Dumpster Diving in New Jersey [2024]: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re interested in dumpster diving in New Jersey, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding this activity. In this detailed guide, we will provide you with information on the legality of dumpster diving in New Jersey, as well as essential tips to maximize your treasure-hunting experience.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in New Jersey?

The good news is that dumpster diving is perfectly legal in New Jersey. There are no specific laws prohibiting this practice in the state. However, it’s crucial to abide by the state’s trespassing laws, as well as the ordinances and statutes of the city or municipality you’re diving in.

Remember that businesses and private residences are considered private property, so diving without permission may result in trespassing charges.

Dumpster Diving on Public Property

In most communities in New Jersey, there are no restrictions on diving into dumpsters located on public property, such as garbage pickup curbs. According to the United States Supreme Court case California v. Greenwood, individuals effectively relinquish ownership rights to waste once it is placed in public dumpsters.

Dumpster Diving on Private Property in New Jersey

Diving into dumpsters located within private properties, such as those behind fences or gates, is not advisable without the appropriate rights and qualifications.

dumpster diving in new jersey

Attempting to search through dumpsters located within private houses or ignoring clearly visible “No Trespassing” signs can lead to charges of trespassing, and businesses have the right to ban individuals permanently from their premises. Additional charges, such as disorderly behavior, illegal dumping, or littering, may also be applicable.

Is Dumpster Diving at Night Illegal in New Jersey?

Dumpster diving at night is legal in New Jersey, just as it is during the daytime. However, it’s important to exercise caution, particularly in residential areas, as late-night diving may attract attention from law enforcement.

Additionally, nighttime diving tends to attract larger crowds. Many divers prefer nighttime for privacy reasons. It is advisable to conduct your dumpster diving early in the morning or late at night for the best experience.

Best Places to Dumpster Diving in New Jersey

New Jersey offers numerous excellent dumpster diving locations across the state. Here are some noteworthy places to start your trash-diving adventure:

  1. Construction Sites
  2. Yard Sales
  3. Garage Sales
  4. Bakeries
  5. Toy Stores
  6. Cosmetic Stores
  7. Electronic Shops

How Much Money Can You Make from Dumpster Diving in New Jersey?

The amount of money you can make for dumpster diving in New Jersey depends on various factors. Some divers focus on finding recyclable items to sell, while others seek food, groceries, electronics, furniture, or books for resale on platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

dumpster diving in new jersey

While dumpster diving can be a profitable side hustle, sustaining it as a full-time job in New Jersey may be challenging. However, there are cases where couples engaging in dumpster diving as a side hustle earn over $3,000 per month. It’s important to understand that making a living solely from dumpster diving requires dedicating substantial full-time hours to the activity.


Dumpster diving is legal in New Jersey, but it’s essential to familiarize yourself with local laws, including “Trespass after Notice” regulations and municipal boundaries. By adhering to the state’s guidelines and exercising caution, you can enjoy the benefits of dumpster diving while respecting private property rights.

So, dive into the world of dumpster diving in New Jersey and uncover hidden treasures while promoting waste reduction and resource sustainability.

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