Originally Posted by skitzogreg;12784437
I thought I'd clarify the legality here:
'Dumpster Diving' in and of itself is not illegal, but depending on the location and/or the features of the dumpsters, you could find yourself breaking the law. Explanation:
Rummaging through trash that is in a public (non-privatized) location such as a street or curb is technically considered 'public' and can therefore be taken. In other words, if you take your trash to the street, once it's past your property line, it's public [search away!]. If, however, the trash is located in a receptacle inside your property (i.e. garage, in front of your car, etc.), it's not public and rummaging through your trash is illegally trespassing.
Now let's take your school for example. Your school's dumpsters are on school property. If you are caught digging through an open dumpster on school property, you could be cited/arrested for trespassing. In all reality, the cops will just tell you to leave. If the dumpster is locked by the waste management company, breaking the lock is also considered trespassing amongst the waste company's property, and subject to the same legal liability.
In other words, take caution. In fact, ask. No, really. People are generally nice. If you ask your school custodian or facilities management if you can check the dumpsters and they say it's alright, go for it. It's better to ask for permission in terms of legality than for forgiveness. I hope this helps!
I just noticed this quote:
This is a popular misconception. Even though it's a public school, it's not public property. It's a protected facility that has a right to maintain protection of it's assets. Just because you believe your tax money funds the school, it's actually state property and you can prosecuted to the full extent of the law if you trespass. I'm sorry for being a Debbie Downer, lol.
This. If it's public space its ok.
Hell, the cops do it, the feds do it, the hobos do it, you should too. One man's trash is another man's treasure!