Can You Dumpster Dive At Walmart

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Dumpster diving or scavenging through Walmart’s rubbish bins may seem like an easy way to get money, but is it?

You might ask if dumpster diving at Walmart is against the law, given how much items the retailer discards on a daily basis. My investigation has led me to this conclusion!

To Dumpster Dive At Walmart In 2022, Is It Illegal?

As of 2022, dumpster diving at Walmart is discouraged and often prohibited, despite the fact that trash awaiting collection is considered public. Dumpster diving, despite its allure, is fraught with danger. Not only may you be exposed to potentially dangerous foods and chemicals, but you could also face imprisonment, fines, and possibly a lifetime ban from Walmart.

Before you go dumpster diving at Walmart, check out what I learned about dumpster diving laws!

Do Dumpster Diving at Walmarts Have a Purpose?

Dumpster diving at Walmart is popular for a variety of reasons. Because dumpsters are filled with stuff such as food, clothing, books, dishes, and electronics, this is a factor.

It’s not uncommon for businesses and individuals to dispose of products that are in good condition, repairable, or even resaleable.

Walmart regularly tosses food that is still edible but has been deemed unsellable. Walmart threw out non-expired food supplies in a popular news story because it lost electricity for a short time.

This is a typical occurrence at Walmart locations. Regardless of a power outage, stores discard food that is still safe to consume, even if it is past its expiration date.

How Do You Get into a Dumpster at Wal-Mart?

Many Walmart stores employ a compactor to reduce the amount of space in their dumpsters. Even if compactors are used, it’s likely that the waste is just thrown into big bins instead.

If these containers are not locked, you can open them and search their contents if they are large enough.

How Do You Know Walmart’s Dumpster Dive Is Safe?

Be advised that trash diving is illegal in every Walmart site, even if it seems like a good way to save money.

If you break the law by trespassing on private property, for example, or any other ordinance, you could face severe penalties.

Many Walmart dumpsters include dangerous goods, such as devices containing mercury and other toxic compounds or expired food that may pose a risk to your health.

If you’re considering dumpster diving at Walmart, what are some of the drawbacks?

Firstly, there are no trespassing laws in place.

You could be jailed for trespassing if you try to take rubbish from Walmart’s private property. Walmart has the right to remove the trash.

There are signs on the dumpsters at most Walmart sites that read “No Dumping,” as well as surveillance cameras that record you.

Individuals who knowingly enter private property can be sued in civil court, and damages can be recovered from the plaintiff’s losses as a result of the trespass.

Courts may view the value of objects in Walmart dumpsters even if they weren’t intended to be sold as belonging to Walmart, which it can collect from you in court.

Violations of Walmart’s no-trespass policy, which also applies to shoplifters, can result in lifetime bans from all Walmart stores.

Dumpster divers should also be on the lookout for any locks that may be there. As a precautionary measure, do not tamper with the dumpster’s locks or barriers.

Secondly, Dumpster diving is dangerous for your safety.

To learn more about the dangers of dumpster diving, read this Qualcomm Accelerator article.

Items containing personal information might be thrown out with the trash, for example, when Walmart does its regular trash pickup.

However, even if this is a widespread practice, there’s always the possibility that the proper shredding procedures are not followed.

It’s possible that your debit card was mistakenly thrown away in the break room trash can.

As a result, the break room trash may be located by a Dumpster Diver, who then has the potential to fraudulently access your debit card.

What Happens If You Are Caught Garbage Diving at Walmart?

Dumpster diving is unlawful in several jurisdictions, and the perpetrators can be prosecuted, arrested, and punished if they are found guilty of breaking the law.

Trespassing is generally prohibited at Walmart locations since they are considered private property.

Dumpster divers are therefore considered shoplifters and, as a result, are subject to a lifetime ban under company policy.

In addition, dumpster divers could face charges of unruly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

Do You Know How to Find Dumpster Diving Laws in Your State?

Waste that has not yet been collected by collectors is declared public property by the Supreme Court in the case of California vs. Greenwood.

As long as local, county, and state regulations don’t contradict, trash can be dumped anywhere.

As a result, it’s a good idea to check out local ordinances before going dumpster diving, and you can do so by searching for appropriate state laws under waste or garbage areas on the internet.

We’ve written about whether or not Walmart recycles plastic bags and bottles, if the company is zero waste, and if it’s a good place to work to learn more about the company.

Bottom Line

Digging through dumpsters for objects that are still in good shape is known as dumpster diving. Because this is trespassing on private land, it can be a violation of the law.

Avoid expensive fines by doing your research before diving into the Walmart dumpster in quest of hidden gems.

For example, if you live in a state where dumpster diving is prohibited, you may be banned from Walmart for life.

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