Dumpster Diving in Oklahoma (Ultimate Guide 2024)

Did you know that each year, Oklahomans throw away tons of items that have plenty of life left in them? 

This includes everything from furniture to food, all ending up in dumpsters. 

So, some folks, known as dumpster divers, have made a hobby or a lifestyle out of seeking out these discarded treasures. 

In this article I’ll walk you through whether it is legal dumpster diving in Oklahoma, what are the best places, earning potential, and legal expectations. 

Dumpster Diving in Oklahoma

Dumpster Diving in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known for its bustling cities like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and dumpster diving is an activity that has grown in popularity. 

Oklahoma, population is approximately four million people, which offers you a diverse variety of shopping experiences.

These shopping experiences range from large malls like Penn Square Mall and Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City, to smaller shopping centers scattered across towns. 

These places generate tremendous amounts of waste material, which paves the way for opportunities in dumpster diving. 

So, with the right approach you can discover useful items that have been discarded.

Is It Illegal to Dumpster Dive in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, dumpster diving isn’t explicitly illegal. However, if a dumpster is on private property or if it’s prominently marked with a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, then could lead you to a misdemeanor charge for trespassing. 

Dumpster diving may also be subject to local city or county ordinances, so you should check and adhere to these local rules. 

In order to avoid any legal trouble, you should seek permission from the property owner before diving into a dumpster. 

Dumpster diving might be a way to find hidden treasures, but you should respect private property and local laws.

Is Dumpster Diving Legal At Night?

Dumpster diving in Oklahoma at night isn’t illegal; but there are certain caveats you should be aware of. Firstly, trespassing on private property is a violation of the law. 

Secondly, any trash that is in a designated area for collection is considered public in some jurisdictions. 

However, if the trash is not in a designated area or the dumpster is clearly marked as private, taking items could be considered theft. 

Best Places to Dumpster Dive in Oklahoma

This state is known for its friendly folks and diverse range of goods that can be found in dumpsters. 

The state has quite a few hot spots where you can turn up surprising finds. 

Tulsa is one of the top places, because of its numerous apartment complexes and retail stores often tossing out lightly used furniture, clothing, and electronics. 

Oklahoma City is another hotspot due to its population density and a high turnover of goods. 

Local university towns such as Norman and Stillwater, are known to yield a good haul, as students often discard usable items while moving out.

So, you should check out the areas around thrift stores as well; they often have to dispose of excess donations. 

Here are a few main spots that I think will be best for you to dumpster dive; check out the list below:

  • Garage Sales
  • Hardware Stores
  • Cosmetic Stores
  • Bakery
  • Book Stores
  • Toy Stores
  • Construction Sites

Earning Potential of Dumpster Diving in Oklahoma?

So, it largely depends on the effort you put in, the locations you target, and the type of items you are able to recover. 

While it’s hard to provide a definitive figure due to the variability of these factors. 

However, some seasoned dumpster divers reportedly make anywhere from $20 to $100 per week, from selling scrap metal and recyclables. 

If you’re particularly lucky or skilled, finding valuable items like electronics, furniture, or collectibles that are in good condition can significantly boost your income. 

However, you should note that dumpster diving involves a lot of time and effort, and the income can fluctuate greatly. 

So, if you are planning to dumpster dive at Walmart, Dollar General, or Ulta ; you should check these state laws before going to your hunt.

What is the Best Time to Go Dumpster Diving?

The best time to go dumpster diving largely depends on your local regulations and the specific locations you’re targeting. 

However, many experienced dumpster divers suggest going after dusk or in the early morning hours, typically between 8 PM and 6 AM.

This time there is less foot traffic and businesses are close; which keeps the activity discreet. Also you should be aware of trash collection schedules in your area. 

Dumpster diving the night before or the morning of trash collection can yield the most finds, as this is when people typically take out their trash. 

What Should I Pick from Dumpsters?

When you are dumpster diving, you should look out for certain items that can be resold and have a potential. 

Here is the list: 

  1. Furniture: Often, people throw out furniture that is in decent condition. You could find chairs, tables, desks, and even bed frames.
  2. Electronics: Many people throw out electronics that are outdated but still functional. Look for things like computers, TVs, and kitchen appliances.
  3. Books and Magazines: These are often thrown out and can be a treasure trove for those who enjoy reading.
  4. Household Items: Keep an eye out for things like lamps, mirrors, picture frames, and kitchenware.
  5. Clothing: Sometimes, people throw out clothing that can be washed and worn. Be sure to wash any clothing you find thoroughly before wearing.


Wikipedia | Simon | Quail springs mall | City of Tulsa | Normanok | Stillwaterok

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