Teens Caught Dumpster Diving For Makeup

If you go to Youtube.com and type in the search bar “Dumpster diving makeup,” about 18,000 results will pop up, each video showing girls diving into dumpsters in search of high-end beauty products.

In the videos girls and their friends head to their local mall, but it’s the back of the mall they are looking for – specifically the dumpster bins.

The goal is to find which dumpster belongs to makeup retailers like Sephora or Ulta, then dive in looking for products that have been discarded.

The reason this has become so popular is because in the videos girls find thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good makeup, perfumes, and bath products.

The holy grail for these dumpster divers is when they find the trash bag filled with beauty products that have attempted to be destroyed with a method the beauty industry calls “souping,” or the practice of dumping liquids like foundation and lotion all over the products to destroy them.

Most videos end with the divers going through their finds, cleaning and sterilizing what is good, and trashing what isn’t. Almost all videos end with a look at the products recovered and the price tag if they had purchased it all from the retailer.

The idea of dumpster diving has inspired others to head to their local malls and see what exactly is being tossed.

In 2009 a documentary titled “Dive” was released, showcasing young men and women who dive into dumpsters behind their local grocery stores to show the amount of food wasted on a daily basis in the US.

Some people have even adopted a lifestyle where they live off of perfectly good food they recover from being dumped. The US wastes more food than any other developed country, 31 million tons a year to be exact, according to Think Progress.

And although food waste is a very real problem, are the beauty products dumped worth the dive?

According to Ulta, it’s not.

Karen May, spokesperson for Ulta Beauty, explained that products found in dumpsters are there for a reason, mainly because they are expired or damaged.

In a statement for 12 News, May said the products are, “unsaleable or unsuitable for donation are disposed of in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. These products should never be retrieved or used,” after girls were found dumpster diving by an officer in Texas.

And although some may score an item or two, another item scored could be a ticket.

In Arizona it’s illegal to dumpster dive or scavenge in public and private dumpsters. That means if you are found diving for items and are caught, you could end up with a ticket.

Although illegal in some states, the method of dumpster diving has opened up eyes into the amount of waste the US produces a year, whether it’s food or other products.