40+ Fortuitous Dumpster Divers Who Found Real Treasures Amid Piles Of Trash

By Jhoana C

This article was originally published on weregreenly
Dumpster diving doesn’t always mean literally diving into a dumpster and fishing around until you find something. Nor is it reserved for the desperate or down on their luck. It’s actually a great way to reduce waste, especially since many people throw things out without knowing that they have value or can simply have a second life.A lot of people have uncovered priceless items during dumpster diving and this has gotten so popular lately that there is now a subreddit dedicated to it. People online have been sharing their enviable finds and those who were less lucky could only look in disbelief and also pray that one day the gods will smile upon them and hand them the find of a lifetime. Scroll down for the times when dumpster diving proved fortuitous. Who knows; one day, you might just submit your entry, too.

#1 What a gorgeous dress!

This lady has got to be one of the luckiest girls in the world for finding this dress while dumpster diving. The tag on it says $90 but she got it for nothing. What’s even better is that it was in pristine condition and was her exact size.
Image courtesy of CanyouODonFRC/Reddit
She didn’t even need to make alterations to the dress; it seemed as if it was made especially for her. Now the only thing she needs is a special event where she can wear the dress. Indeed, Lady Luck was on her side.

#2 Why would someone throw these cards away?

Today everything is digital. Gone are the days when people took pen to paper to express their gratitude, send their best wishes, and put their thoughts in writing. Nowadays, people have online journals and send GIFs when they want to wish others a happy birthday.
Image courtesy of adgb6/Reddit
But nothing beats receiving greeting cards and physical letters from people. This teacher hit the jackpot when she found a stack of pristine, still-sealed, cards in the dumpster. It looks like it’ll be easier for her to write heartfelt Valentine’s Cards for her students.

#3 Smile more!

At first glance, we thought this was cheese, but taking a closer look, the details come into place. It’s a box of dental casts. Our main concern with this is that the casts look like they have the names of the patients. These should have been destroyed rather than thrown out intact.
Image courtesy of hailey199666/Reddit
The OP said that it was the coolest find of the night but we don’t see anything cool about it. In fact, it creeped out a lot of people. We hope that these are molds from braces, not dentures. We don’t want to think about where the patients are now.

#4 This makes us feel old

This photo makes us feel both nostalgic and old. We used these precision instruments during secondary school and university, and we never thought we’d say this, but we suddenly miss those days. These babies were the constant companions of people who studied engineering and drawing.
Image courtesy of Cult7Choir/Reddit
The OP thought this was worth saving, and we wholeheartedly agree with him. We can think of several people who can benefit from these compasses. From their make, we can tell that this set must be worth a lot of money.

#5 Lucky green thumb

If you were someone who has a green thumb and you found a whole lot of plants in the dumpster, what would you do? You’d most probably take them home and give them all the love and care they deserve.
Image courtesy of BoBandy679/Reddit
That’s exactly what this person did. We can only imagine the happiness on her face when she saw these plants. If you have the space, why not put it to good use by housing these lovely greens? This find was a win-win.

#6 A delight for coffee lovers

There are at least a billion coffee drinkers in the world and two billion cups of coffee are consumed daily worldwide. If you’re a coffee lover and you chanced upon this espresso machine, would you be happy? We bet our bottom dollar that you will be!
Image courtesy of PatSabre12/Reddit
This divine espresso machine was found sitting on top of a garbage can. Oddly enough, it worked perfectly. The dumpster diver who found this was guessing that the owner must have been too lazy to clean it, so decided to throw it away.

#7 Was this the best or worst prank?

This OP went through the trouble of saving this mannequin leg from the dumpster and bringing it home so that he could bury it in his neighbor’s yard for the perfect April Fool’s Day joke. He said that it was worth it, but we’re not sure his neighbor felt the same way.
Image courtesy of PatSabre12/Reddit
One person pointed out that doing such a thing in Germany is illegal and is called a “pretense of a crime.” Pulling such a stunt won’t make the police laugh their hearts out and might even give your neighbor a heart attack.

#8 Time for some banana bread

Some estimates say that, all over the world, over 100 billion bananas are consumed annually. That’s quite a lot of bananas if you ask us! Bananas are good for you because they contain potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Image courtesy of Reddit_IbarelyKnowIt/Reddit
As much as other people love bananas, some abhor them and good proof of that is the photo you see above. Those lovely and delicious bananas were found by the OP in a dumpster. We can already smell fragrant banana bread being baked in the oven.

