Finding coupons to make your shopping trip can be exciting. Sometimes you pick them up in-store or in the Sunday paper, and other times you find digital offers. There are other times you may run across coupons. For instance, you may find a paper printing service or store discarding them in the trash. If that’s the case, you may wonder if dumpster diving for coupons is legal. I am here to answer that question for you.
Is Dumpster Diving Legal?
Is dumpster diving legal? Maybe. While the U.S. Supreme court maintains the trash is public domain, there may be state and local ordinances that prohibit you from dumpster diving. The supreme court’s decision on the matter only stops dumpster divers from being charged with theft. You must check your state and local laws to see if it is permissible in your area. In Georgia, where I reside, it is not illegal but does not mean you can’t find yourself in trouble.
When is it Not ok to Dumpster Dive?
In instances where a dumpster is located off of a building, in an open area, with no visible signage, feel free to jump right in. If the dumpster is hidden behind a locked fence or has trespassing signage up, don’t you dare go in. Getting caught in an otherwise locked area or where signage is posted, can end up getting you charged with trespassing. If you don’t have a criminal record, I wouldn’t suggest dumpster diving for coupons to save a few dollars.
What Can You Do if Dumpster Diving is Not Possible in Your Area?
If dumpster diving is illegal or impossible in your area, there are always ways to secure more coupons. You can start by establishing a relationship with the stores you frequent. If you are on a friendly basis with them, they may just give you access to coupons they are throwing out or let you rummage through the trash unbothered. While I do not dumpster dive, I find that being friendly to store associates and managers typically gives you a great advantage coupon-wise. I’ve been able to hold massive amounts of goods and purchase large quantities of items, just off the friendly relationships I have come to have with workers in the store.
If you aren’t friendly or the store still won’t budge, you can pick up weekly coupon inserts at Dollar Tree for $1 or make use of free digital coupons and cashback offers.