touchy when someone interupts their deal. My suggestion is to do the diving during daylight as most people do not think you are doing anything wrong during daylight hours. Sundays are best. Take flattened boxes with you as this will be your excuse in diving, you need more for a move. The boxes come in handy with holding your new "loot." The best places to look are behing office supply stores,discount clothing stores, apartment complexes (especially end of month), office complexes (also at end of month), and local colleges/universites. The college/university dumpsters can really be a gold mine at the end of the year. Vandy is in my locality and the long distance students throw away everything.
This may be different from other's opinion, take your ID. Having your ID on you makes a cop relax. They think you are up to something if you do not have it on you. Worse, thanks to a Supreme Court Ruling, if you do not have proper ID on you, the cops can hold you until they get proper confirmation of your ID. If you get stopped, be nice, smile, and offer your cover story about the boxes. Offer your ID if asked. Be nice to the cops and they generally will leave you be. NEVER run from a cop.
 

Cthulhu

Limp Gawd
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Apr 1, 2003
Messages
393
i'm just curious as to why this would be illegal? they threw it out...as in they didn't want it anymore. where's the crime?
 
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My brother up north throws a newspaper all over town every night. Been doing it for around 15 years now. He loves 'trash night', when everyone puts their junk out for next day's pickup.

He's grabbed stereos, TVs, computers, all kinds of stuff. Keeps what he wants, the rest goes off on ebay, or in the dumpster if it's really junk. Been doing it so long the cops, which are normally so bored at 2AM they'll beat up a squirrel out after dark, wave at him when he goes by.

His cardinal rule: Leave the scene as you found it. Noboby's gonna complain someone is stealing their trash. But leave a mess....
 

Shakezilla

[H]ard|Gawd
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Aug 15, 2004
Messages
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thanks for the FAQ, me and 3 friends are going out tonite to find me a nice comfy desk chair, hopefully leather.

Anyone know the chances of finding one? maybe one with one broken wheel? :p Or a lil rip on the fabric.
 

GhengisKhan

[H]ardness Supreme
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Messages
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Shakezilla said:
thanks for the FAQ, me and 3 friends are going out tonite to find me a nice comfy desk chair, hopefully leather.

Anyone know the chances of finding one? maybe one with one broken wheel? :p Or a lil rip on the fabric.
Your best bet for an office chair is.... (drumroll please)... behind office buildings. Instead of trying to repair broken or ripped office furniture, alot of companies will throw the old one out, and buy a new one.
 

dR.Jester

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FYI - When someone pulls their trash out to the curb for collection, its then considered public property. Happy hunting!
 

c0ex

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dR.Jester said:
FYI - When someone pulls their trash out to the curb for collection, its then considered public property. Happy hunting!
I thought It became the towns property. What state/city are you from?
 

Eulogy

2[H]4U
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Where can I check for the legality in my area? I mean, I can get to DBs laws and such, but is it actually called "dumpster diving", or is it some other law that I ought to look for? Looking for to going tonight just to see if I can score anything (dunno when the trash runs are... probably friday :p). Thanks guys!
 
Joined
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Messages
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dR.Jester said:
FYI - When someone pulls their trash out to the curb for collection, its then considered public property. Happy hunting!
In New York it works this way, when garbage is out on the street corner it is still the property of the home owner (hence Police cant dig through it), when the garbage man comes to pick up the garbage so long as the garbage has not gone into the back end of the truck(which means after compacting) the garbage still belongs to the home owner. After compacting the garbage becomes property of whomever is picking it up, wether it be for the city or a private agency.
 
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Well, I didn't feel like attempting a dumpster dive at Best Buy or a similar place, so I went for a target within very easy reach... I went diving at a local Burger King tonight. Not as bad as I thought, once you get over the smell and roaches. Here's what my score was:

Twelve cold and complete Whoppers (two of them had bacon, and one was a double!)
Four half-eaten Whoppers
Sixteen orders of fries, mostly complete (some with ketchup)
A few apple pies (I ate them as I worked)
Tons upon tons of happy meal toys

Not bad, I would say. I plan on doing this every week so I'll never have to buy food again!1!11!!

(just kidding everyone)

:)
 
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