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Dumpster Diving In Maine

Are you a native of Maine or do you plan to start dumpster diving in Maine? Are you short of information on how to go about it? Are you aware of the rules or not? Do you know about the penalties? 

Worry no more, as you have arrived at the destination where the solution is, because this post is mainly for you and anyone else who intends to start a bin diving adventure.

Read along to gain more knowledge about trash diving.

Best Places To Garbage Dive In Maine

The best locations to go trash diving in the state of Maine are book stores, construction sites, grocery stores, hardware stores, yard sales, apartment complexes, merchandising stores, flower stores, and toy stores.

Also, the state of Maine has 699 stores housed in 6 shopping malls and complexes spread across the cities where bin diving thrives, giving a dumpster diver an array of choices.

The cities regarded as bin diving hotspots include Saco, Ellsworth, South Portland, Auburn, Biddeford, and Brewer.

Is Dumpster Diving Allowed In Maine?

Dumpster Diving In Maine

Maine has no law that prohibits garbage diving across its cities, making it totally legal. However, some cities may have laws that differ from the state’s, and a dumpster diver must be aware of the state’s trespassing laws as well as the city, or municipality’s policies and statutes.

As a dumpster, the law that guides you as you embark on your diving adventure is the landmark United States Supreme Court case, California v. Greenwood from 1988, which states that an individual or a business has virtually abandoned ownership rights to products deposited in dumpsters in public places across the country.

The law is no more on your side when you trespass and try to pick up items on private properties, business premises, fenced areas, and buildings with the “No Trespassing” sign. As a result, they could charge you with disorderly conduct, illegal dumping, or littering.

To avoid issues with law enforcement agents, do not forget to apply for the necessary licenses and permits which validate the work you want to embark on.

Is Dumpster Diving Legal In Bangor?

Bangor is a city in Maine and they have laws against the act of bin diving unless you’ve got the appropriate permits and licenses that validate you as a trash diver.

If they find you diving on a private property, be rest assured you will face the full wrath of the law.

Related: Dumpster Diving In Idaho

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal At Night In Maine?

In Maine, the rules that apply to diving during the day apply at night too. Trash diving at night is risky as the residents of the area may feel threatened by your presence and invite the police.

Laws Guiding Trash Diving In Maine

There are some specific trash diving laws in the state of Maine, and they are:

  • A person may not take recyclable materials out of the trash bins without the permission of the owner, if the bin is still in their house or any private place
  • The Maine Supreme Court law also states that it is also illegal for police to search through people’s garbage without a warrant.
  • Another law is the trespassing law. For instance, when you jump a fence or walk onto private property to dumpster dive, then this is considered trespassing. The back areas of stores and houses are private property. Private property makes dumpster diving non-legal without the owner’s permission and you can be arrested.
  • Proper signs and signatures can be used to warn banners and used in a case in court to show that the company took appropriate precautions. Some signs make everything that is inside the bin off-limits.
  • Interfering with the lock of a dumpster is also illegal, and they can sanction you for that,.
  • Parking the vehicle near the dumpster while sorting through garbage may worry owners. It looks like stealing if you load your car with electronics, food, or other recyclable items. If an eyewitness sees this, they may phone the police to report a theft.

What Can I Find In Dumpsters?

There are many items that you can find in a dumpster and are able to rake in income for the diver.

They include:

  • Automobile Tyres
  • Paint Cans
  • Car and lithium batteries
  • Railroad ties
  • Household cleaners
  • Mattresses and Boxsprings
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Lumber
  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Decorations
  • Sealed food
  • Beauty products

What are Dumpster Diving Safety Measures?

Trash Diving isn’t just a task of picking an item and making money, there are measures to take to avoid injuries and other hazards.

They are:

  • Wear boots and gloves 
  • Have a lamp in your possession if you plan to trash dive at night
  • Possess a stick or long pole to search for items through the dump
  • Check your local and state laws
  • Keep a stepladder in your vehicle
  • Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • Try to be quick when searching through a dumpster
  • Try to avoid being seen, but also don’t be suspicious 
  • Always check for animals such as raccoons and possums
  • Use Google Maps to scout for the best dumpster locations
  • Have a plan on what to say if someone confronts you
  • Wear work clothing and a high-vis safety vest to make yourself look official
  • Avoid dumpsters surrounded by a fence or with a “No Trespassing” sign nearby

How Much Can I Earn From Dumpster Diving In Maine?

Different people, different reasons, and different ambitions make it hard to determine the amount raked in by divers in the state of Maine.

Some are in the business of diving to get food, some are there to pick items to recycle, and some divers are on sites to pick up electronics, furniture, and books to sell on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

After much research, I discovered that divers in Maine earn up to $1500 in a week on average.

Final Notes

Garbage scavenging in the state of Maine is easy if you have the right permits and licenses, and can also obey the laws, and statutes guiding it.

Hopefully, you will make that extra income as you embark on this new adventure.

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