Dumpster Diving for a Living?

Dumpster Diver in action


Dumpster Diver in action

Aroosa Malik, Photojournalist

Matt Malone, 37, maintains a career as an IT security specialist that earns him a six-figure salary; however, why would he be snooping around the trash in local dumpsters?

As a hobby,  Malone goes dumpster diving and earns up to $1000 – $2500 each night. You might be wondering why would Malone be doing this if he already has a stable financial situation?

Well, Malone reveals that he spends his free time rummaging through dumpsters in near major retail stores such as Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. Once finding his “products”, he then resells them, making a large profit. If Malone had pursued a career as  dumpster diver, his estimated salary would be $600,000 a year. However, Malone believes “it’s so lucrative to consider doing [dumpster diving] full-time but enjoys his actual work too much to quit.”(yahoo.com). According to Andie Alcaraz (11), she believes “Malone did the right thing by not quitting because his job as an IT security specialist will be more stable for him in the future than dumpster diving.”

But isn’t it illegal to rummage through someone else’s waste? No, dumpster diving is entirely legal. However, you cannot be dumpster diving in private property or other restricted areas.

Malone’s goal is to make $250,000 this year just from dumpster diving alone. How will he succeed? Malone will start in building custom-made electronics where he can find small items like printer cartridges and take them to swap meets or yard sales to sell them off. On his first dive, he made a grand total of $3000!

Although dumpster diving would be an interesting career choice, Malone stayed committed to his previous job because he worked diligently through school and earned it. YLHS students can learn from Malone that they should not leave a job they love for something temporary.