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I am a professional writer, artist, musician, website builder, and app developer. I have a Tip Jar for those who might be interested.

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I'm A Professional Dumpster Diver · 4:23pm Aug 10th, 2017

I'm A Professional Dumpster Diver

Yep, you heard that right. I now dig in random dumpsters to earn a living. :')

Don't judge me. <_<

I've already found fishing poles, tons of antique furniture, aquariums, DVD players, Direct TV boxes, desktop computers, laptops, jewelry making kits, craft supplies. PlayStation consuls, MP3 players, craft scissors, jewelry, money, and more!

I estimate that I've found about $100.00 in cash/ change the last month I have been dumpster diving.

I've also been saving the cans from the dumpsters which have brought me an extra $200.00 a month when I take them in to get weighed at the recycling center/ paid for bringing them in.

So basically I've been making $200 a month from the cans, $100 a month from money I find in the dumpster, and a few hundred from the items I've been pulling out of the dumpster (selling to used tech shops, on a for sale app called OfferUp, and so on).

This brings me to about anywhere between $700 to $1000 a month, just from dumpster diving. Sometimes I make even more than that because the furniture I pull out can sometimes bring me several hundred dollars a piece. I can bring the jewelry I pull out to gold/ silver places and get paid for the weight of the gold and silver which adds to the amount.

I guess I can put on my resume now that I make a living from dumpster treasure hunting. :')

I never thought I would say those words in my life. But hey! It pays well and helps support other art stuff I do/ buy things for the apartment/ pay the rent. So I'm happy to be a professional dumpster diver. :')

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Comments ( 43 )

Well if you did that here you would have competition with the gypsies. I also suspect that the gains would be less profitable.

Anyway you know what they say: one person's trash is another person's treasure.

4629668 It is indeed. ;)

I want to start metal detecting as well. You can find some really awesome stuff when you metal detect an area.

It would be cool to do some other kind of treasure hunting as well, like searching for legendary treasure that went missing long ago, gold panning, searching for gold, silver, copper, gems, and other stuff in old mines, and searching for treasure in sunken ships. XD

Huh... i myself sometimes do the occasional dumpster dive, but i rarely find anything worthwhile...

Maybe that's because i live in Finland:applejackunsure:

Ooooh you should use your dumpster diving scuba gear and search for ship wrecks. And yes I do imagine you literally dumpster diving, it's funnier that way.

And hey you can always try to find....the El Dorado!

4629687 Some dumpster diving locations are better than others. I typically have a lot of luck in apartment complex dumpsters. ;)

4629695 Finding ships, planes, and so on that have fallen into the ocean (along with their treasure) would be so much fun! XD

My mom used to dumpster dive as a kid because her family was poor. She'd bring in bottles and cans to the recycling center for some money in return.

Obviously, things are much better now. :derpytongue2:

My mom used to dumpster dive as a kid because her family was poor. She'd bring in bottles and cans to the recycling center for some money in return.

Obviously, things are much better now. :derpytongue2:

4629708 I'm financially doing okay. But it is always good to bring in more money. And I can get a lot from selling the items I find dumpster diving as well as just finding cash in the dumpsters. ;)

I would like to do other types of 'treasure hunting' as well (eventually), such as searching for legendary treasure that went missing long ago, gold panning, searching for gold, silver, copper, gems, and other stuff in old mines, and searching for treasure in sunken ships. XD

Ah I see you plan to conquer....the Bermuda Triangle!

4629713 Ooo that could be a fun place to start. :pinkiecrazy:

And in the end I say look above. To the final frontier! Conquer the stars!

4629723 Yesss. I shall make that a goal as well. Gotta find that planet that is made of diamonds and claim it as my own. <_<

Here you have to get a licence to use a metal detector which pretty much says you'll give anything you find to the council

4629736 You only need a permit in certain cities. Most permits are free, if you have to get them at all. You have to look up local laws and regulations (of each State, Province, etc).

And you get to keep what you find. ;)

If you find treasure (usually found on private land) you would split 50% of the value of the findings with the landowner. Which is still a lot, considering people usually finds millions of dollars worth of treasure (if it is found). Half of that is still a good deal. And of course you will have to pay taxes on what you made as it is a form of income.

However, aside from large treasure hoards, most landowners will just let you keep what you find.

The only times you wouldn't be able to keep something would be if you found a mine with precious metals or gems, which you are supposed to report to the local government officials, you found artifacts from an undiscovered archaeological site or you found bones from prehistoric animals which should also both be reported to a government agency for their preservation.

4629738 I don't think Rarity could bring herself to dumpster dive though. lol

4629757 Yeah but you're in the US I'm not

Consider dumpster diving as mining for gems.

4629763 The laws for metal detecting are pretty consistent in most areas of the world. You could always look up your local laws to see if there are any specific differences. But the laws in the UK for example seem to be the same, with the exception that you can sell historic artifacts to dealers (something you can't do here in The United States, because of The Antiquities Act).

4629766 I actually do find gems while dumpster diving (in the jewelry I find). lol

Better be careful of sharps/used needles, vomit bags, and infectious waste.

One stick from a dirty needle and you'll find that hundred dollars won't go very far.

