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Is dumpster diving illegal in Maine? Get a Better Understanding!

Is dumpster diving illegal in Maine

In the United States, there are only 10 states that have a bottle refund policy that encourages recycling. Maine is one of them, and it is the state where dumpster diving can be fun for everyone. Maine provides lots of opportunities to dumpster dive to grab things to personally consume or to sell for earning.

While the state itself does not have any rules prohibiting dumpster diving, there could be private property rules or other rules applicable in specific localities that you must be aware of.

Dumpster Diving in Maine

Maine is one of the most popular dumpster diving states in the United States. It has 6 commercial shopping malls having around 700 stores and thousands of residential units. When you are planning to go dumpster diving here, you may consider the rich towns as here you will find more valuable stuff and find it in abundance. Some of the rich towns in Maine that you may consider include:

  • South Portland
  • Biddeford
  • Saco
  • Auburn
  • Ellsworth
  • Brewer

Considering the shopping malls and commercial sites will be an amazing idea if you are in these towns. However, if you visit the residential units at the right time, you can also find a lot of good stuff there. No matter where you go, be aware of the personal property laws, as a little mistake can get you criminally charged.

Dumpster Diving in Maine

Dumpster Diving Laws in Maine

The dumpster diving laws in Maine may not prevent you from it, but the trespassing and other private property rules can restrict you from this act. In Maine, whether a property is fenced or gated or not, whether there is a no trespassing sign or not, going inside the private property is a lawful crime.

The owner can make visiting their place illegal verbally or with written notice, but you must not enter private property even if there is no notice. Most trespassing cases are Class E wrongdoings, where you can get a maximum fine of $1000 with a prison time of 180 days.

However, if you were charged for aggravated trespassing, then it would be a Class D wrongdoing for which the max fine could be $2000 and a maximum of 364 days of prison time. In case of criminal trespassing, you will be charged with a Class C crime that can fine you up to $5000 along with 5 years of prison time.

All the penalties and fines for trespassing in Maine depend on the situation for which you were charged for the act. So, the best way to enter the private property is by taking the owner’s permission.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Maine?

Considering the state of Maine, dumpster diving is not prohibited here. Pine Tree State is known as one of the most popular trash-diving states in the whole country. It does not mean you can start dumpster diving anywhere in Maine, as different localities have rules prohibiting it without a license.

You can get a dumpster diver’s license in such states, and you will be good to go for public properties. When it comes to private properties, you do not have any choice but to stay back or ask for permission. As long as the trash is on private property, taking that will be considered theft, and going inside that property will be considered trespassing.

In Maine, you can be criminally charged for both of these with a fine and prison time. So, your best choice will be to ask for permission from the owner or wait until the trash is moved to public dumpsters by the owner. As soon as the owner moves trash to public property, they abandon all the rights to ownership for anything present in that trash.

Dumpster Diving in Maine
Dumpster Diving in Maine

Taking permission to visit the private dumpsters will keep you away from any trouble. Some common signs of the private property include gated, locked, fenced, or protected properties with warning signs against trespassing. Commercial properties can permanently prohibit you from visiting that place. Even when it is not prohibited, asking for permission will be the right decision.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Lewiston, Maine?

No, dumpster diving here in Lewiston is not illegal. If you ever face dumpster diving issues here, you are probably on private property.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Bangor, Maine?

Yes, it is illegal as long as you do not have trash diver permits or licenses. However, if you have the licenses, then it is completely legal for public dumpsters.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Portland, Maine?

No, as long as you stay on public property, dumpster diving in Portland is not illegal by any laws or rules. You need to be careful as it is not allowed on private property.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Maine

What happens if you get caught dumpster diving in Maine?

Getting caught while dumpster diving can be the most unfortunate thing. However, it won’t happen if you do everything correctly and lawfully. The most cases where you get caught, you might be:

  • Creating disturbance (noise)
  • Littering while diving in the dumpsters
  • Entering someone’s private property without their permission

Even diving in public dumpsters, you need to stay low, silent, and keep yourself from littering. If you enter someone’s property and take their trash without their permission, it will be called trespassing and theft, and you can get criminal charges against you. Getting caught at a commercial place can also get you banned from there.

Best places to go dumpster diving in Maine

Maine, the most popular dumpster diving state, gives you a wide range of diving spots across the state. Here is a list of some of the best places you can go to find stuff to sell and stuff to consume personally:

  • Construction sites
  • Residential units
  • Posh communities
  • Electronic and gadgets shops.
  • Hardware stores
  • Cosmetic stores
  • Grocery stores

Make sure you select the right location to go through most of these nearby places. Going through many dumpsters will increase your chances of finding valuable stuff.

How much can you earn through dumpster diving in Maine?

It is a trick question because the chances of earning through dumpster diving depend on the following factors:

  • How much time are you investing?
  • What are the locations you are targeting?
  • Are you visiting the right location at the right time?
  • What are your main goals from dumpster diving (personal usage/selling)?
  • How consistent are you?

You can consider dumpster diving as a side hustle, and in that case, if you are fully motivated and consistent, then you have the chance of earning up to $3000 a month. Taking dumpster diving as your full-time source of earning is not easy, but it is also not impossible.

So, if you are fully consistent and motivated and spend 40 hours a week, then you have the chance of going over $4000.

What matters the most here is that you follow all the rules, target the right locations at the right time, and collect stuff mainly for selling at garage sales or on online marketplaces.

Best time to go dumpster dive in Maine

When considering the time to go dumpster diving in Maine, many people think it is prohibited at night. However, there are no time-based restrictions in Maine, and you can go there anytime you want. For the best results, you must strategically select your dumpster diving time.

For example, visiting the residential areas and posh communities early in the morning will increase your chances of finding valuable stuff, and you will be safe. On the other hand, you can visit the commercial sites late at night or early morning as per your preferences.

Is dumpster diving illegal in Maine

Tips for Dumpster Diving in Maine

Dumpster diving in Maine may be fun and easy, but there could be several things that you might be missing out on. So, here we will cover most of those in the form of dumpster diving tips in Maine, and here is our list:

  • You must be equipped with all the necessary tools while dumpster diving. These can include flashlights (for the night), a reflective jacket to keep traffic aware, a bag to collect stuff, and a cutter blade to cut bags and boxes open.
  • Get permission beforehand if you plan to visit a private residential or commercial property. Otherwise, you may get criminally charged or banned from that location.
  • Always stay low and silent while dumpster diving, and ensure you are not causing any littering.
  • Always be aware of all the local rules about dumpster diving on public and private property. Even if the rules are rarely changed, you must stay aware.
  • Make sure you are not wasting a lot of time on one dumpster, and try to cover as many as possible in a short time.

Make sure to follow all of these, and you will have an awesome time while dumpster diving.

Final Words

People from different towns in Maine ask, “is dumpster diving illegal in Maine” and the answer to that depends on their local rules. While it is not illegal in the state, some places have rules prohibiting people from dumpster diving.

So, if you are looking to start your journey, you must check all the local rules, including trespassing rules.

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