Entering dumpsters in search of salvageable items has become somewhat of a sport and hobby among certain crowds. Known as dumpster diving, this endeavor may be enjoyable or profitable for those who participate, but it presents a big risk to anyone who rents a dumpster.
Dumpster diving can be dangerous. Someone could trip and fall or have a heavy object fall on top of them while in a dumpster. A person could step on a sharp object or expose themselves to infectious bacteria.
If any of these injuries happen on your property, the dumpster diver could file a claim with your homeowners insurance company or even sue you. Even if they do not ultimately win their case, you don't want to deal with that hassle.
For this reason, whenever you rent a dumpster, you should take measures to prevent passersby from trespassing and to ensure that if they do trespass, the risk of injury is reduced.
Post a Sign
Not all potential trespassers will heed a warning sign, but many will. If someone does become injured in your dumpster and files a lawsuit against you, the fact that you had a sign posted may be proof enough that you are not at fault for the injuries, and dumpster divers who are familiar with the law may recognize this.
Your dumpster rental company might provide you with a sign. If they do not, purchase one on your own. Look for one that specifically says not to enter the dumpster rather than a vague no trespassing sign. This way, nobody can argue that they were not warned or that they misunderstood the sign.
Lock the Dumpster
When you go inside each evening, lock the dumpster. Few passersby will go so far as to pick the lock or climb into the dumpster from the top. If your rental company does not provide a lock, a basic chain and bike lock will do the trick.
If you're afraid you'll forget to lock the dumpster each evening or every time you're away from the dumpster, set a reminder on your phone to go off every day at a specific time. Also, tell family members, employees, or anyone else who needs to access the dumpster to lock the dumpster or remind you to lock it if they happen to see it open when you're not using it.
Hide Desirable Items
If you live in a busy neighborhood and feel that passersby might be eyeing the items you put in the dumpster, plotting to come remove them later, try to hide items that may be seen as desirable and valuable.
If you throw away old children's toys, for instance, put them in a box or cover them in newspaper first. Put less-desirable items, like old boxes and building materials, on top of and in front of anything someone might be tempted to rescue. Also, consider donating anything that does have some use left in it to charity rather than tossing it in the dumpster.
Keep the Dumpster as Safe as Possible
On the off chance someone does ignore your locks and signs and enters the dumpster anyway, you want to ensure they don't injure themselves. Follow these safety tips when loading your dumpster:
- Never dispose of hazardous chemicals, like paint thinner or cleaning solutions, in the dumpster.
- Package anything sharp up in a box before disposing of it.
- Do not stack items higher than head-level.
- Put heavy items on the bottom.
If you follow the tips above, you should have few to no issues with someone entering your rented dumpster and becoming injured. Renting from the right dumpster company also helps. Contact Pro-Star Roll-Off Dumpsters to learn more about our residential roll-off dumpsters.