#9 Kayak for free

Kayaking is one of the most popular water sports today. In the United States alone, almost 19 million people went kayaking at least once in 2021. And the sport has seen an increase in popularity in the country since 2021.
Image courtesy of Seamair_/Reddit
If you haven’t tried kayaking yet, now is the best time to do it, and if you’re lucky like this OP’s dad, there’s no reason not to go kayaking every weekend or every time you’re free because now he’s got his very own kayak, thanks to dumpster diving.

#10 We’d like to unravel this bunting

We’re thinking that the person who threw this out either didn’t see the money in the buntings or was too lazy to unravel the buntings. Either way, we say that the OP who found this and rescued it from the dumpster deserves all the money.
Image courtesy of heckenyaax/Reddit
This was from the OP’s neighbor who recently graduated and moved out. Did he get a high-paying job that eliminated the need to save the few dollars gifted to him during graduation? We can only surmise. We wish him all the best.

#11 What a score!

Now, this is a score! Not only did the OP get decent-looking clothes, but they also got a brand-new bag! Have you ever had such good luck? We’ve never been fortuitous enough to get a brand-new bag without spending a single cent.
Image courtesy of KingOfCranes/Reddit
Hilariously, people on the net wanted to know what was done with the “body,” seeing as this is basically what a person would bring if they decided to run away. Admittedly, we are also curious to know what happened to the owner of this stuff.

#12 Be ready to call some spirits

Created in Baltimore, Maryland in 1890, the Ouija board was once considered both a tool of the devil and a harmless family game. Talking boards such as the Ouija were once the rage during the 19th century, and spiritualists couldn’t get enough of them.
Image courtesy of DamnedAngelZero/Reddit
This vintage 1960s Ouija board found in a dumpster must cost a lot of money today. They don’t make many talking boards this big anymore, and other than the missing planchette, it’s in pristine condition. Maybe the spirits can tell the OP who threw out the board.

#13 These would make our day

Le Creuset is one of the most recognized and trusted names when it comes to Dutch ovens and cookware. The company was established in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, Octave Aubecq and Armand Desaegher, and the business was set up in Aisne, France.
Image courtesy of BigPoppaJay/Reddit
Anyone who loves cooking and baking knows the brand well and would be delighted to receive any kind of Le Creuset cookware. This person is very lucky to have scored two Dutch ovens for absolutely nothing. We can’t imagine anyone throwing them in the dumpster; maybe they didn’t know what quality cookware looks like.

#14 Great haul here!

Mini golf courses cost a lot of money and if you don’t have the money, patience, and desire, you’ll never be able to put one in your backyard. Numerous golf enthusiasts will tell you that it’s a job that requires a lot of effort if done DIY.
Image courtesy of TikiTraveler/Reddit
This golfer got the haul of his life when he saw this course being thrown out. We’re waiting to see what he did with them and hopefully, he’s having the time of his life now, enjoying the sport he loves in the comfort of his own yard.

#15 Something for art enthusiasts

The dumpster holds many treasures, even for artists who work with pencils and pastels. This find was one of the many treasures from the dumpster. It’s completely unused and would serve anyone who loves drawing. Who wouldn’t be delighted to get this?
Image courtesy of Cult7Choir/Reddit
Nowadays, art supplies are not that cheap, so saving money on them by finding amazing things such as this is a big blessing. We can only think of the many splendid works of art the OP will be able to make with this supply.

#16 Wow!

Although this looks like a crow, Edgar Allan Poe came to mind immediately when we saw this picture. The Raven happens to be one of our favorite works of literature and this work of art is the perfect representation of the eponymous bird.
Image courtesy of hailey199666/Reddit
This is haunting and beautiful at the same time and we know that if we were to buy this, it would cost a good amount of money. We’re jealous of the OP for getting their hands on such an exquisite find.

#17 The pets would be delighted with this

Having a pet is wonderful, and the constant companionship is irreplaceable…but it’s not cheap. Aside from spending money on grooming, food, and toys, you also need to make sure that you give them the love and attention they badly need. This is true for all pet species.
Image courtesy of AcanthisittaGlum138/Reddit
Cats are pretty self-sufficient, but they still need enrichment. A good cat tree might cost money, but the OP didn’t need to worry about that after spotting this in a nearby dumpster. The only downside here is that this cat doesn’t understand how great it was to find this for free.

