Dumpster Diving in Colorado [2024]: A Comprehensive Guide

Curious about how to begin a dumpster diving experience in Colorado? Essential initial steps include becoming familiar with rules and discovering efficient methods.

This inclusive manual furnishes significant guidance for exploring dumpster diving as an additional source of income in Colorado. Throughout this article, I will also share useful tips and tricks to help you maximize your treasure-hunting experience.

Dumpster Diving in Colorado

Colorado, known as the Centennial State, boasts an impressive 114 shopping malls housing a total of 3,364 stores. Furthermore, wealthy areas like Cherry Hills Village, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, and Castle Rock are viewed as ideal locations for individuals who search through trash receptacles for discarded items.

Whether you prefer exploring these affluent neighborhoods or diving into the dumpsters of malls and retail stores, Colorado offers abundant opportunities.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Colorado?

In Colorado, it is not illegal in Colorado. It is entirely lawful to participate in dumpster diving in the state. Nevertheless, it is imperative to understand the trespassing regulations that are enforceable in your vicinity. Since businesses and private residences are considered private property, diving into dumpsters without permission may result in trespassing citations.

Diving into dumpsters placed in public spaces, such as curbside for pickup, is generally allowed in most Colorado cities. A landmark United States Supreme Court case, California v. Greenwood (1988), determined that individuals and businesses effectively relinquish ownership rights to items discarded in public dumpsters nationwide.

If a dumpster is located within a private residence in Colorado, rummaging through it without permission may lead to charges of trespassing or even theft. In the case of businesses, entering a private property marked with a visible “No Trespassing” sign to engage in dumpster diving can result in trespassing citations and potential permanent bans from the premises. Additionally, charges such as disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering may apply.

Considering these factors, it is advisable to reconsider dumpster diving in locations where you need to trespass, such as unlocking fences or gates or entering enclosed private properties. Such areas are not ideal for dumpster diving in Colorado, especially without the necessary permissions.

Is Dumpster Diving at Night Illegal in Colorado?

No, dumpster diving at night is not illegal in Colorado. The regulations for dumpster diving remain the same regardless of the time of day. However, diving into dumpsters in residential areas at night may raise suspicions and lead to the involvement of law enforcement. Furthermore, dumpster diving at night in Colorado tends to attract a larger crowd.

Many dumpster divers prefer nighttime diving for the sake of privacy. In my view, the ideal period for searching through dumpsters in Colorado is either the early hours of the morning or immediately following sunrise.

Best Places to Go Dumpster Diving in Colorado

Colorado offers numerous excellent locations for dumpster diving. Nevertheless, I have compiled an index of the finest five locations in Colorado where you can set out on your quest for dumpster diving and potentially make some cash:

  1. Affluent Neighborhoods
  2. Garage Sales
  3. Retail Stores
  4. Construction Sites
  5. Cosmetic Stores

How Much Money Can You Make Dumpster Diving in Colorado?

There are multiple factors that determine the potential earnings of dumpster diving in Colorado. Some individuals dive for recyclable items that can be sold for profit, while others search for food or groceries for personal consumption. Many divers also hunt for valuable items like electronics, furniture, or books to resell on platforms such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Generating a full-time income solely through dumpster diving in Colorado can be challenging, although not impossible. For instance, a couple from New York earns over $3,000 per month from their dumpster diving side hustle. This demonstrates the potential, but it requires full-time commitment and effort to achieve a sustainable full-time income through dumpster diving in Colorado.

How much money can you make for dumpster diving in Colorado? 

We spoke with four couples who make a living by diving into dumpsters full-time in Colorado, and these are the findings of our interviews.:

By devoting a workload of forty or more hours each week to exploring dumpsters in Colorado, it is feasible to earn a maximum of $2,100 weekly, on average. Below is the earnings breakdown for each dumpster diving couple we interviewed:

  • Couple A: $2,300 per week
  • Couple B: $2,100 per week
  • Couple C: $1,900 per week
  • Couple D: $2,200 per week

Final Thoughts

To summarize, dumpster diving is legal in Colorado. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with any city or county ordinances that may restrict dumpster diving in specific areas. Always consult the city code, which is typically accessible online, to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Additionally, it is crucial to abide by Colorado’s “Trespass after Warning” law, and individual municipal codes, and exercise common sense when engaging in dumpster diving activities. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the exciting world of dumpster diving in Colorado while staying within the legal boundaries and maximizing your potential for success.

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