If you have ever had to make the trip down to the bottom of a trash dumpster, I hope it was due to dropping your keys or your phone down in it. A trash dumpster is not a very nice place to be in Grand Junction or anyplace else.

Once in a while, you may notice a pair of feet sticking up out of a dumpster as someone has decided to go down after something inside. Is this illegal to do in Colorado?

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Dumpster Diving in Colorado

What does the law say? Dumpster diving is NOT illegal in the state of Colorado as long as you are not trespassing on private property. If a dumpster is on public land there are no legal issues according to Ecofriendlyfact.com.

Important Colorado Dumpster Diving Notes

While it's generally accepted that dumpster diving is legal in Colorado, a case could be made that it's already legal in all 50 states (State of California vs. Greenwood, 1988). It is important to remember that county law, city law, or a business's own guidelines all still apply. If you really want a carefree dive you must research this before you start rummaging through dumpsters.


If a dumpster belongs to a private business or is located at a private residence then you can not touch it. That would be trespassing. If you need to open a gate, cross a fence, or go past a "no trespassing" sign, then you should avoid going into that particular dumpster. Find more pro tips in the complete guide to Colorado Dumpster Diving from Moneyworths.com.

The Profits of Dumpster Diving in Colorado

Believe it or not, some people treat dumpster diving kind of like a profession. They look for electronics or other things they may be able to salvage and then turn around on a site like eBay, or Facebook Market Place. Business Insider wrote up a story about a New York couple that made $3000 a month doing this.

13 Crazy Colorado Laws That Make No Sense

There are laws everywhere - a lot of them we know about and abide by every day. But, there are others I'm willing to bet you knew nothing about.

MORE: There's A Legal Limit to Owning These 16 Colorado Animals

These Colorado animals may be common, but it's illegal to collect more than 4 in a year and you can't own more than 12 in all:

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