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Can You Go Dumpster Diving In PA?

Just like in any other state, individuals in Pennsylvania do throw away many valuable items as trash into the dumpster. This attracts divers who hope to get lucky and find usable things like food, toys, clothing, some pieces of furniture, and even electronics. If this is something that you would like to try out, it is good to be familiar with whether it is legal or illegal to do it.

Generally, it is not illegal to do it. However, its legality may depend on specific regulations set by municipalities or cities. Some places may see it as a problem while others may have no issue with it. Despite this, it is good to note that other rules may come into play while doing this activity. For instance, it is deemed illegal do it on private property because laws like trespassing will have been breached.

Several Things That Can be Found Inside

Know the PA dumpster diving laws before you go diving in!

Depending on what you are looking for, this activity can be quite rewarding. This part of the article looks at different things that you can be lucky to find.

  • Food

Both businesses and individuals have the tendency to throw away excess food. Businesses like restaurants can even discard foods that are nearing the expiry date but are still safe for you to eat. Some example foods that you can find include baked goods, packaged foods, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Electronics

You may get lucky to find electronics such as smartphones, gaming consoles, laptops, and even appliances that are in working condition. However, this is quite hard. Most of these electronics will need some repair to get them in proper operation again.

  • Clothing

At times, people throw away good clothing once it is not fitting anymore or when they are just bored of wearing the same thing. These items of clothing can be found in the waste containers during a search session.

  • Furniture

It is quite common to see pieces of furniture such as chairs, lamps, and small tables. These can be salvaged and used or sold.

Things to Pay Attention to

  • Trespassing Laws

If you decide to go ahead and do some treasure hunting, it is good to be well aware of distinct regulations set by the state. Although diving should not be a big legal problem, doing it in some places can cause you a lot of trouble with the authorities. One such example is in private property. In fact, most dumpsters can be found in private spaces such as behind apartment complexes or businesses. Going to search in these areas can be considered as trespassing, which is against the law. You could therefore end up getting arrested, fined, or even jailed.

  • Personal Safety

Personal safety is a crucial part of doing this activity since it can be quite risky. While doing the search, you may come across different hazards such as getting into contact with hazardous materials, broken glass, sharp objects, and at times wildlife. To prevent any harm, you want to wear protective items like gloves when handling things in the dumpster. You also want to practice a lot of caution when climbing in and out. You should also be aware of the surrounding and the presence of any individuals around. People like security guards can pose a great risk to your safety because they could think that you are getting in illegally. It is therefore important to have a proper comprehension of rules and know whether the area you are going to is regarded as private property. If you see guards around, it is good to ask first whether you can do it to help avoid any unnecessary confrontations.

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