Dumpster diving is an interesting way to find free items to reuse, re-purpose and recreate. There is a whole sub-culture of people who anxiously await the arrival of New York junk removal services. These people are not the homeless on the street that one might generally associate with digging through dumpsters. They are simply people looking for a bargain.
If you plan on diving, there are a few things you need to know to keep yourself out of hot water. Dumpster diving was declared legal by the Supreme Court, but there are still guidelines.
Know the local laws. Since trespassing laws vary from state to state, research the laws of your county before you start diving. Otherwise, you could find yourself in some unexpected legal trouble. As a general rule of thumb, trash in public (ready for pickup) is not protected under privacy laws, but trash on private property is. So, under no circumstances should you dive through someone else’s dumpster. Nor should you ever try to pick a lock or otherwise tamper with a locked dumpster.
Next, demonstrate neatness. Take your time. This might sound counter-intuitive but will go far in making sure you do not come back to find these dumpsters locked or encounter an angry owner looking to press charges. Do not make a mess and leave the surrounding area the way you found it.
If you follow the above suggestions, you might be able to legally benefit from another’s furniture removal needs.