I’ve dumpster dived (dove?) before, semi regularly, years ago. Mostly just for fun, see what I could find. I remember 2 particularly good hauls: one, from aBarnes and Nobel that was closing/had just closed. About three weeks in a row I got all kinds of books (a few of which I ended up selling on Half.com), lots of stuff like calendars and note pads, stuff like that, and magazines. I think I just happened to catch the last three weeks of the store clean out and it was all the stuff they couldn’t send back. I think typically they rip the covers off, but that didn’t happen. Lucky!!
My other lucky haul was at a Dollar Store near my house. I actually WAS looking for boxes (the excuse you use when questioned re your diving), and found a ton of Christmas candy. Just bags and bags and bags. It looked like when they opened the carton, and maybe even more than one (?) they had sliced right into the bags. So they couldn’t sell the bags of candy, but all the candy inside was individually wrapped. Same dive I found a whole bunch of very slightly dented cans of food. I generally avoid dented cans, but these were just barely marred. Corn, beans, Spam... all kinds of stuff. Lucky again.
It’s fun to dive, but I’m pretty “surface” about it. If it’s not easy, I don’t bother.
Not dumpster diving, but I’ve been known to pick up stuff on trash day—curbside shopping. I got a very nice rug that I had cleaned and used for years, also a super nice antique gateleg table. It has a big, pretty deep scratch on one side, but other than that, it’s super nice. The scratched side is against the wall, and it’s my TV stand.
I also was out walking my dog one night and someone had been evicted from their VERY BIG rental home. The family had a truck and had just finished loading up their truck, but there was still a huge pile of stuff. I asked them about it, and it belonged to “the roommate” who didn’t want it. I kept an eye on the pile until the morning of trash day and picked through it. Tons of new athletic clothes, some with tags still on, in a variety of sizes. Plus brand new kids clothes. I packed it in my car and took it to Catholic Charities. It just seemed wasteful to let the garbage guys take it. Always wondered what the story was there.