Oh, the lost art of Dumpster Diving. Okay, I’m sure it’s not a “Lost Art” but it is definitely something I haven’t done in a very long time.  When I did it, it was fun, exciting, and I did find some neat treasures. I even took a lady dumpster diving on our second date (our relationship lasted over 2 years, so don’t judge).

One of the coolest places I've been dumpster diving was at our local (now closed) music store Off The Record. They would find tons of great used CDs, cassette tapes, music posters, etc. in that giant tin treasure tub that often smelled.

cds in a dumpster

Would I do it now? Probably not, for several reasons. One, it was dangerous back then, but now with the rampant use of needles just being hazardously discarded, that’s a risk that’s not worth any type of dumpster diamond.


Another reason is that stores just aren’t throwing away good stuff anymore. Many stores damage out goods, completely destroying them, or sending them back to the company for repair/resell.

And the last reason, I don’t dumpster drive anymore? Trash compactors. The good stuff gets crushed, and I’ve seen Star Wars way to many times and have that fear of being stuck in a trash compactor without a big stick, the force, or an R2 unit to help me escape.


Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive In Washington?

Was I ever worried about the law? Nope, because, believe it or not, it is legal to dumpster dive in Washington state. The real kicker that you have to be careful of is trespassing. Private dwellings are considered private property, but if it’s on the curb or in a public space, then the original owner has relinquished ownership to those trashy treasures (thank you 1988 Supreme Court Case: California V. Greenwood).

Tips From A Former Dumpster Diver!

Here’s a few tips that I learned the hard way. Wear trashy clothes (so you don’t ruin your good stuff). Wear gloves (lot of sticky and yucky things in those dumpsters). And last but not least, bring a step stool tied to a rope. This will help you get into the dumpster, and if the dumpster is empty, it’ll help you get out. The rope is so you can pull it in and out with you.


Have you been dumpster diving? If yes, where were you at and what did you find? Why did you stop or have you? Tap the App and let me know!

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