Why Would Someone Go Through Your Trash? (EIGHT REASONS)

Of the things that matter in your home, trash usually ranks the least.

In fact, many people are not bothered with the trash once they have landed in the outdoor garbage can(s).

However, it raises eyebrows when you see somebody dipping their hands in your trash.

So, Why Would Someone Go Through Your Trash?

Well, people forage through your garbage to find discarded material that could benefit them. In most cases, dumpster diving is aimed at stealing your personal information. But some homeless people go through your trash to find food or something valuable they can exchange for food.

When you find somebody rummaging through your trash, don’t be quick to confront them.

It could be a homeless person looking for food, clothes they can wear, or someone trying to find usable electronics.

Your trash is their treasure.

Eight Reasons Why People Go Through Your Trash

1. To Make Extra Money

Although you may not salvage from used items, an extra coin is valuable for a lowlife person.

People forage through waste bins and cans to look for valuable items they can sell.

2. To Look For Food

It is a common practice in developed countries to throw away excess food once you are full.

So, it is not unimaginable that someone could find it in the trash can.

Charitable organizations also go around restaurants and supermarkets collecting excess food to distribute to those in need.

3. To Look For Clothes

People also go through your trash to find discarded clothing.

Thrift shops often offload deadstock and overstocked clothes that cannot be easily resold or accepted by buyers.

Some people take advantage of such clothing when they are thrown away.

4. To Find Electronics

The race to advance with technology is making people damp their old model electronics.

Moreover, they quickly depreciate, and people find upgrading to the new model cheaper than spending money on the repair.

For this reason, owners throw away their old models.

5. Scrap Metal

One most accessible ways to find recyclable metals is to salvage them from trash cans before they are buried in the landfill.

They can then sell to recycling plants or scrap yards willing to accept scrap metals.

6. Empty Cans And Bottles

They may be looking for reusable cans and bottles to take to the stores in exchange for money.

7. To Look For Evidence

A private detective can go through your trash to look for any information that might help build their case.

They will look for your telephone records, bank statements, and other personal documents that you might have tossed into the trash can.

8. To Find Personal Identity Information

Unfortunately, not all who go through your trash have good intentions.

Some are up to no good.

Some criminals are looking for your personal information from discarded documents like bank statements, credit reports, handwritten signatures, and other essential documents that carry your details.

Once they get to those documents, they can gather enough information to steal your identity.

Four Ways To Stop People from Digging in Your Trash

You can use the following ideas to deter people from going through your trash.

1. Put A Padlock On Your Trash Can

It may be an inconvenience, but a padlock will actually prevent someone from rummaging through your trash can.

You must modify your trash can by mounting a lock on the lid and base or strapping it.

On the trash collection day, leave your trash on the curb unlocked to make it easy for trash collectors.

2. Don’t Bring Your Trash Can Out Until Garbage Collection Day

People are less likely to ransack through your trash if they are within your property.

If your home has one, you can station your trash can in the garage. Bring the trash out only when it is ready for collection.

3. Put The Trash Out In The Morning

Most people take the trash out at night, yet the collection happens in the morning.

If you take out the garbage in the morning, you will not have to deal with dumpster diving that happens at night.

4. Make It Hard For People To Get Your Personal Information

You may be dealing with many documents that carry your essential details, such as your home address, banking details, and date of birth.

These crucial details cannot be thrown into the rubbish bin and made accessible to criminals.

All you need to do is to shred these documents before throwing them in the recycle bin.

And once you have put the shredded paper in the recycle bin, mix them up to ensure that somebody cannot piece them together so quickly.

Destroy your data before throwing away your electronic gadget. We store a lot of personal data in our computers and smartphone that is easily retrievable if they fall into the wrong hands.

So, before you dispose of your old computer or laptop, destroy the hard drive if it is a smartphone, and format it before throwing away.

Final Words

Although some people go through a garbage can for a reasonable cause, some come with sinister motives.

It is generally legal for people to go through trash so long as it is in a public area.

However, it is annoying when someone rummages through your trash and leaves a mess behind.

Fortunately, there are measures you can take to discourage this disgusting habit, as we have highlighted above.