Question by narie w: is dumpster diving a crime if you are olny looking for recyclables?
i want to dumpster dive. but i hear its illegal. but i heard its illegal because of identity theft. but if i went through the trash to look olny for plastics, metel, glass, and paper that will be shredded in a shredder. would i go to jail if i did this? i olny will do this to recycle. thats all.
in virginia
im doing this to earn money for charities and to help the envirement!


Best answer:

Answer by daniel_97202
if you toss stuff out it is considered to be public property now, but on that the dumpster itself and the land it sits on is not public

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2 Responses to is dumpster diving a crime if you are olny looking for recyclables?

  1. In pursuit says:

    Do not be surprised when you are looked at like a weirdo!

    But no police officer is ever going to cite you for trespassing for dumpster diving unless you jumped a fence or disregarded a trespassing sign to get to the thing.

    Your basic garden variety trash cans behind grocery stores and department stores are fair game man.

  2. Shred Guy says:

    The supreme court ruled in California v. Greenwood that there is no expectation of privacy for your trash. As a result you may go through trash left on the curb. However, you may not climb fences to get into closed trash areas.