Dumpster Diving in Colorado: A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering how to start a dumpster diving adventure in Colorado? Well understanding the regulations and learning the strategies are great first steps. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the dumpster diving side hustle in Colorado. And along the way, I will also give you some tips and tricks to make the most out of your treasure hunt.

Dumpster Diving in Colorado

The Centennial State offers a whopping 114 shopping malls with 3364 stores operating in them. Furthermore, rich neighborhoods like Cherry Hills Village, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, and Castle Rock are considered a paradise for dumpster divers in Colorado. Therefore, whether you want to go dumpster diving in these rich neighborhoods or shopping malls and retail stores, Colorado offers an abundance of everything.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Indiana: A Comprehensive Guide

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Colorado?

Dumpster diving is not illegal in Colorado. In fact, it is completely legal to go dumpster diving in the state of Colorado. However, keeping an eye on the trespassing laws of your state is a must. Since every business and private residency is considered private property, dumpster diving without permission may lead to trespassing citations. 

If the dumpster is left on public spaces like curbs for pickup, there are no laws preventing you from diving in those dumpsters. The famous 1988 United States supreme court case California vs Greenwood concludes that an individual or the business has basically forfeited their ownership rights to the item on the dumpsters left on public spaces of the United States.

If the dumpster is still inside the private residency in Colorado; you may be cited for trespass or even for theft if you try to rummage through that dumpster. In the case of businesses, if the ‘No Trespassing’ sign is clearly visible and you still went inside the private property to attempt dumpster diving, you may be cited for trespassing and the business in Colorado has every right to permanently ban you from their location. Or even worse, you may also be charged with disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

Therefore, If you need to open a fence, a gate, or go inside an enclosed private property; you may want to think twice about dumpster diving in that location. Those aren’t the best places to dumpster dive in Colorado, especially without all the necessary permissions.

Is Dumpster Diving at night illegal in Colorado?

It is not illegal to go dumpster diving at night in Colorado. In fact, the same regulations apply for dumpster diving whether it is day or night. However, going dumpster diving at night in residential properties looks really sketchy. There is a high chance you will get a cop called on you. Moreover, there is a lot more competition while dumpster diving at night in Colorado. Most dumpster divers want to have some privacy so they prefer going dumpster diving at night. In my personal opinion, the best time to go dumpster diving in Colorado is early in the morning or just after sunrise. 

Best places to go dumpster diving in Colorado

There are no shortages of great places to go for dumpster diving in Colorado. However, I have compiled a list of the top 5 places in Colorado where you can start your dumpster diving quest and actually make money while doing so.

  1. Rich Neighborhoods
  2. Garage sales
  3. Retail stores
  4. Construction sites
  5. Cosmetic stores
Related: Dumpster Diving at Walmart: Legal or Illegal?

How much money can you make dumpster diving in Colorado?

The amount of money you make from dumpster diving in Colorado depends on a lot of factors. Some people dumpster dive solely for recyclable items, sell them, and make money. Others may want to get into dumpster diving to look for food or groceries for personal consumption. Additionally, a lot of dumpster divers look for treasures like electronics, furniture, or books and flip them on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

If you want to make a full-time income through dumpster diving in Colorado, it is going to be a little tough. I am not saying it’s impossible to do so. A New York couple is making $3000+ every single month from their dumpster diving side hustle. It’s a testament to the fact that it is possible but you need to put full-time effort and dedication in order to make a full-time income through dumpster diving in Colorado.

So how much money can you make by dumpster diving in Colorado? Well! We asked 4 professional full-time dumpster diving couples from Colorado and here are the results.

On average, if you commit full-time hours(40+hrs per week) for dumpster diving in Colorado, you can make up to $2100. Here are the earning details of each dumpster diving couple we interviewed.

Dumpster Diving Earnings in Colorado

Final Thoughts

All in all, dumpster diving is not illegal in Colorado. However, there may be some ordinances in your city or county that prevent you from dumpster diving in Colorado. Therefore, make sure you consult the city code which can typically be reviewed online for each community. Furthermore, make sure to follow Colorado’s “Trespass after Warning” law, the individual municipal codes, and the common-sense rules.