#18 Show ‘em those shoes

The heavens must have been smiling on this person because his mother found a new pair of shoes in the dumpster. Not only were the shoes the OP’s size, but they also came with a receipt. Now he’s got proof that the footwear wasn’t stolen and dumped.
Image courtesy of KingCosmicBrownie/Reddit
We might not be fans of the color or design, but who are we to complain when the shoes cost absolutely nothing? It’s not every day you get shoes for free and nowadays, anything for free is hard to come by.

#19 We know a lot of people that can benefit from these

The onion is one of the most versatile and most in-demand vegetables in the world. We know countless dishes that require the use of red onions. And, as we mentioned before, bananas are also some of the most popular fruits, so we don’t get how anyone could just throw them away.
Image courtesy of deserttrends/Reddit
We’d understand if they were overripe and couldn’t be eaten, but as you can see in the photo above, they are perfectly fine! We know a lot of people who could benefit from this food and hopefully, the OP donated them to a food bank.

#20 Cast iron to last for life

Cast iron cookware is very versatile. Pans made of cast iron are especially popular for searing and are safe to use. For well over a thousand years, it has been deemed a reliable cooking surface. Nowadays, they cost a lot of money.
Image courtesy of notyouraveragedonut/Reddit
We can only imagine the OP’s happiness at scoring a whole set of cast iron cookware. With some washing, drying, and a light layer of cooking oil or seasoning spray, these babies are going to look like new again and they’ll whip up the best food.

#21 How did this end up in a dumpster?

We reckon there’s an interesting story as to how these huge golden arches got to the dumpster, and we bet it involves someone being drunk and someone losing their job the day after their dumpster adventures. Oh, what we’d give to hear the story behind this.
Image courtesy of TeaVinylGod/Reddit
We’re not sure what this is going to be used for, but if the OP thinks it’s valuable and he scored a treasure when he found this, then who are we to argue, right? Being lucky is subjective. This might not mean anything to anyone but it could mean the world to someone else.

#22 An absolute find

Dumpster diving can be either bad or good. It’s bad when there are no valuable finds and good whenever Lady Luck smiles at you and gifts you real jewelry for your efforts. This OP was digging through the trash of some people who were moving homes.
Image courtesy of 600-shot-of-autism/Reddit
What did she get for her efforts? A pair of earrings marked as 18K gold. She had a jeweler test it for her and was surprised and delighted to know that the earrings had real white sapphire. Aren’t they such a beauty?

#23 The community school garden would be delighted with this

Perhaps the person who previously owned these seeds no longer has the energy or the time to tend to a garden but we know plenty of people who would be delighted to have these in their hands. Imagine the bountiful garden this would grow to be.
Image courtesy of yungbc2000/Reddit
The community school garden would be happy to be given this. Gardening is a fun pastime that can teach children valuable lessons. They will learn about the science of animals and plants, and the weather, the environment, and learn simple construction, too.

#24 Time to mow your lawn

This guy must have prayed really hard to the dumpster gods to give him something that will motivate him to finally mow the lawn after months of his wife’s nagging. Not only did he get a cordless lawn mower to get the job done…
Image courtesy of sdace7/Reddit
…he also found a few cases of IPA beer so he can sit back and chill after a hard day’s work. For good measure, the gods threw in an immersion blender, too. He no longer has any excuse not to mow the lawn. These should be motivation enough.

#25 These are not cheap

Computing materials change quickly as new ways are discovered that can help computers operate better, faster, and in a more compact unit. This is one of the reasons why you see computers and monitors becoming obsolete and being disposed of at lightning speed.
Image courtesy of Dalek87/Reddit
It pays to know that most computers disposed of today still function perfectly and will still perform well for home use. Look at this guy who got lucky with such a score of computers. Just because it’s in the dumpster doesn’t mean it’s old or completely outdated.

#26 Ah, those rich kids!

We can’t all be rich, but it’s nice to dream about having enough money to spend on frivolous designer items. Well, if we can’t get our hands on designer merch brand new and straight from the store, at least we have a chance to get them from the dumpster.
Image courtesy of sunnysideupsum/Reddit
This pair of Balenciaga shoes can easily cost a thousand dollars at the very least when purchased brand new. Thanks to dumpsters, we don’t need to work overtime to afford such shoes. Blessed are the rich kids who throw out perfectly good designer shoes.

#27 Cheating must be involved here

Roses aren’t cheap, so ladies, if somebody gives you roses, you should remind yourself that you’re not only lucky, you deserve them, too. Nowadays, a bouquet of roses can cost anywhere from $30 to $300, depending on the kind, that is.
Image courtesy of Ello2011/Reddit
This box amounts to $450 worth of roses. The lady must have been really furious with her partner to throw them out and we reckon there’s some type of cheating involved that ultimately led to this situation. Too bad for her, but a great day for the OP.

