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by Craig Pryce February 28, 2020

Bin diving is also known as dumpster diving, totting and skipping. It refers to when people attempt to salvage items from either commercial, industrial, residential or construction bins for items they can use.

People often go out, late at night, and search through bins to find out if there is anything being thrown out that they find valuable to use.

Why do people bin dive?

There can be many different reasons for why people bin dive. For some, it is, unfortunately, a necessity due to poverty, and it becomes their only option to get food and clothes.

'Freeganism' is becoming an increasingly popular way of living. Freegans are a group of people that have an ideology of limited participation in the conventional economy, and they often take part in bin diving. They reject consumerism and want to positively impact the environment through retrieving waste.

A lot of people bin dive for the fun of it too, and they enjoy the experience of finding things that they can have for free.

Is bin diving legal?

The legality of bin diving is quite unclear, which can cause confusion as to whether you can do it or not. However, although there are no specific laws on bin diving, there are other laws in place that you can be prosecuted for if you take part in bin diving.

As wheelie bins, dumpsters and waste containers are often on private property, it can be classed as trespassing if people are going through bins without permission.

There have been cases in the past where people have been caught bin diving and prosecuted for theft. While waste is still on the property of the business that owns the land, it belongs to them, and if anyone takes it, it is classed as theft.

 

 Two green bins with overflowing rubbish

Reasons for product waste

With bin diving becoming increasingly popular, it raises the question as to why food products and other waste is ending up in bins in the first place. One reason that supermarkets, for example, end up binning food waste, is because it has reached its ‘use by’ date and can no longer legally be sold to the public.

As well as expiration dates, often products are returned to businesses in a faulty condition. Also, due to a circumstance in the business (e.g. an electric power cut) products may be classed as damaged and cannot be sold to the public.

As well as expiration dates, often products are returned to businesses in a faulty condition. Also, due to a circumstance in the business (e.g. an electric power cut) products may be classed as damaged and cannot be sold to the public.

The dangers of bin diving

Bin diving can be extremely dangerous. Recently, in February 2020, a woman in the USA was dumpster diving but did not come out before the dumpster was serviced, which ultimately lead to her death.

When people are disposing of waste, this can include a variety of dangerous things, such as sharp objects like broken glass and contaminated food which is full of bacteria. Having a bin full of mixed waste not only leads to a growth of bacteria; it can attract rodents which are full of varied and more harmful bacteria.

When bin diving, if people are putting their arms or whole bodies into a bin; they are immediately putting themselves at risk.

Tips on bin diving prevention

Below we have a few tips on how to prevent bin diving and how to keep your wheelie bin area secure:

  1. Keep your bin storage area well lit; this is likely to deter people who want to bin dive.
  2. Install cameras — or 'dummy' cameras to give the illusion of extra security. Again, this will discourage bin divers from coming near your bins as they will not want to be caught on camera.
  3. Put a lock on your bin. Here at Wheelie Bin Solutions, we sell locks that will secure your bin and prevent people from rummaging through any waste you are trying to dispose of. Click here to choose a wheelie bin lock.


Craig Pryce
Craig Pryce

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