Best Days Of The Week, Month, and Year To Dumpster Dive

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You can find unbelievable treasures discarded as trash by people while dumpster diving. It lends credence to the saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But do you really need to dive 365 days a year to get lucky? It turns out there are specific days when your odds of striking gold are higher.

Tuesday and Friday are the best days of the week to dumpster dive around markets, while the last days of the month are best for diving in public dumpsters near apartment complexes. You can also find valuable items dumpster diving after Black Friday and Christmas.

This article will help you increase your dumpster diving efficiency so you come out with valuable finds each time you dive. It goes over the best days to dive into specific areas and our reasons behind each. You will also discover reselling tactics and strategies peppered throughout this post alongside a particular type of dumpster not covered above.

Best Days Of The Week To Dumpster Dive

Tuesdays: Restocking

Tuesday can be the best day of the week to dumpster dive if you dive near a commercial plaza.

Dumpsters near malls, shopping centers, and even small groceries are brimming with dive-worthy treasures on Tuesday nights. The primary reason for this is the general restocking schedule of most commercial establishments.

The first restocking shift happens on Tuesdays. But this isn’t always guaranteed because:

  • Some establishments restock every day of the week
  • Others restock every other day

Mondays are rarely chosen for restocking because that’s the day when inventory updates are made.

If you want to be sure when the big stores near you restock, try asking for a product they don’t usually have. Ask them when you can expect it to be in the store. You will learn about the specific day on which the store restocks.

Fridays: Restocking

If it isn’t Tuesday, it is likely Friday when your neighborhood market restocks. Generally, markets supply once on Tuesday and once on Friday.

The item types differ, though: Fridays are usually for foodstuff restocking, while Tuesdays are for apparel and non-perishables.

Pro-Tip: Try your luck on Friday and Tuesday.

Best Days Of the Month To Dumpster Dive

End of the Month: People Are Moving Out

With the days of the week out, let’s go over days of the month when you’re most likely to find dumped treasures. If you dumpster dive near apartment complexes, you are guaranteed to find plenty of exciting items around the end of the month.

People usually move at the end of the month, and they cannot afford to move everything. Since the packing period starts five days early, the last five days of the week are crucial for dumpster divers.

One can find anything ranging from baby toys to furniture items. Unlike shopping centers, apartment complexes don’t usually keep dumpsters on their property either.

The sidewalk dumpsters are fair game in almost all states. Still, you should check our post on the legal status of dumpster diving in different states.

Beginning of the Month: People Are Moving In

Around the start of the month, new tenants move into apartment complexes. So don’t stop diving just because old tenants have dumped everything they could not move with.

New tenants have their reality checks upon arriving at their new apartments. Firstly, they may find that the space is insufficient for the things they brought. This can lead to a pile of discarded items!

They often find the stuff left behind by the old tenants and get rid of it. It is worth noting that you won’t have as many dumpster finds at the beginning of the month as at the end of a month. But hang around an apartment complex if a Tuesday or a Friday calls for a market-adjacent dumpster dive.

Best Days of the Year To Dumpster Dive

While Tuesdays, Fridays, and the beginning and the end of months are lucrative for dumpster diving in different locations, there are a few special periods on the calendar when diving can be exceptionally lucrative.

These are worth marking out because you may want to travel to a bigger city nearby to minimize the odds of getting more valuable dumpster finds.

End of School Semester: Dorms Are Being Cleared

Whenever school wraps up, the dorm dumpsters get filled with leftovers from the academic year. From old books (here’s how to make money selling used books on Amazon) to beer kegs that make for excellent scrap metal, plenty of stuff gets dumped into the dorm dumpsters.

Please note that dorm dumpsters can be on dorm premises, and diving might constitute trespassing. Before you go dumpster diving near a dorm building, make sure the dumpsters are on public property.

After Christmas

Stores get seriously stocked before Christmas because Santa has to buy gifts. But when Christmas arrives, Chocolate Santas lose their value on store shelves.

They get thrown into the market dumpster. And chocolates are far from the only products that get dumped after Christmas. Everything Christmas-related, including Santa hats, candy canes, and decorations, gets thrown away.

If you can hold your finds for 11 months, you might be able to sell the non-perishables at a steep markup because it would be Christmas time again.

Non-Christmas-related items like toys, etc., are even more lucrative because they can be resold independent of timing. But they are not as abundant in market dumpsters.

The Saturday After Black Friday

Do you really have to wait till after Christmas to get the best stuff from your market dumpster?


In fact, you can use dumpster finds to give Christmas gifts. Black Friday is the peak of capitalistic synergy, where consumers and producers engage in a day of mutually beneficial transactions. Retailers see a boom in consumer traffic while customers find deals they would never find elsewhere.

Dumpster divers find even better deals as they get free products when the store shelves are cleared for new merchandise. Expect to find items that need some repair work. You will find a wide range of electronic items from flatscreen TVs to remote control cars.

There are multiple tug-of-war sessions between customers trying to get underpriced products. These items incur scratches and dents. Abiding by item condition policies, stores often throw away things.

During the regular season, damaged items can be sent back to the manufacturer for exchange. But black Friday items are on clearance, which means the manufacturer doesn’t handle repairs. The store simply throws away anything that gets damaged during black Friday.

Not everything you find after Black Friday is damaged.

You can find plenty of perishables like chocolate boxes and intact items in scratched packages. Needless to say that these, too, are lucrative finds worth diving for.

Final Thoughts

The best days on any given week for dumpster diving are Tuesdays and Fridays, and the best location is the public dumpster nearest to a retail establishment. However, as you draw closer to the end of the month, diving into public dumpsters next to apartment complexes becomes more lucrative.

The art of dumpster diving is all about being in the right place at the right time instead of committing to one dumpster. After black Friday and Christmas, you want to be near market dumpsters, and as the school semester closes, you should be around dorm dumpsters.

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