#28 Doggo-approved chairs

Ordinarily, when we see furniture in the dumpster, it’s torn, stained, beaten up, and broken. So finding pieces that are in excellent condition is a rare find indeed. We can only imagine this OP’s happiness when he chanced upon these! We’d be jumping for joy if we were in their place.
Image courtesy of WickedMorbidTomatoe/Reddit
These chairs would make a great addition to any living room. Not only are they in excellent condition, but they look like a million bucks too. Whoever threw these away must have a lot of money to spare or must hate the chairs for reasons we can’t think of.

#29 This guy hit the jackpot

Apple products are some of the most expensive. From their phones to their laptops, you won’t be able to get any item without having to pay top dollar. People are not complaining, though, because Apple offers only the best, and their products last a long time.
Image courtesy of buster1324/Reddit
We would like to know where this guy went for his dumpster diving activities because it’s not every day you get the latest iPhones and Macbooks from a trash can! The total value of the things he scored, was over $5,000.

#30 Who can refuse these?

The price of groceries has risen steadily over the years. The pandemic and inflation only made things worse for people, too. People have resorted to creative ways to cut back on their grocery costs so we don’t understand why this person chose to throw this good stuff away.
Image courtesy of chunlife/Reddit
Aside from food products, there are some toiletries and even earphones in the mix. Perhaps nobody in the original owner’s home liked the products, so they thought it would be better to toss them into the trash. The three whole hams alone would be reason enough to keep the haul.

#31 What a beautiful dollhouse

Every little girl would scream with happiness if told that this adorable dollhouse would be hers forever. The OP was just in time, too, because the guy at the recycling center was about to put this with the other discarded wood items.
Image courtesy of Jimlad73/Reddit
This is the dollhouse we’d dreamed about having when we were little. We can imagine little girls spending hours on end in front of this beautifully crafted creation and those have got to be one of the most cherished memories of childhood.

#32 Christmas has come!

The Christmas season did not disappoint this individual. Why do we say that? Look at the photo below and you’d know what we mean. Not only did the OP score a crockpot and a blender, but they also got a vacuum cleaner and other useful appliances.
Image courtesy of finetime2/Reddit
Sometimes Santa can be so unfair but we’d like to think that this person has been overly good during the year that he got these presents. We promise to be good this year so we can score dumpster treasures just like this.

#33 Was another breakup involved in this?

A lot of people on the net wanted to bet that there was a breakup of sorts involved in this TV being thrown in the dumpster because why else would you get rid of a perfectly working appliance? Yeah, we can’t think of any other reason, either.
Image courtesy of meriadickbrandybuck/Reddit
Others mentioned that the TV was probably a stolen item and didn’t want somebody else to see it in their home. We don’t know what the real score is but we’d like to think that since this was in the dumpster, finders are keepers.

#34 Scratch your heart out

The OP is going to need a lot of man-hours scratching all these tickets he found in the dumpster. He has a good chance of hitting the jackpot with the number of tickets he’s got. Sadly, some people pointed out that the tickets must be past the expiry date.
Image courtesy of maxronnelandd/Reddit
But we don’t think so; why else would the OP brag about them if they don’t have any purpose at all? We can only hope he hit the jackpot or scored useful prices that can be given to other people, too.

#35 Someone is very happy

Judging from the many Xbox 360 games collection you see in the photo below, we can say that a gamer was very happy to have found such a wonderful stash of games. Some of the titles you see there are very rare nowadays.
Image courtesy of reddit.com
If the OP decides to sell these games, they are going to earn a substantial amount of money from the lot. We know a lot of people who would be more than happy to spend money to get their hands on these.

#36 We love chocolate!

Since its discovery more than 4,000 years ago, chocolate has delighted the taste buds of billions of people all over the world. The Olmec, one of the oldest civilizations in Latin America, were the first people to turn the cacao plant into one of the most popular beverages today.
Image courtesy of Sir_Floggsalot/Reddit
16 billion pounds of chocolate is consumed every year but the person who threw these babies out must not be one of them. He must hate chocolate so much that instead of giving the chocolate bars for others to enjoy, he dumped them.

#37 DIYers are going to be ecstatic with this

With the number of people turning to DIY projects today, it’s not hard to imagine the sales of tools skyrocketing in recent years. Tools are an investment and you need to get top-quality materials if you’re ever going to complete your DIY projects with ease…and quality.
Image courtesy of caruthersville/Reddit
Thankfully, this OP doesn’t need to shell out a lot of money because the DIY gods have handed him one of the best gifts. Look at the size of those Allen wrenches! No respectable DIYer will go wrong with these.

