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Dumpster Diving in Delaware

Are you thinking of starting your dumpster diving quest in Delaware?

Are you aware of the laws in regard to dumpster diving in Delaware?

If you have been considering starting a quest and you are curious to know the answers to those questions, then you are at the right place. 

In this guide, you will find answers to those questions and much more information you need in terms of dumpster diving. 

Dumpster Diving in Delaware

There are 3 shopping malls with 354 stores operating and ten of thousand residential housing units in Delaware. These stores provide multiple trash cans for dumpsters to dive in. 

Dumpster diving is prevalent in wealthy cities such as Greenville, Henlopen Acres, South Bethany, Dewey Beach, Fenwick Island, and Hockessin. 

Irrespective of where you want to go dumpster diving, Delaware has it all. 

Is Dumpster Diving Legal in Delaware?

Dumpster diving in delaware

Dumpster diving in Delaware is legal. Under the states’ ordinances and statutes, there is no law prohibiting garbage diving.

However, there are trespass laws that  you should respect within the cities and municipalities. Scavenging without permission in Delaware in private properties put you at risk of getting charged with trespassing. 

Most of the companies and businesses in Delaware are considered private properties, that is why it is advisable to get permission or stay away from them. 

Although, according to the law, any trash can placed in a public place is no longer under restriction. The owner has lost all rights of ownership to it. 

Where to Dumpster Dive in Delaware

Delaware offers thousands of excellent dumpster diving sites across the state. Below are some of the best spots you can start your trash diving quest in Delaware:

  • Cosmetic Stores
  • Hardware Shops
  • Grocery Stores
  • Toy Stores
  • Garage and Yard Sales, etc

Things You Can Find In Dumpsters?

There are several items that can be found in a dumpster. Some can be reused or sold to be recycled and bring in income for the diver.

They include:

  • Toys
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Sealed food
  • Beauty products, etc

Is dumpster diving in Delaware at Night Illegal?

Whether you go dumpster diving during the day or at night, the law still remains the same. It is not illegal to go dumpster diving in Delaware, irrespective of the time.

In fact, most dumpster divers prefer to go dumpster diving at night because of privacy, but it can be dangerous at times and the competition is high compared to going during the day. 

Also, going to a residential area to go dumpster diving at night may lead to the residents calling the cops on you. 

Note that you keep an eye out for a NO TRESPASSING sign to avoid getting charged and fined heavily. 

Dumpsters Violations in Delaware

As a dumpster, there are various violations you can be charged with if you break any of the laws of the city you are in. 

Some of the violations include:

  1. Trespassing

Trespassing is considered a criminal offense in Delaware and can attract a fine. This happens when you go dumpster diving on private property. 

  1. Vandalism

Vandalism happens as a result of damaging any real property in the process of dumpster diving. Even with permission to dive into the dumpsters on a particular property, you can still be charged with vandalism. 

This could attract a heavy fine or a jail term. 

  1. Littering

Littering can attract a fine if you are caught. Always clean up after creating a mess in the process of searching through a trash can. 

How much can you make as a dumpster diver in Delaware?

In Tennessee, the amount of profit you make from dumpster diving is dependent on factors like:

  • What you are collecting like recyclables, gadgets, electronics, groceries, furniture, etc. These items are worth more than the others when sold. 
  • The amount of time you put into it, etc.

You can make up to $3000 per month as a dumpster in Delaware, but you have to be a full-time dumpster diver to be able to make as much as that. 

Related: Dumpster Diving in Alabama

Safety Rules/Tips for Dumpster Divers

You can adhere to the following safety tips as a dumpster diver. There are:

  1. Always wear clothes with long sleeves and long trousers to cover your arms and legs.
  2. Put on shoes that cover your toes to avoid running into nails or snakes.
  3. Use a long pole to search through trash cans. Avoid using your hands or put on gloves if you must.
  4. Do not enter private properties without getting permission 
  5. Always clean up the mess made while searching through the trash can. 

Frequently Asked Question

  • What’s the best time to go dumpster diving?

The best time to go dumpster diving is early in the morning. Most stores dispose of their refuse early in the morning. 

  • What stores are best for dumpster diving?

Big box stores are the best you can go for. You can find free items like clothes, gadgets, electronics, etc. in their dumpster.

  • How much money can you make dumpster diving?

This depends on the amount of time you put into it and what you collect. with full-time diving, you can make up to $3000 monthly. 

  • What should I look for when dumpster diving?

You can collect recyclables, groceries, food to make compost, electronics, etc. 

  • Can you get infected from dumpster diving?

There is also a possibility of becoming ill from bacteria, especially in the summer; the dumpsters themselves breed bacteria and get sprayed with pesticides.


Dumpster diving in Delaware is legal, but each city in Delaware has the right to make its own law as it deems fit. 

That is why it is very important to be aware of the laws governing the city you are in before you start dumpster diving. 

Adhere to safety tips and precautions to avoid attacks and getting charged with trespassing, loitering, etc. which could attract heavy fines based on the situation. 

Tennessee is definitely a place you would like to start your quest. 

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