Wait a Minute, Can You Legally Dumpster Dive in Iowa?
In and around college towns throughout Iowa, when the students are ready to move out in the spring, and big giant dumpsters are brought on campus, it's likely you'll find some people digging around for buried treasure amongst the trash. Dumpster diving is a way for people to find things for free or at an incredibly low price if they don't mind digging through some trash. You'll find people going through garbage bins looking for just about anything, but is it legal to do in Iowa?
While it may be annoying to some people, it's important to remember that not everyone is digging through trash with bad intentions. People can simply be looking for free food as they haven't eaten all day. At any given time you can find people looking for food in garbage bins at Iowa restaurants.
It may be a bit surprising to find out dumpster diving is legal in Iowa as well as every state in America. According to World Population Review, "as long as the dumpster is on public property, it is legal."
Now, if you plan on doing some dumpster diving, you do need to remember that if you are dumpster diving in an area that is private property, you could be charged with trespassing or theft. World Population Review also mentions that "while no states have regulations against it, counties and cities may have their own laws against dumpster diving."
What happens if someone is caught dumpster diving in Iowa? According to Eco-Friendly Fact, you can't be charged with trespassing if you have permission from the property owner. If you are caught trespassing, you may receive a trespass warning and be banned from that certain area, and if police find out you are trespassing and have been banned from that area, you could in fact be charged with criminal trespassing.
If dumpster diving sounds like something you might be interested in, where are the best places to go in Iowa to do it? Well, Eco-Friendly Fact suggests going to construction sites, cosmetic stores, yard sales, and apartment complexes.
I've never really felt the desire to jump into a garbage bin to see what I could find. They usually smell terrible, have old gross food in them, and who knows if there are animals rummaging around at the bottom of them. If you decide to do some dumpster diving, it can at least be comforting to know it's legal in the state of Iowa.