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Is It Illegal To Dumpster Dive at a Construction Site?

In recent years, the popularity of dumpster diving has spread from those experiencing homelessness or other insecurity to those who are simply opportunistic and out to turn a profit. Some savvy people have figured out that you can find perfectly good items to sell, leading them to dumpster dive primarily at retail locations. However, some people have branched out into dumpster diving at construction sites.

Why Would Someone Dumpster Dive at a Construction Site?

Dumpster diving at construction sites may seem counterintuitive, as the majority of material in the dumpster is likely to be debris. However, there is a growing market for salvaged wood and scrap metal, both of which may be found when buildings are being renovated, remodeled, or demolished. Copper piping, for example, fetches a reasonable price. When abandoned homes are demolished, the entire contents of the house often go into the dumpster, and people can find unexpected treasures that make the physical and legal danger feel worth it.

What Does the Law Say About Construction Site Dumpster Diving?

In general, it depends on where the dumpster is placed. Dumpster diving is legal in all 50 states, as long as the dumpster is on public property. Many cities or municipalities make their own rules on dumpster diving, however. With construction, it’s very rare for a dumpster to be placed on public property.

In order for construction contractors to get insurance for each job, they must meet a variety of requirements, typically including a defined area of work with limited access. The dumpster is generally placed within that area on the private property of the entity that is paying for the job, making it patently illegal to dumpster dive on the site.

What Are the Consequences of Dumpster Diving at a Construction Site?

If you are caught dumpster diving at a construction site, the punishment will depend on local laws and other circumstances. The most common charge is criminal trespassing, which may carry a fine or even jail time. If you are also causing damage to the construction site, you could be charged with vandalism. If convicted, you’ll carry a criminal record for life.

Up Your Dumpster Defense

When you order a dumpster from Next Day Dumpsters, we do our best to place it in an out-of-the-way location or within clearly marked private property boundaries to prevent dumpster diving incidents. We also remove construction site debris for you to keep tempting materials off the property.

Call Next Day Dumpsters today at (877) 586-9199 or request a quote online to get fast dumpster delivery and debris removal for your construction site. 

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