Where to Dumpster Dive in Pittsburgh

I’ve been working hard to figure out where the good dumpster are in Pittsburgh. It’s helped me get to know how to get around Pittsburgh and see new areas. The disappointing part is that city dumpster are frequently disappointing. Luck for me I have Ultimate Frisbee games I play are out of the city allowing me to catalog dumpsters outside of the city and giving me a fuller picture of where to go. My next goal is to figure out how to get to these via bike.

Screenshot from 2013-07-08 08:33:19

Currently I have 126 markers in total and 74 of which are dumpsters that are unlocked and accessible and nearly half of those cataloged are in the Pittsburgh area. Overall the dumpster here aren’t of great quality but there are some decent dumpsters. If you ever happen to be travelling around looking for dumpsters I would suggest a few stores, Aldi, Panera, Dunkin Donuts, Bottom Dollar Foods, Food Lion, Weis Markets. These, more times than not, have dumpsters and most likely have something in their trash worth taking.

Begining to dumpster dive, or diving in a new place is hard, I always try to start doing it with a friend if possible, it always make me feel more comfortable. But fellow divers out there remember that there is stuff in the dumpster, dig, search and don’t be afraid to peer or hop in a dumpster. Don’t just make it a college or momentary thing make it a life thing!


Took down the map link down for an undetermined period of time. I’m unsure of the pro/cons of encouraging dumpster diving via such a method. I think there is more than enough food for everyone, but there were well over 100 people viewing this yesterday (01/08/14).


16 thoughts on “Where to Dumpster Dive in Pittsburgh

  1. Hi,

    Very interesting article- I am looking at exploring the possibility of dumpster diving in the Pittsburgh area.

    From your experience, are there any days that are better to dive than others? Do stores have special trash days where they get rid of the most stuff?

    • I would definitely suggest dumpstering in Pittsburgh area. It’s a great place to do it. If you can the suburbs are always better, less competition and less fear by stores of divers so they food is mixed up with coffee grinds or other such things.

      As for days to dive it’s hard to say. Sometimes I believe certain days are good – other days I don’t. Recently TJs has seemed to be good on Thursday nights after midnight. But that may just be in my head. You have picked the perfect time to start diving – the dumpster are kept at the same temperature as your refrigerator. Let me know how it all goes for you.

      Hope to meet you in person in a dumpster
      Happy Diving

    • The strip district had some good stuff, got lots of flowers, veggies, popcorn place had a HUGE bag of Carmel popcorn too 🙂

  2. Hey there! Need blog, neat idea.

    This post got linked to via social media, and unfortunately it’s being discussed that this idea has been had in the past, and ultimately rejected because it could spoil these sites. If the map gets shared enough, “every hipster in Pittsburgh” could start going after these sites, and forcing the dumpster owners to padlock them or move them, or even compel officers of the peace to get involved. Which would be a shame, because some people rely on dumpsters like these.

    A few people are in fact getting riled up about it. I appreciate the hard work you put into it and the sentiment, but you might want to consider taking it down and sharing it in some manner far more on the down low.

    • This type of thing always tears me two directions. One wanting more people to dive and utilize this great trash. And one fearing that padlocks and compactors may actually happen.

      I have taken the link down for now considering the influx of views it has experienced in the past 24 hours.

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment.

  3. dude you shouldnt post shit like this online, this is how dumpsters get shut down, it happened in pittsburgh once before!

    • Too late. Many of the marked spots have already been ruined. Aldi now locks theirs, others are contaminating goods, etc.. This is why blogs of this sort are frowned upon, and why when they are posted, people are quick to make it clear that it is bad form.

      • I must say I’m not sure what you are talking about. I have noticed very little change in diving since the recent surge in traffic just over a week ago. Not to mention the fact that I went to Aldi’s last night and it was not locked.

        If you are trying to make a point don’t fill it with falsehoods and exaggerations.

  4. I live South of the city, Washington area. Is there anyone that would be able to come with me a few times so I could used to the idea. I recently did one place and that’s because I knew they were going out of business and I thought it was so INSANE to throw away whatever was left in the store. (Was a fabric store) So I went that night that I knew they would be tossing and basically took the whole dumpster home. But I seen how frugal this is and with 6 kids and I can do FRUGAL in a huge way. We get no public assistance and spend almost $1200 a month just on groceries. So I have been researching this a lot and think this would be an excellent way for me to cut back on my food expenses and spend/save elsewhere! So would someone be interested to sorta take me under their wing per say!?

  5. I worked at a Midas Muffler Shop for a while and folks would sometimes dumpster dive for scrap metal in our dumpster.

  6. This site is awesome. Thanks so much for posting. I think it’s also worth noting that CMU students are moving out today and the streets are lined with one student’s trash, another student’s treasure. Found all sorts of things last night.

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