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Dumpster Diving in Michigan

Dumpster diving has become popular over the years in most states of which Michigan is not left out. 

Are curious about knowing all about dumpster diving in Michigan and the laws behind it? 

Then you are in the right place. In this article, you will find all you need to know about dumpster diving in Michigan.

Dumpster Diving in Michigan

Dumpster diving is the searching of trash cans for useful materials and it is ‌legal or illegal in some states.

In Michigan, there are certain neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Milan, Grosse Pointe, etc. that are considered the hotbed of dumpster diving.

Also, there are shopping malls all over Michigan and the stores in these malls amount to 4000+ which makes these shopping malls the perfect place for dumpster diving. 

In short, Michigan offers one of the best when it comes to dumpster diving. 

Is Dumpster Diving Legal In Michigan?

Dumpster diving in oklahoma

Michigan has declared that dumpster diving is legal by all means. There are no laws over trash cans placed in public places. 

However, before you go ahead and start jumping into all the trash cans in Michigan, have it in mind that various cities in Michigan have their laws too. 

Also, diving into dumpsters on private properties or where there is a No Trespassing sign is considered illegal and could attract charges like trespassing or theft. 

All the cities in Michigan have the right to implement their own laws which is why as you are trying to be safe while diving into dumpsters, be careful of which area you are doing it.

In some cities in Michigan, you need to obtain a license to touch any dumpster that has been put out.

Dumpster Diving in Detroit 

In Detroit, it is illegal to pick up or dive into any dumpster without a license according to section 22-3-1 of the Detroit municipal code of regulations. If you are caught, it will attract a fine of $500, and might face jail time. 

To prevent finding yourself in such trouble, you can request to get your license from the Detriot police department. 

Note that you must have a valid driver’s license before applying and your car will be inspected to make sure it meets up with the requirement. 

Is Dumpster Diving Legal in Ann Arbor?

Under the Ann Arbor code of ordinance 2:8, Scavenging and Unauthorized Storage says that nobody shall collect or remove solid waste or recyclables that have been put out for city collection.

Is Dumpster Diving Legal in the City of Warren?

In Warren, under section 16-5 (a) of the city ordinance code, it is illegal for anyone not permitted by the law to collect or remove any trash place in public places. 

There is a provision for anyone that is interested in the collection of trash or recyclables to obtain a junk peddler’s license from the city clerk.

Is Dumpster Diving Legal in Sterling Heights?

In Sterling Heights, you have to obtain a business license at a fee of  $50 and will need to apply to register as a peddler or refuse collector before engaging in dumpster diving. 

Is Dumpster Diving in the Night Prohibited?

Whether you go dumpster diving during the day or at night in Michigan, the law still remains the same. In fact, most dumpster divers prefer to dump dive at night due to privacy. 

However, the cops might be called on you if you go dumpster diving in a residential area or in a private property. 

Safety Habits when Diving into the Dumpsters

  • Always wear long sleeves, long pants, closed-toed shoes, and gloves.
  • Use a long pole or heavy stick when scavenging through the trash to avoid getting poked, cut, or bitten by an animal.
  • Carry a flashlight and use it to shine into the dumpsters
  • Always dive into a well-lit area. 
  • Clean up your mess when you’re finished.
  • Keep the noise level to a minimum to avoid a disturbance
  • Never cross any trespassing area, don’t hop fences, and never cut locks.
  • Most importantly, know the area and the laws about dumpster diving before going in, etc.

Places to go Dumpster Diving in Michigan

In Michigan, there are lots of best places you can go dumpster diving. The places below are hotbeds of dumpsters in Michigan:

  • Shopping Centers
  • Rich Neighborhoods
  • Cosmetic Stores
  • Construction Sites
  • Garage and Yard sales, etc.

Related: Dumpster Diving in Oklahoma

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Garbage Picking illegal in Michigan?

Answer – Picking/Grabbing it might be illegal in some cities in Michigan as some of these cities have laws against scavenging.

  • How much can you make as a dumpster diver in Michigan?

Answer – Most dumpster divers engage in recyclables that can be sold and make a profit. To be earning much as $1700 per week as a dumpster diver in Michigan, you need to put in a lot of effort.

  • What is the best time to go dumpster diving?

Answer – It’s best to go early in the morning because most grocery stores dispose of their refuse in the morning.   

  • Can you dumpster dive at Walmart?

Answer – Most Walmart stores are private properties, so it is not allowed to dumpster dive on private property. 

  • Why do stores lock their dumpsters?

Answer – Store locks their dumpsters to prevent people from dumping their refuse in them. It might also be due to the reason that people are always making a mess at the dumpster. 

Final Thoughts

It has been stated that dumpster diving in Michigan is not illegal, but some cities might have laws against dumpster diving.

Ensure you confirm the law of the city you are in regarding dumpster diving before you engage in it to prevent facing charges and paying fines. 

Always remember to carry a flashlight and use it to shine into the dumpsters and follow safety precautions at all times when you go dumpster diving. 

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