The question is, is it illegal to go dumpster diving in Minnesota? The answer is technically no, but there are plenty of other factors involved. The internet is full of videos of people who tape themselves "dumpster diving" and they are not necessarily doing it because they are hungry, but because they are able to find products that are being tossed away that are still in perfectly good condition.

I saw a woman who has this whole system down pat where she goes into dumpsters in a mall parking lot and it is unbelievable what she finds. Sometimes she does find non-perishable food items, but it is mostly other material things like candles, makeup, picture frames, etc.

Again there are no specific laws in the state of Minnesota but one place that is prohibited is doing this on private property which is a giant NO! Whatever you take out of that dumpster or garbage can is considered private property even though it is technically being thrown out and that is considered stealing and you could also be charged with trespassing.

So what about at a mall, restaurant, or grocery store? If they have no trespassing signs around the dumpster do not go there, but generally, the ordinances are different for each city and if police enforce staying away or not.

According to the best places to go dumpster diving are:

  • Retail Stores
  • Video Stores
  • Construction Sites
  • Grocery Stores
  • Cosmetic Stores

The key thing is not to make a mess, make sure the surrounding area looks exactly the way it was when you first arrived. Also, the best times to dumpster dive are early in the morning or late at night when most times employees take out the trash. So if this is something you want to pursue, just understand it may not always be great stuff and you could run into security, the police, or just a complete stranger questioning what you are doing.

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