#38 Throwing these things away is just wrong

We think that it’s wrong to throw things away when they are still working and are still in great condition. It’s better to donate them to your local Goodwill or give them to individuals who are in need. Doing so allows you to hit two birds with one stone.
Image courtesy of otho03/Reddit
You’ll be able to get rid of things occupying much-needed space in your home and you get to help people in need. Throwing these bicycles was so wrong but we’re glad someone found them and got to give them a second life.

#39 Haven’t they heard of recycling?

Nowadays, the Earth is becoming one humungous bin with garbage thrown everywhere. You see landfills and you also see bodies of water littered with trash. It makes sense to recycle whenever possible. You get to help the environment and perhaps get back some cash.
Image courtesy of Impressive-Bit7781/Reddit
These aluminum cans can be recycled into ingots at special plants and they can be made into new cans, and they can also be made into jewelry, sculptures, and ornaments. We’re quite surprised that the people who attended the music festival didn’t think it was a good idea to recycle them.

#40 Let there be light

The first LED light, or light-emitting diode, was invented by an American named Nick Holonyak in 1962. From its humble beginnings on the display screen, the LED light has become an indispensable part of any household mainly because of its long lifespan.
Image courtesy of hailey199666/Reddit
LED lights are energy efficient and do not emit heat or UV compared to its predecessor. This OP wished so badly to find some LED lights and the heavens listened to his prayers. He got this entire box of them from the dumpster.

#41 Someone’s dog is going to be very happy today

We know that this OP’s dog is going jump for joy because he just got himself a new convertible steps ramp. If you have a canine, you’ll know that these things don’t come cheap. This OP has just managed to save a hundred dollars at the very least.
Image courtesy of hailey199666/Reddit
The comforter looks snug and looks like it’s going to make frigid winters more bearable and sleep more enjoyable. The blender is nothing to complain about, either. Now he can prepare more diverse meals for himself and the family, and maybe even a dog-friendly smoothie.

#42 Old but gold

While some people are tightening their belts and picking pennies, others don’t care much about spending money. Some of us may be holding on to a 10-year-old phone because we are trying to save money, but some people must have the latest model.
Image courtesy of GiantClaw/Reddit
These Samsung tablets are working well but somebody tossed them in the bin. These 2014 Galaxy Note tablets would be of good use if donated to the children’s wing of a hospital. The tiny tots are going to have hours of entertainment using these.

#43 Time for some disco

It is said that disco music originated in Philadelphia during the late ’60s and early ’70s. It originally featured Latino musicians as well as African-American artists. Disco balls, however, are a bit older than that. They were first widely used during the 1920s in nightclubs.
Image courtesy of Comfortable_Stage806/Reddit
Disco might not be as popular anymore, but who can resist getting a disco ball for free? Better yet, it seems to be a sturdy one that’ll last for years to come. The smile on this lady’s face demonstrates her delight at being able to take home a disco ball.

#44 From craps to dollars

Now that we’re almost at the end of this post, we’re thinking that you’re already encouraged to dumpster dive or at least take a closer look at the materials being labeled as trash and dumped. You might just find real gems.
Image courtesy of mickx123/Reddit
This OP found not only laptops, power tools, and cameras, but he also got his hands on aluminum copper and pewter which he had melted and is showcasing in the photo above. One man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure.

#45 This painting was meant for the finder

According to a survey, almost a quarter of households in the United States keep cats as pets. While 71% of people in the world like canines, a little over 40% would choose felines over canines any day. Cats may be moody but they have a certain appeal.
Image courtesy of Prestigious-Theory-4/Reddit
You can just imagine this person’s happiness when she went dumpster diving and found a painting of a black cat, something that looked uncannily similar to her beloved pet. Just look at the resemblance. It looks like the painting was made for her cat.

#46 Using social media for good

There is one lady on TikTok who has taken dumpster diving to a whole new level. Anna Sacks documents all of the incredible things she finds on social media, and, a lot of the time, her followers are shocked by just how much stuff grocery stores throw out.
Image courtesy of J.C. Rice/nypost.com
For example, in the picture above, she found a bunch of perfectly edible ready-to-eat meals outside of Starbucks. Those meals look like they could feed at least 20 people. It is a shame that they were thrown out, but at least they were properly wrapped so Anna could make good use of them.