Dumpster Diving at Target (Complete Guide)

In the United States, every year, millions of perfectly good items get thrown away, often ending up in dumpsters. 

One of the most surprising places for finding these discarded treasures is Target, a popular retail corporation. 

It’s estimated that Target discards thousands of dollars’ worth of goods every week, ranging from clothing and home decor to tech gadgets and beauty products. 

So, in this article I’ll walk you through is dumpster diving legal at Target, best time, earning potential, and other common questions.

Dumpster Diving at Target

Dumpster Diving at Target

Target Corporation, established in 1962, is one of the largest retail companies in the United States, boasting over 1,800 stores nationwide. 

While well-known for its wide range of merchandise, Target also presents potential opportunities for dumpster diving. 

Dumpster diving at Target can lead to unexpected finds as the company’s policy of discarding unsold items creates opportunities for salvaging usable items.

It’s possible to find everything from furniture to electronics, clothing, and more. 

However, you should remember the condition of items found in dumpsters can range widely, so it’s always important to thoroughly check and clean anything you retrieve.

Is It Illegal to Dumpster Dive at Target

The legality of dumpster diving varies from state to state, and sometimes, even from city to city. 

In certain areas, like California, dumpster diving is considered legal due to the Supreme Court ruling in the California vs. Greenwood case. 

This is because waste materials are considered part of the public domain.

However, when it comes to dumpster diving at Target or other similar commercial properties, the issue becomes more complex. 

Most, if not all, of these commercial establishments have their dumpsters located on private property. 

Trespassing on private property to access a dumpster is illegal, regardless of your intentions.

According to a 2012 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 10 states have laws addressing the issue of dumpster diving. 

Penalties for these offenses can range from small fines to jail time. 

Dumpster diving at Target is not explicitly illegal nationwide, but it could result in trespassing charges depending on your location.

Best Time for Dumpster Diving

The most opportune time for dumpster diving at Target, typically falls between late evening and early morning hours, usually after the store closes, which can be around 10pm to 12am. 

During this period, businesses are often finishing up their daily operations, and as a part of their closing routines, they discard unsold items. 

However, you should respect private property rights and always leave the area as clean as you found it.

How Much Money I Can Make from Dumpster Diving

While it’s challenging to provide an exact figure, seasoned dumpster divers often report earning anywhere from $50 to over $250 per week. 

The amount varies depending on several factors such as location, frequency of dives, and the type of items being salvaged. 

For example, dumpster diving at Target might yield a wide variety of items, from discarded electronics and furniture to unopened food items nearing their expiration date. 

And you can earn a significant amount by selling these items at a yard sale, online marketplace, or flea market. 

For example, Matt Malone, a professional dumpster diver, claims to make over $2500 a month from reselling items he finds in dumpsters. 

What Should I Pick While Dumpster Diving

While dumpster diving at Target, you should focus on items that are in good condition and can be reused or repurposed. 

On average, Target typically throws away items such as display models, slightly damaged goods, or items with minor packaging errors. 

Target reportedly discards around 35% of their electronic goods due to minimal packaging damage or product updates. 

For instance, you may find electronics, toys, home goods, or non-perishable food items that are just past their “sell-by” date but still safe to consume. 

Remember, in 2018 alone, retail stores in the U.S. generated 6.7 million tons of cardboard waste, much of which is still in usable condition. 

Always be mindful and respectful, ensuring you’re not causing a mess or violating any local regulations.

Is Target a Private Property

Yes, Target Corporation operates as a private property. It is a publicly-traded company, it means the public can buy shares and become part-owners, but the actual physical locations of the stores are owned by the corporation itself. 

However, while it’s open to the public for shopping, each Target store is private property, under the control and management of the corporation.

So, if you are planning to dumpster dive at Amazon , Guitar Center, Five Below, or Nebraska; first you should check the state laws before going to your hunt.

Is Target Best Store for Dumpster Diving

Target stores can present opportunities for dumpster diving, but it’s important to note that its efficacy may vary by location and timing.

As per report, Target is recognized for its rigorous waste management policies, including compacting trash to discourage dumpster diving.

However, there are instances where individuals have found items such as lightly-used home goods, discontinued products, and out-of-season merchandise.

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