Dumpster Diving In California [Updated For 2023]

Many people are familiar with the concept of dumpster diving, but for those who don’t know, it’s essentially a form of urban foraging. Dumpster divers explore the skips and bins located in public areas and try to find useful items that have been thrown away or donated. California is one of the most popular states in the US for dumpster diving due to its large population and variety of waste sources. In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at dumpster diving in California, including what you can find, where to go, and how to stay safe while doing it.

Dumpster Diving Laws In California

There are no specific laws in California regarding dumpster diving, but there are a few general laws that apply. It is illegal to trespass on private property, and it is also illegal to take items that belong to someone else without their permission.

Dumpster diving is generally considered to be legal in public places in California, as long as the dumpster is on public property and you are not trespassing. However, there may be some local ordinances that prohibit dumpster diving, so it’s always best to check with your local authorities before diving in.

If you do find yourself on private property, or taking items from a dumpster without permission, you could be charged with trespassing or theft. In some cases, you may also be required to pay for any damages you cause. So, while dumpster diving may not be specifically illegal in California, there are still some risks involved.

With 279 shopping malls and tens of thousands of residential units, California is one of the most popular garbage diving sites in the country. The good news is that these shopping centers and malls contain a total of 29,551 stores. Dumpster diving is common in affluent California areas such as Atherton, Woodside, Pacifica, Hidden Hills, Beverly Hills, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, and Malibu. As a result, whether you want to go trash diving in affluent neighborhoods or at shopping malls and retail stores, California offers it all.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Nevada: A Comprehensive Guide

Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive In California?

Dumpster diving is not illegal in California. In fact, dumpster diving is explicitly legal in this state. You must, however, adhere to your state’s trespassing laws as well as the city or municipality’s policies and statutes. Dumpster diving in California without permission can result in trespassing charges, as every company and private residence is considered private property.

In most California cities, there are no laws prohibiting you from diving into dumpsters on public property, such as garbage pickup curbs.

A person or business has virtually abandoned ownership rights to everything placed in public dumpsters across the country, according to the historic United States Supreme Court case California v. Greenwood.

You could be charged with trespass or theft if you try to search through the dumpster while it is still inside a private house in California. If you approach private property to try dumpster diving despite a clearly visible ‘No Trespassing’ sign, you could be charged with trespassing, and the business in California has the right to permanently prohibit you from their premises. Unruly behavior, illegal dumping, and littering are just a few of the accusations you could face.

As a result, you should avoid dumpster diving near gates, fences, or private property if you need to open one. Those aren’t the best places in California to go dumpster diving, especially if you don’t have all of the appropriate licenses and permits.

Is Dumpster Diving at night illegal in California?

In California, dumpster diving at night is absolutely legal. In reality, the limits are the same whether you dive into dumpsters during the day or at night. Dumpster diving in residential neighborhoods of California late at night, on the other hand, appears to be highly risky. It’s possible that a police officer will be dispatched to your location. Additionally, trash diving late at night attracts a much larger crowd in California. Since they prefer seclusion, most dumpster divers prefer to go dumpster diving at night. Dumpster diving in California is best done early in the morning or late at night, in my opinion.

All in all, dumpster diving at night in California can be a great way to find hidden treasure. You never know what you might find when you rummage through someone’s trash. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you go dumpster diving at night.

First, always wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from sharp objects and bacteria. Second, bring a flashlight so you can see what you’re looking for. Third, be aware of your surroundings and watch out for security guards or dogs. Finally, remember to take only what you need and leave the rest for others.

Happy dumpster diving!

Best Places To go Dumpster Diving In California

Dumpster diving, or the act of rummaging through dumpsters for food and other items, is a popular activity among the homeless and low-income individuals in California. However, it is also gaining popularity among those who are looking for free or cheap items.

There are many places to dumpster dive in California, but some of the best include grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and construction sites. Grocery stores often throw away perfectly good food that has been damaged or is past its expiration date. Fast food restaurants often throw away uneaten food, and construction sites often have unused or damaged building materials that can be used for DIY projects.

Dumpster diving can be a great way to find free or cheap items, but it is important to be safe and clean up afterward. Always wear gloves and wash your hands afterward to avoid getting sick.

I’ve compiled a list of the best areas to start garbage diving for money in California.

  1. Construction Sites
  2. Shopping Malls
  3. Garage Sales
  4. Cosmetic Stores
  5. Hardware Stores
  6. Apartment Complexes
Related: Dumpster Diving at Walmart: Legal or Illegal?

How Much Money Can You Make Dumpster Diving In California?

Dumpster diving can be a profitable way to make money in California. With the right approach, you can make up to $100 per hour of dumpster diving.

To succeed at dumpster diving, you need to know what to look for and where to find it. You also need to be able to negotiate with homeowners and businesses for permission to dive on their property.

The best place to start dumpster diving is at construction sites. You can often find valuable materials that have been discarded by the workers. Another good place to look is at grocery stores. Many stores discard perfectly good food that has simply reached its expiration date.

To get started, all you need is a trash bag and a pair of gloves. Once you find a potential treasure trove, you can start digging through the garbage. Be sure to sort through everything carefully so you don’t miss anything valuable.

If you’re willing to put in the work, dumpster diving can be a great way to make money in California.

It will be difficult to sustain as a full-time dumpster diver in California. I don’t mean to imply that it’s impossible. Dumpster diving is a side hustle for a New York couple that makes them over $3000 each month. It’s proof that it’s possible, but if you want to earn a full-time living dumpster diving in California, you’ll need to put in full-time effort and attention.

So, how much money can you make dumpster diving in California? Well! We spoke with six full-time professional dumpster diving couples from California. They all agreed that trash diving in California can pay up to $3500 per month if you devote full-time hours (40+ hours per week).

Final Thoughts

After years of living in California, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start dumpster diving. I know it’s not for everyone, but I’m excited to see what treasures I can find.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of starting dumpster diving. First, make sure it’s legal in your area. In some states, like California, it is perfectly legal to go through someone’s trash as long as you don’t make a mess.

Second, be prepared for the smell. If you’re not used to being around garbage, it can be pretty overwhelming at first. But after a while, you’ll get used to it and won’t even notice the smell anymore.

Third, be careful of sharp objects. You don’t want to cut yourself on something while you’re rummaging through the trash. Wear gloves if possible, and watch out for broken glass or other sharp objects.

Fourth, don’t take more than you need. Just because someone throws something away doesn’t mean they don’t want it anymore. If you find something that someone else could use, leave it for them.

Finally, have fun! Dumpster diving can be a lot of fun if you go into it with the right attitude. Who knows what treasures you’ll find?