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Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Michigan?

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Michigan

Dumpster diving in Michigan can be a great career if you are really into investing yourself in it.

Yep, you read that right. You can make a great living out of your trash adventures in Michigan. All you need is an actionable strategy on board, plenty of time, and a heck of dedication to make the most out of your dumpster dive.

But..wait! Before you dig deep into the dumpsters all over Michigan, you must know the legal status of dumpster diving in Michigan.

Below we shall discuss all you need to know about dumpster diving in Michigan.

Dumpster Diving in Michigan 

Like any other state in the US, Michigan is also an excellent place for wanna-be dumpster divers.

42 shopping malls, 4930 stores, and more affluent places where people dump the like-new items make Michigan one of the best states to dive into dumpsters.

The affluent localities include:

  • East Grand Rapids
  • Grosse Pointe
  • Milan
  • Birmingham
  • Beverly Hills

So, no matter where you decide to kickstart your dumpster dive in Michigan, there’s a great chance that you would haul many resalable items.

Dumpster Diving in Michigan 

Dumpster Diving laws in Michigan 

Dumpster diving searches trash cans, and other containers businesses or residents usually leave out. It’s a great way to find food, old electronics, and other materials that you can use in your own home for free.

As such, there are no laws that prohibit dumpster diving in Michigan.

Most Michigan cities do not prohibit you if you bury your head into a heap of trash and taking out items you find worth gathering. You are taking out edibles or other stuff – it doesn’t matter.

However, to be on the safe side, you must double-check your county and locale’s laws, statutes, and ordinances. They might be different from general state rules.

Dumpster Diving laws in Michigan 

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Michigan 

In Michigan, dumpster diving is NOT illegal.

However, trespassing is prohibited, and you can find yourself in legal trouble if caught doing it.Rummaging through trash cans over private properties is only permissible to any official or someone with the authorization.

So as long as you are not diving into a dumpster on some private property, you are free to dig into the trash cans and gather the stuff.

To make things more straightforward for you, let us elaborate on what we mean when we say private property.

Every business, company, or residence is private property.

With that defined, also remember that if you see a trespassing warning sign that reads “No Trespassing” near a dumpster, then, no matter whether gated or not, that too, is private property. You should refrain from that as well.

And, do you know what makes dumpster diving a legit act in Michigan and many other states of the US?

That US Supreme Court Case of 1988!

In that California vs. Greenwood case, the Supreme Court presented the verdict that when a business or private property owner throws its/their belongings in a public place. They lose their ownership rights right away! Now, if someone else takes their thrown stuff, the former owner does not reserve the right to take any legal action.

“But, what if I accidentally dive into a dumpster I wasn’t supposed to?” (You might ask!)

If that happens you’d be charged for trespassing. That’s for sure.

Plus, if the dumpster you dived in belonged to a business, they also can ban you permanently from their property.

As mentioned earlier, the state doesn’t impose any limitation on anyone found gathering or picking up the dumped stuff, but a few cities do not follow the state rules blindly. They have their own conditions and regulations in place. Let’s look at the legitimacy status of dumpster diving in a few cities in Michigan.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Michigan 

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Detroit, Michigan?

In Detroit, no one is allowed to transfer, pick, or collect the trash from any public dumpster or trash can until and unless they don’t have a license.

As per the Detroit municipal code of regulation no 22-3-1:

If you are found collecting,  disturbing, or transferring street trash from dumpsters without any permit, you might have to pay a fine of a whopping $500, OR in some worst scenarios, you might end up going to jail.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Grand Rapids, Michigan?

Grand Rapids local laws and ordinances do not have any restrictions for dumpster diving. So, we can confidently say that it is not illegal in the Grand Rapids. There are only restrictions and laws about trespassing, that we highly do not recommend.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Flint, Michigan?

Dumpster diving is not illegal in Flint, Michigan. If you are a dumpster diver in Flint, Michigan, just make sure you are cautious, courteous, and a great communicator (in case you encounter any cops during the dive). If you can handle the cops well, you are good to dive into dumpsters as much as you can.

Is Dumpster Diving Illegal in Holland, Michigan?

No, dumpster diving in Holland, Michigan is totally safe and has no restrictions. Plus, you don’t even need a permit or license to dive into Holland’s trash cans. But, yes, make sure you are not found trespassing anyone’s public property. This can have you in trouble.

Can You Go to Jail for Dumpster Diving in Michigan?

The answer is “Yes” and “No.”

Different Michigan cities have different rules for dumpster diving. The obvious answer to this question depends on the local municipality regulations of the area you wish to dumpster dive in. If your local ordinances or statutes deter a diver from rummaging through trash cans without a license, you have to abide by the rules. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying a hefty fine or going to jail.

And, that;s the last thing on earth you would like to face while hauling goods from a dumpster, right?

Best Places to Dumpster Dive in Michigan

If you’re ready to get started on your dumpster diving career, here are some places where you can find lots of stuff:

The best places to go dumpster diving in Michigan are areas where people are unlikely to notice if someone is rummaging through their trash. This means that the best places to look include:

  • Commercial areas with large amounts of trash (like construction sites).
  • Residential areas where people don’t care about what happens to their trash (like backyards).
  • Shopping centers and garage or yard sales where like-new items are dumped in bulk.
  • Cosmetic stores with a huge ratio of dumping a bit of old makeup in order to keep their stock fresh.
Best Places to Dumpster Dive in Michigan

Dumpster diving in Michigan – How Much Money Can You Make?

After we analyzed the money different Michigan dumpster divers were making by devoting 40+ hours a week, we came to know that dumpsters of Michigan have the potential to help you make $1,700 per week.

But, still, it depends on how much effort you make and what plan you have in store to dumpster dive in the different trash cans.

Best Time to Dumpster Dive in Michigan

The best time to dumpster dive in Michigan is right after the sun starts spreading its light early in the morning. However, that is not a restriction. You may choose any time that works the best for you, even if you can dumpster dive in the nighttime.

If anyone tells you that dumpster diving is illegal in Michigan at night it is illegal. Just don’t believe the shit.

Tips for Dumpster Diving in Michigan

Below we are sharing a few tips that you can use to successfully dumpster dive in Michigan.

  • Stay organized and motivated. Don’t lose hope after visiting only a few dumpsters and finding them locked.
  • Decide on your dive’s purpose. Want to hoard food? Just go to a dumpster near grocery or food stores. Want make up products? Go to the dumpsters near cosmetic stores.
  • Don’t ruin your dive just because you were nervous and scared. Manage your fear. Take your time and be confident while you are on your haul.
  • Take all the supplies with you that you might need. Say, bring boxes to fill up and headlight if you are diving at night.
  • Go with a friend or another diving partner who’d help you out when the need arises.
Tips for Dumpster Diving in Michigan

Final Words

That was all about dumpster diving in Michigan. Hopefully, we have thrown light on all the potential aspects of dumpster diving in the state.

So, if you were thinking of pursuing dumpster diving in Michigan, it’s a “go” from our side!

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