Birmingham in Alabama is a college town.
Most of the apartments where college students reside have compactors. Compactors are not a problem when they are not very full. According to an unknown dumpster diver: "I can say this from experience because I have been in them when either management or valet waste has turned them on. The key is to get on top of the pile inside and therefore no pressure will be put on you. It has happened to me many times but I almost always come away with a good find." The compactors are well worth investigating. However if they are behind gates (inside the gates of a gated community) it could be considered tresspassing so if you are caught either say you are looking for boxes or your wife or husband threw away your favorite jeans or something.