Is Dumpster Diving Illegal At Walmart? (All You Need To Know)

Walmart has made no secret of their desire to dominate the commercial waste bin market. With such a large market share and a solid supply chain, it is probably a good idea to look at your own company’s legality first, before jumping in and scavenging for your own benefit.

Since Walmart throws away so much merchandise, it’s a good idea to go through the trash and see what you can find! Here’s all the information you need to know.

Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive At Walmart In 2022? 

While the risk of illegal dumping may be slight, the temptation to explore abandoned areas of Walmart without permission from the company may be immense. Although dumpster diving may be illegal at some locations, some people find it to be a great opportunity for adventure, excitement, and discovery.

Before you dive into Walmart dumpster, read what I found out about legal dumpster diving.
The biggest issue I see with dumpster diving is that you’re going to trash your clothes!

Why Do People Dumpster Dive At Walmart?

Walmart makes most of its profits from selling stuff. They put everything they can into their stores, so people are always looking for things to buy. That’s why you often see stuff at Walmart for sale.

 If we can recycle some of these items, not only won’t we reduce our garbage problem, we won’t have to pay to send them to landfills where they will just sit and rot.

Stores that dispose of food are doing their part to protect the environment. Walmart’s loss of power caused them to throw out food that was still edible.

Walmart is the most common store in the United States that will toss food that they are not going to sell and not consume. If you have bought food such as milk, eggs or anything else that is going to expire or is still inside of its acceptable expiration date, it is most likely that you will throw it away at your local Walmart store.

Is It Possible To Get Into A Dumpster At Walmart?

Many Walmart locations just throw a lot of trash into large bins and this causes a lot of inconvenience for customers. However, when it comes to dumpsters, the company does use a compactor and thus the trash inside can be compacted down, minimizing the dumpster volume.

If you see locked bins, you cannot get inside them and will have to wait until the bin is unlocked.

What Are Reasons You Shouldn’t Dumpster Dive At Walmart?

The only type of trash items that people can dispose of in solid waste dumpsters are yard waste, household trash, and recycling.

Trespassing laws can make you spend hours in jail for doing something stupid you thought was innocent.

Not only that, some of the items that you may find in Walmart’s dumpsters may contain hazardous materials such as electronics with mercury and other toxic substances and food with expired dates that may be harmful to you.

You will be able to find many things in a dumpster, so it can be a bad idea to use a dumpster. However, if you know what you want, and you have some time, then you can easily make a dumpster diving trip to Walmart and find some interesting items.

I like to come in here to think.

Walmart has a right to use the land without your permission and you could get arrested for trespassing if you attempt to remove waste from private property.

Walmart will now have dumpsters that say “No dumping” around the store, and it has security cameras that record you.

A civil action can be brought only if a person knowingly enters another’s private property. If the property owner can show that the person entered without permission, damages can be recovered and the trespasser may be held responsible.

Even though the items in the Walmart dumpsters are not for sale, they are still Walmart property, and courts may view them as having value to Walmart that it can recover from you in court.

Walmart’s no-trespass policy, which allows them to ban people from their stores for life if they trespass, just seems unfair.

In order to prevent any sort of damage to the dumpster, it’s best to call the dumpster diving crew and make sure that you’ve made a note of the correct size.

Dumpster diving is dangerous for security because if you find any type of bomb or other type of weapon that would be illegal, it’s very easy for someone to destroy the evidence. It is very unlikely someone would destroy a dumpster as a way to destroy an evidence, that is why it is very hard to obtain any type of evidence.

Qualcomm had a small startup called “Snapshot” that worked on building hardware to record and save data from Android phones. They lost one of their team, Chris “Oso” Olsen, to drug usage, and some of the details of the situation have trickled out.

Walmart tosses trash as its also tossing items with personal information.

Even though it is a common requirement, there is a chance that items that pose security risks are not shredded appropriately before disposal.

For example, say you accidentally dropped your debit card in the break room trash can.
You can’t claim it on your insurance because it would cost you more than the damage is worth.

After the break room trash is in the dumpster, it can be picked up by a dumpster diver who may steal your debit card information and go on a spending spree at your local restaurant or grocery store.

What Happens If You Get Caught Dumpster Diving At Walmart?

Even if an ordinance doesn’t explicitly state that dumpster diving is illegal, you can be held criminally liable, arrested, and fined for digging through someone’s dumpster.

If you do trespass on Walmart property and your presence is discovered, you may be arrested or fined. If you are caught selling stolen items in Walmart stores, you may be arrested.

I believe that dumpster divers are considered thieves, and under company policy, be subject to a lifetime ban.

You can also be charged with illegal dumping, littering, or disorderly conduct if you’re caught doing this.

How Do I Find State Dumpster Diving Laws?

The case, the State of California vs. Greenwood, dealt with garbage that was left to be picked up by the trash collectors.

Trash isn’t accessible to all as long as there’s a conflict with city, county, or state ordinances.

For this reason, it is wise to review relevant ordinances close to you before dumpster diving, as well as check the state laws online by searching under waste or garbage sections.

To learn more about Walmart, you can also read our post that answers the question of whether or not Walmart recycles plastic bags and bottles and if Walmart is zero waste.


Dumpster diving is an act of going into dumpsters in search of things that are still in good condition. This act can often be illegal, as it is considered trespassing on private property.

I know it may be tempting to throw an old pair of jeans into a Walmart dumpster and look for buried treasure, but doing such a thing is illegal and could result in hefty fines.

If you don’t want to get caught, you make sure to store all your pilfered goods inside your car. You can then get out with the help of a friend and drop off your goods at a dumpster.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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