You know that old saying someone's trash is another person's treasure? Well, you just never know what you will find in the trash, but can you legally dumpster dive for it?

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Well in both Illinois and Missouri you CAN LEGALLY dumpster dive to find that hidden treasure. There is no law saying that you can't, but there is a catch. In both states, you can dumpster-dive all you want as long you don't trespass on someone else's property.


You can legally dive into public dumpsters, pickups, and curbs. But you should not trespass on private premises to do so. Under Illinois law, you could be charged a fine for trespassing if caught diving in a private dumpster.

And it's pretty much the same in Missouri.


Dumpster diving in Missouri is only illegal if you enter private property. This is because you cannot visit such a place without permission. So the owner can call you a thief for dumpster diving. Because of this, the act is illegal, and you will face trouble.

If this is something that you do on a regular basis and you find some fun treasure good for you, just don't make a mess and have someone clean it up for you. That's the least you can do is clean up after yourself. It's nice knowing though that it is legal in both Missouri and Illinois and that you can't get fined or arrested. Just remember not to trespass cause you can then be fined and arrested.

Happy dumpster diving!

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