4629783 I wear gloves, goggles, long pants, long sleeved shirts, etc. when I dumpster dive. I also stick to dumpsters which I know usually don't have hazardous materials in them (like apartment dumpsters, and dumpsters from other specific locations that are more strict in what is put into them). And I can't argue with an extra $700 - $1,000 a month. So I won't be giving up my hobby any time soon. ;)

I also would like to get into other types of 'treasure hunting' too like metal detecting, panning for gold/ silver, looking for ancient treasures that have yet to be discovered, searching for gems/ precious metals in abandoned mines, getting free stuff from storage units that are getting emptied out (which I've actually done a few times), and recovering treasure from sunken ships. XD

f things get any worse for me, I think I'll take up some scavenging myself. I have the right song for that sort of work.

4629828 That's a great song from Cowboy Bebop. I love that anime! It is one of the classics.

If you take up scavenging or dumpster diving, just make sure to wear goggles, gloves, long sleeved shirts, pants, and other protective gear so you don't hurt yourself.

In terms of bags, always make sure to tear a hole from the side and dump the contents out into an area of the dumpster so you can see what is in the bag. If there are weird things after you have dumped out the bag (like needles), don't sift through it and move on.

Some things to keep in mind:

1. Dumpsters can smell really bad, so you might want to bring a face mask if you are sensitive to smells.
2. Never take food out of dumpsters. Even if you see someone from a restaurant or something throw out food, it is pretty much contaminated once it has been thrown in the dumpster.
3. Be in the lookout for dead pets (people throw them away), broken glass, needles, and other hazardous materials when you dumpster dive. If a dumpster looks like it has a lot of iffy materials in it, move on and try a different dumpster.
4. Look out for bed bugs. Bed bugs tend to cling to sheets, clothes, and wood items. Never take clothes or cloth like material out of a dumpster for this reason. Never take out mattresses, couches, or other furniture/ household items that have cloth because bedbugs could be hiding in them. On the other hand, if you examine a wood item and it looks bug-free feel free to snag it but dose the thing in Isopropyl Alcohol 91% (rubbing alcohol) to kill any potential bed bugs hiding in the wood.
5. The best way to dumpster dive is to stand up on the side and pull out bags with a pole arm tool. I wouldn't get in the actual dumpster because you never know what might be in it (like a hazardous material or so on). At least standing from the side and pulling up bags of items, you can dump them out one by one and examine them for items with more control over the situation.
6. Make sure that dumpster diving is legal in your city. Each city has different rules about dumpster diving. For example, it is legal in my particular city, but in other areas of Phoenix, it is not. Realistically speaking, people usually don't care if you dumpster dive. But it is just good to have that extra protection in case some cop or something asks what you are doing. if anyone happens to walk by and question things, just say you are pulling things out to recycle, which is true! Especially if you pull out cans and trade them in for cash, which is a great source of extra money (I do that as part of my dumpster diving).
7. Try to dumpster dive at a time of the day when you won't be noticed, like early in the morning, or late at night.
8. When you dumpster dive, try to be quite to respect people who might be sleeping. If you pull things out to look at them, make sure to put them back in the dumpster when you are done. keep the area clean, like you found it.

If you have any questions about dumpster diving, let me know. i would be happy to answer any questions you may have, ;)

Don't do that unless you need the money, i know of many poor people that do that for a living, so tacticaly you could be taking away someone's living.

4630491 I definitely need the money to get my mom and I out of debt.

My mom and I are pretty poor as it is. But we have debt on top of that because of a complicated story involving a family member trying to kill us for the last eight years.

We are going to food banks. And basically any extra way we bring in income really helps.

But even if we weren't poor, dumpsters are continually filled every day. There are so many items in them that hundreds of people could find money and items in the same dumpster depending on the time of day. We only check the dumpsters in the morning so that leaves the rest of the day for trash to accumulate and people to pick things out of it.


I find that hard to beliebe but i beliebe in you anyway, as far as you need it/have good intentions i am okay with it.

4630498 You would have to read my life story to know context.

I have a journal entry about it here: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/582557/my-crazy-life-story

And yes; everything written in it is true.

Recently I had to do a fundraiser on this site because my mom and I were almost homeless, due to having no money, my mom getting Vikings Disease, which is a disease that causes all of the joints of the body to curl up and not work, which prevented her from getting a job for a while, and left me the only one bringing in income. Fortunately I was able to raise the money for it and my mom was able to find a remote job later.

But we are still catching up for years of being in and out of homelessness, having tons of debt, and running from a family member who intends us harm (which we are still running from).

Anyway, reading my blog on the issue gives a lot of context.


I see...

Why dont you buy a gun? and when this guy comes to harm you BAM

4630703 I had some guns at one point but we had to sell them to pay rent and so on. I do have some other weapons though. I am very well trained in various martial arts/ fighting forms/ weapon combat. If we are attacked by this individual (or someone he sends after us, because he has hired people as well) I will definitely not go out without a fight.

4631099 I mean it isn't my only job, obviously.

It's more like a hobby I get paid for. It's worth it because I can earn a lot of extra money a month, just from the dumpster finds.

4631128 Awww, thank you very much for the encouraging words, my friend. :)

4631141 Many hugs and snuggles to you.

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