One person's trash is another's treasure!

I'd be lying if I didn't admit the concept of dumpster diving intrigues me. I've been known to pull over and grab an old end table or floor lamp if they happen to be set out at the curb, but I haven't felt brave enough to dive in just yet.

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My TikTok algorithm must know I'm curious because lately my feed has been filled with "dumpster divers" showing off their amazing hauls from places like Bath & Body Works, T.J. Maxx, and the like.

It's truly maddening just how many brand-new-with-tags items get tossed in the trash simply because it's outdated inventory and these businesses need to make room for new stock. SO wasteful!

Is Dumpster Diving Legal?

Although there is a bit of a stigma regarding the practice of dumpster diving, is it actually illegal? Certainly these business can't be thrilled that they're missing out on potential profits but once it hits the trash, what are the legalities surrounding it?

According to a nationwide precedent set by the California v. Greenwood case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled,

that anyone who tosses trash in a public dumpster has essentially given up any legal claim to its ownership in locations nationwide.

dumpster diving

What About Ohio?, a website which helps those who are new to dumpster diving navigate the legalities of it adds: Ohio, searching through dumpsters is considered legal. Nonetheless, it is crucial to follow the rules of state trespassing and abide by the bylaws and regulations of the particular city or area you are in.

So while yes it is legal to dumpster dive in Ohio it's important to know local ordinances and imperative to avoid private property, such as businesses and private residences. I suggest checking local Facebook groups dedicated to the hobby like Northwest Ohio Dumpster Divers before you get started.

Happy hunting!

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