No, this isn't an episode of "Extreme Cheapskates".

But it is an interesting question, especially considering the fact that and we're still seeing the impacts and consequences of this year's inflation... Also considering the fact that in the United States alone, over 40 million tons of food is discarded every year - more than any country in the world. And the fact that over 80% of food discarded in the United States is perfectly good food, according to RTS.com (Recycle Trash Systems).

Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash
Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash
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But what about other than food? A few years ago I was entranced by a series of YouTube videos of various makeup haulers who went dumpster diving at their local Ultas or Sephoras, and some of the things they pulled were in perfect shape! I wasn't sure exactly why some of the things were thrown away, but I very nearly recruited one of my friends to go on a dumpster diving mission with me at night! But would we get arrested? Depends.

Is it illegal to dumpster dive in New Jersey?

The answer is NO.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash
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According to MoneyWorths.com, dumpster diving in New Jersey is perfectly legal. And actually, our beloved Garden State is a dumpster diving hotspot. There are a ton of malls and shopping centers to choose from.

That's right: this is a dumpster diving destination. Score one for us, right?

BUT, this doesn't mean you can dumpster dive where ever; you have to abide by trespassing laws and ordinances, because every residence and business is considered private property. In other words, you have to get permission. It could be illegal in specific counties or cities!

Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash
Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash
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Sure, that kind of takes the fun out of the mission - no one wants to get judged or turned away. But if you end up with a perfectly good items for free, it could be worth the trouble!

Where are the best places to dumpster dive in NJ?

According to MoneyWorths, dumpster diving is popular in North Caldwell, Haddonfield, Rumson, Allendale, Westfield, and Ridgewood. Your best bet is to aim for these sites:

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

Before you go treasure hunting, check with your city codes and local ordinances!

Happy diving, New Jersey!


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