Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive In Florida 2023

Dumpster Dive also known as bin diving, dumpstering, and containering, seems to be the new trend in town and people of all classes are enthusiastic about this.

Originally known as garbage picking, dumpster diving was performed by the poor and homeless. But that has now changed thanks to the coverage by the internet. Dumpster diving is now a preoccupation of both the rich and poor. And the craze is now a thing worth discussion.Dumpster diving

So, in this post, we provide answers to some of your questions about dumpster diving and what the law says about this garbage-picking gold. But first, let’s start with what dumpster diving is.


What is considered dumpster diving?

Dumpster diving involves salving out items that are discarded from the refuse for resale. Salvaged dumpsters include those of commercial companies or residential buildings.

Dumpster diving Is considered a way to make money and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Most dumpster divers are salvaging these items for profit and while it’s considered a thing for the poor and homeless, the rich are now actively participating in this trend.

And so, if you think it’s something you also want to try out or you need information on dumpster diving In Florida, below is legit information that will help your curiosity. Let’s start with dumpster diving laws in Florida.

What are the legal consequences of dumpster diving in Florida?

Federal Law on dumpster diving

A 1988 United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case entitled, California vs. Greenwood gave legality to dumpster diving in America. The case did not however specify the legality of dumpster diving, but it did make mention refuse or trash that is dumped in the public domain.

The case argued that any refuse, trash, or waste that was left or thrown in the dumpster becomes public domain. And there’s no law being broken during dumpster diving. But again, this is a federal law on dumpsters – a SCOTUS ruling.

State law on dumpster diving – Florida

In America, each state can create and implement laws that affect its territory as far as the state code does not contradict the laws of the federal tier or the ruling of SCOTUS –

cause in any contradiction, the federal laws will proceed over state laws. Florida was therefore no exception to this mandate. To know the laws of dumpster diving in Florida, we study the state laws on public property with trash and refuse as our focus.

We discovered that a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court has spelled out that a business will be regarded as public property if it’s in service to the public. More clarity on the state law on dumpster diving was given by the Attorney General of Florida state. He specifically made it known that dumpster diving was not considered illegal in Florida.

While dumpster diving may not be illegal, however, discovered that certain laws may make dumpster diving illegal. This includes vandalism of public property, littering the public domain, trespassing, and disturbance of public peace. During dumpster diving, this conduct can call for criminal penalties against the diver.

An example of such legal actions is the appellate case of Chambers v. State in Tallahassee, Florida. In this case, criminal charges for trespass and theft were allied as auxiliary activities to dumpster diving.

Florida laws state that a no-trespass sign or oral information must be given to a person before dumpster diving activities. This applies to a criminal charge on public property for trespassing.

What this means is that any person can legally dumpster dive a public property as long as there are not being orally informed or there’s a no-trespass sign available.

And so, with this, we have answered the question of – is dumpster diving illegal or legal in Florida? The law says it is legal to dumpster dive in Florida.

Is it illegal to dumpster dive behind large brand-name stores?

Dumpster diving behind stores has been an issue of debate since its prominent rise. A lot of people are confused as to the legality of dumpster diving behind large stores. The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors such as what the local ordinances say, the state laws, and the federal law.

So, to answer the question, you must first check out what the local ordinance of where the store is located says about dumpster diving. The state and federal law has made it clear what could amount to the legality and illegality of dumpster diving. You have to therefore look up what the local ordinance says.

If dumpster diving is considered legal by local ordinances then you need to look for a no-trespass sign or ask verbally for permission to dumpster dive.

Most people would argue that it’s illegal cause most dumpsters in the stores are always on private property. Dumpster diving on such property would be considered trespassing and that’s illegal and could attract penalties.

Dumpster diving at malls

Dumpster diving at malls would assume the same instance as that with stores. Find out what the local ordinance says about where the mall is located. If it’s legal, check for a no-trespass sign or ask to be orally told. If there’s no trespassing sign and no oral notice, then legal to dumpster dive at malls.

Can you dumpster dive at Target

Dumpster diving at Target is completely legal but you must Find out what the local ordinance says about dumpster diving where the mall is located. If it’s legal, dumpster dive without littering or damaging any property.

Can you dumpster dive at GameStop

Dumpster diving at Gamestop is not illegal as far as you do not trespass on private property. A no trespass sign means is illegal and you must not dumpster dive on such property. Doing so is illegal and may attract a penalty.

Can you dumpster dive at ross

Dumpster diving at ross is only illegal when you trespass a private property with a no-trespass sign on it. You will be charged and sentenced accordingly to the state laws. If the dumpster is in the public domain for collection then it is not illegal to dumpster dive. Read the law, ask the manager if you can, and stay out of jail.

Can you dumpster dive at Walmart

Dumpster diving at Walmart would be considered illegal if the dumpster is in an enclosed fence with a no trespassing sign on it. If the trash is put out for collection then it’s public property and completely legal to dumpster dive.

Can you dumpster dive at Best Buy

Dumpster diving at Best buy is not considered illegal If the dumpster is in the public domain for collection. Find out what the local ordinance says about where the mall is located. Check for no trespassing signs and don’t vandalism any property.

Best places to dumpster dive in Florida

Florida is one of the states in America with a huge population of wealthy families and dumpster diving is considered a profitable adventure. Some of the best places to dumpster dive in Florida includes Rich neighborhood, stores, beach, garage sales, and cosmetic stores.

With over a whopping 301 shopping malls with 21156 stores operating inside these malls, and rich communities like Fisher Island, Manalapan, Golden Beach, Boca Grande, and Sewall’s Point, Florida is a gold mine for dumpster diving.

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