ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Garbage Picking for Profit

Updated on February 27, 2011

What is Garbage Picking?

Garbage-Picking (curb crawling, dumpster diving, or trash casher) is the act of taking another person's garbage that still may have value. When someone puts garbage cans out on the curb, by law they are open to the public to take (not the cans themselves, but their contents). Dumpsters and other public waste places are as well. This article will show you how to make money from this 'business.'

What do I need to do to get started?

This depends on what your after, if anything in particular. I personally use my friend's pickup truck so I never run out of space. I would also suggest long sleeve shirts and gloves for health reasons. Besides that all you need is a plan!

What do I look for?

  1. Furniture- couches, tables, benches, chairs, desks
  2. Appliances- washers, dryers, microwaves, computers, etc.
  3. Sporting goods
  4. Holiday items- boxes, ornaments, lights
  5. Anything of potential value, really


Where do I go?

This is important to succeed. You need to go to a wealthy, high class neighborhood. Usually these people have enough money not to bother with selling old furniture, appliances, etc on Ebay or Craigslist. Going to a lower class town will defeat the whole purpose and offer more competition to find items. 99% of garbage pickers aren't exactly living large.

When do I go?

This part is also crucial and different for each person. Go out the night before or the morning of 'heavy pickup' day. This is when people curb their furniture, heavy electronics, and other large items such as wood and rugs. In my town Wednesday is 'heavy pickup' day, so Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I am out with my pickup truck.
Even holidays offer much potential. Before and after Christmas is usually a gold mine. People throw out things that aren't even broken! Ornaments, lights, boxes, the opportunities are endless.
Another time to go is around the time high school and, particularly, college ends. College dorm appliances (mini-refrigerators, desks, lamps, storage boxes) are thrown in in great shape.

General Tips

  • Stay away from dumpsters or dumps. It is just disgusting
  • Bring towels or sheets. Don't scratch your car!
  • Just take it. Don't worry about a broken part or if it works or not. Chances are the rich family was too lazy to buy the $5 replacement part. Plus the more you pick, the more potential replacement parts you can salvage. Even better, as you probably have done before, most parents, in anger and frustration, will throw out an item the kids don't use anymore. This item is probably in excellent shape!
  • Leave kitchen trash bags and anything related to beds alone. Its just gross.
  • Don't buy replacement parts or fix an item until you know the potential profit. Don't spend a week repairing a table that is worth nothing!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dragonflyfla profile image


      5 years ago from South Florida

      I will grab items I see - fix them up and sell them on craigslist. I don't go looking though, I did for about a month and stopped. I won't grab beds or couches or anything like that for the chance of bugs. Dressers, desk etc are great. The artist in me loves to play with it to see what I can do.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm looking for metals there is money to be back. THanks

    • the50marathons17 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Don, I could see construction sites being a great place to check out dumpsters. Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I personally have found many good things in dumpster containers, especially roll off dumpsters at construction sites.

    • the50marathons17 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Very true gion.

    • gion profile image


      7 years ago

      If you live in a city, Late June, when the colleges are out, is a great time to explore. A lot of foreign students will buy everything while they are here, and just leave it on the curb, perfectly, or mostly fine, when they go home.

    • the50marathons17 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Your welcome! I'm glad you liked it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)