Nothing is as frustrating as one of those rare moments when you accidentally throw something into a trash dumpster. That moment you toss your trash bags in and see your keys go along for the ride is the worst. In Colorado, is it illegal to go in after them?

Keep reading to find out what makes dumpster diving legal or illegal, depending on where you are in the Centennial State.

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What Does Colorado Law Say About Dumpster Diving?

You are allowed to dive into dumpsters in Colorado that are on public property or dumpsters that are unlocked and dumpsters that do not display a "No Trespassing" sign. It's the location of the dumpster that can make dumpster diving illegal in Colorado.

If the dumpster you want to dive into is on private property, is locked, or displays a no-trespassing sign, you are trespassing by going inside it. This is the main thing that can make your dive illegal in Colorado. It's all about the location of the dumpster.

If the dumpster belongs to a business or a private residence, you can not dive in it. If you have to open a gate, cross a fence, or see any "no trespassing" signs, you would be breaking the law by diving into that dumpster. Find more pro tips in the complete guide to Colorado Dumpster Diving from

Dumpster Diving Notes in Colorado

Dumpster diving is legal in most states in America following a ruling from 1988 (State of California VS Greenwood). This case established a person's garbage has no right to privacy once thrown away. It's also important to note that county law, city law, or a business's guidelines will all still apply to a dumpster. Researching this before rummaging through dumpsters will help keep you from going in the wrong ones.

Dumpster Diving For Profits

The most popular places to go dumpster diving include wealthy neighborhoods, garage sales, retail store dumpsters, construction sites, and cosmetic stores.

Some people treat this as a side hustle. Electronics and other items in dumpsters can often be sold on eBay or Facebook Market Place. In 2021, Business Insider wrote up a story about a New York couple that made $3000 a month doing this.

LOOK: It Is Illegal To Throw These Things Away In Colorado

There are 14 items that should never be thrown out with the trash in Colorado. Check out this helpful list of hazardous waste reminders that should never go in the garbage in Colorado. While some of these items can be turned in on local hazardous waste collection days, six items on this list can get you into big trouble if you are caught dumping them at a landfill.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

NEXT UP: Crazy Old Colorado Laws That Are Still Enforced Today

We all know that we need laws and law enforcement to keep our communities civilized. But it's amazing how many outdated laws are still on the books across our beautiful country.

After looking at OutThere Colorado and Uncover Colorado I put together a list of ridiculous laws that are still in effect here in the state that we call home.

KEEP GOING: 18 State Laws Colorado Residents Want to Get Rid Of

As Colorado residents, we're asking you what state laws you think are outdated or unnecessary. Would you get rid of the state income tax or something else? Scroll through the comments below to see which laws Colorado is ready to get rid of.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams