Trader Joe's

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Trader Joe's is an American supermarket. The store focuses on natural and organic food products at lower prices than traditional supermarkets. Meat and dairy products are all hormone free and there is a good selection of grain fed and free range eggs. They specialize in having a variety of international food and wine. Frequently they have taste testing of their products in the store.

The stores are usually tropical themed and have chalk art drawn on the walls.

They do very little advertising, but when they do it is primarily on the radio.


Trader Joe's is one of the better super markets to dumpster dive in the US for a number of reasons. First is that relatively rarely do they use trash compactors. Secondly, they put their trash in clear plastic bags which makes it easier to determine what is inside them. Third the staff of Trader Joe's seems rarely upset about people dumpstering at their stores, nor do they call the police.

Also interestingly, when you call Trader Joe's as the media to ask them about dumpster diving they will tell you they can talk about the topic, but only off the record. Once you agree to be off the record, they will tell you they have "no comment" about dumpster diving. Which means that if you are playing by the rules, you can not report even that they have no comment on the topic.

Personal experiences

  • "11 bottles of wine came home after a trash-run to Trader Joe's, one for everybody in the house! The catch is they only throw out crates of wine if a bottle breaks inside and gets broken glass on the other bottles." - unknown user, April 2010.
  • "I began my diving experience at a TJ's, and made out great. My gf worked there several years ago and knew the routine: trash out around 10pm (eastern), truck at 11. They use regular unlocked dumpsters, no compactors or fencing... The management has been known to be quite unpleasant to divers, so be courteous and move along when asked, so you don't make it worse for others!" - unknown user, April 2011.