Dumpster Diving in Washington: A Comprehensive Guide

If you want to start your dumpster diving quest in Washington and are not sure about the legalities and strategies for a successful dive, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, I will try to answer some of the frequently asked questions on the dumpster diving side hustle in the state of Washington.

Dumpster Diving in Washington

The Sunshine State offers 30 shopping malls with around 4630 stores operating within them.

Additionally, rich neighborhoods like Barnaby Woods, The Palisades, Berkley, George Town, Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, and Kalorama are considered heaven for dumpster divers in Washington. 

Moreover, Washington also offers tonnes of construction sites at its disposal. The population of Washington increased by almost 1.1 million in the last decade alone. This is the reason the number of construction projects is always increasing in Washington. Construction sites are great places to dumpster dive in Washington as you can find items with high re-sell value.

Therefore, whether you want to go dumpster diving in these rich neighborhoods, construction sites, shopping malls, or retail stores, Washington offers a plethora of everything.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Florida: A Comprehensive Guide

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Washinton?

Dumpster diving is not illegal in Washington. In the state of Washington, dumpster diving is entirely legal. You must, however, be aware of your state’s trespassing laws. Because every firm and private dwelling is considered private property, dumpster diving without permission may result in trespassing citations.

There are no laws forbidding you from diving into dumpsters that have been put on public property for pickup, such as curbs. According to the historic United States Supreme Court case, California v. Greenwood from 1988, an individual or a business has effectively relinquished ownership rights to objects left in dumpsters in public places across the country.

You could be prosecuted with trespass or theft if you try to rummage through a dumpster that is still within a private house in Washington. If a ‘No Trespassing’ sign is clearly visible and you still enter the private property to try dumpster diving, you may be penalized with trespassing, and the business in Washington has the power to ban you from their location for life. You could be charged with disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

As a result, if you need to unlock a fence or a gate to enter private property in Washington, you should think twice about dumpster diving there. Those aren’t the ideal Washington trash diving places, especially if you don’t have all of the necessary permits.

Is Dumpster Diving at night illegal in Washington?

Dumpster diving at night is legal in Washington. In truth, the restrictions are the same whether dumpster diving is done during the day or at night. Dumpster diving in residential areas at night, on the other hand, appears to be fairly risky. There’s a good chance a cop may be dispatched to your location.

In addition, garbage diving at night in Washington attracts a far larger number of competitors. Because they prefer seclusion, most dumpster divers prefer to go dumpster diving at night. Dumpster diving in Washington is best done early in the morning or just after sunrise, in my opinion.

Best places to go dumpster diving in Washington

There are many amazing dumpster diving locations in Washington. However, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 locations in Washington where you may start your dumpster diving journey and actually earn money.

  1. Garage sales and yard sales are equally popular options in Rich Communities.
  2. Retail stores, grocery stores, and cosmetic stores.
  3. Construction sites
  4. Manufacturing plants and factories
  5. Bakery and Cafes.
Related: Dumpster Diving at Walmart: Legal or Illegal?

How much money can you make dumpster diving in Washington?

A variety of factors influence how much money you can make dumpster diving in Washinton. Some people go dumpster diving solely for the purpose of finding recyclable items to sell and profit from. Others may wish to begin dumpster diving in order to obtain food or groceries for personal consumption. Furthermore, many dumpster divers look for expensive objects such as electronics, furniture, or books to sell on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Dumpster diving will be difficult to sustain as a full-time job in Washington. I don’t mean to imply that it’s impossible. Thousands of people make more than $3000 each month from their garbage diving side job. It’s proof that it’s possible, but if you want to earn a full-time living from dumpster diving in Washington, you’ll need to put in the full-time effort and attention too.

So, how much money can dumpster diving bring you in Washington? Well! We polled 10 full-time dumpster divers in Washington and found that if you devote full-time hours to dumpster diving (40+ hours per week), you can earn up to $2200 in Washington.

Final Thoughts

Dumpster diving is not illegal in Washington. However, due to local or county limitations, dumpster diving may be forbidden in Washington. As a result, make sure to check the city code for each neighborhood, which is usually available online. Also, be sure to follow Washington’s trespassing laws, local municipal bylaws, and common sense rules.