Dumpster diving may seem innocent on the surface. After all, it’s just trash and your trash may even help someone. However, dumpster diving comes with a lot of liability concerns for your business. Because of this, you should do what you can to prevent people from trespassing on your property to illegally dive into your dumpsters. Here are a few tips that can help.
1. Know Why Someone Might Target Dumpsters on Your Property
Preventing dumpster divers has a lot to do with understanding their motivation for accessing your property specifically. Knowing what someone may target can help you develop a plan to prevent them from making the attempt.
Hungry people may dumpster dive at an eatery, especially if they know it disposes of edible food. Some other people like trash from manufacturers because they can often find materials or equipment they can fix or sell.
Rental properties often have a smorgasbord of items that people may want to dive for. With so many people tossing things as they move, the dumpsters can be full of gems.
2. Light Up the Waste Collection Area
Wherever you place your dumpsters should have adequate lighting. You may think the lighting will help divers by giving them a better look at your dumpsters, but this isn’t the case.
A well-lit area helps as a deterrent. Many dumpster divers do not want to make their efforts obvious. This is especially true for the more nefarious dumpster divers, such as information thieves.
3. Keep the Area Around the Dumpster Clean
Cleanliness and a lack of clutter will go a long way towards keeping your dumpsters ambiguous. If the dumpsters have debris strewn about, it can give would be divers a clue as to what’s in them. Those clues can become enticements.
By keeping the dumpsters and the area around the dumpster clean, you effectively hide what’s inside the dumpsters. In addition, debris can serve as a cover for people to go about their diving without fear of someone seeing them. Eliminate that advantage.
4. Put a Camera on Dumpsters or Waste Collection Areas
A camera, especially a motion-sensing camera, can work as a great deterrent. Having a camera or two can also help authorities catch trespassers.
A motion-sensitive camera will only activate and record when movement in the area activates them. This will allow you to only have the most important footage.
You can combine a camera with remote video monitoring features as well. Monitoring solutions can allow you to react immediately should something occur around your waste collection area.
5. Lock Up Your Waste Collection Area
One of the most sensible ways to prevent dumpster diving is by placing your dumpsters in an area that you can fence and lock. Fencing and gates can serve as a deterrent. When these features don’t deter, they can still make the process much harder for someone trying to gain access to your waste collection area.
6. Watch What You Dispose Of
Some dumpster divers fall into the more malevolent category of identity thieves. These people dumpster dive to search for things like personal information, customer data, financial documents, and other information they can leverage or sell.
If your business or tenants throw away a lot of things that contain personal information, you should implement a policy of responsible disposal for these things. Shred sensitive documents, and consider a separate disposal method for such documents in general if possible.
When getting rid of electronic storage and computing devices, make sure to destroy the data these things contain. Destroy any tapes or discs to make them unreadable. Use a program to wipe hard drives and destroy data on them. Remove hard drives or other storage devices from computers you want to throw away.
7. Do More With Your Trash to Prevent Dumpster Diving
You can find solutions to dealing with certain types of trash that can help mitigate the possibility of dumpster diving. For example, if you dump a lot of food, you can offer to give it away to shelters, charities, or people instead.
Those who would normally dive for the food can come pick it up or receive it in a more dignified way. If the food isn’t fit for people, animals may be able to benefit from it. Contact your local animal shelter and inquire.
If you throw away usable or repairable items, consider donating them instead. Some places may have a use for old equipment or materials your business considers waste. If you have things you can sell, you can even open another revenue stream with your waste.
If you put some thought into it, you might find several ways to deal with your garbage to help mitigate dumpster diving, make a profit, or help your community. When renting a dumpster for your commercial property or using a professional waste collection service, keep these things in mind.
At Tri-State Disposal, we can help you with the dumpsters and the commercial waste removal service, but you’ll have to do your part to prevent people from dumpster diving on your property.