Veronica Taylor has made a career out of the saying, One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
The 32-year-old Pennsylvania native travels the country sifting through dumpsters to find designer items she can resell on the online auction app, WhatNot.
“It’s fantastic. It’s really like a real-life treasure hunt,” Taylor told The Daily Mail. “You’ve no idea what you’re going to find. And I can hang out with my best friend and make a living from finding things.”
Professional DUMPSTER DIVER reveals she earns $5,000 a month selling off items she finds in the TRASH https://t.co/E6rAiGw1ih pic.twitter.com/LeOBcCN7Mj
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) May 3, 2023
Taylor is part of a growing movement of so-called Dumpster Divers who go through dumpsters and garbage cans to find items that are still usable. Some dumpster dive to reduce waste, some to shame companies into practicing more sustainable product disposal, and others do it for money.
What started as a lucrative and exciting side hustle for Taylor became her full-time job. She told The Daily Mail that she makes up to $5,000 monthly, reselling items like Louis Vuitton Wallets and Michael Kors shoes.
But Taylor also donates unused food and hygiene products to charities and the homeless.
Dumpster Diving on TikTok
Last year, dumpster diving became a trend on TikTok, with many videos of people showing off their finds and sharing tips on how to do it safely and effectively. Others have used the trend to shine the spotlight on companies thought to be wasteful.
For example, Tiffany Sheree (aka Dumpster Diving Mama) posted a video of trashed purses and bags outside a Coach store thought to be destroyed by employees. The video went viral, causing Coach to say it would stop destroying and dumping unsold bags. “I love that I’m making a change,” Sheree said on the Fuse-TV show Upcyle Nation.
Veronica Taylor does not have a TikTok channel, but a short documentary of her exploits appears on The Daily Mail’s website.
“It really is like being on vacation all the time. The typical places that we do really well at we go every single night – 10pm to 3am usually,” Taylor said. “Then other days, we go to rich people neighborhoods. It’s fantastic.”