Uppsala is the 4th biggest city in Swedish and commonly referred to as a 'student town'. It is unclear whether dumpster diving is legal or not in Uppsala. However, there are no known cases of people arrested due to dumpster diving. Security guards and supermarket personnel have been known to (in worst case scenarios) ask people at the dumpsters to drop what they have taken and leave the premises. More importantly, supermarkets usually show signs of cooporation with dumpster divers, but start locking up their dumpsters if divers are not clean enough or cause a lot of noise.
You can collect some amounts of food for free in this city. In general, Uppsala, especially Boländerna area, has quite a few places to dive, although many include trespassing or other means of accessing existing dumpsters. Remember to clean up after yourself during the dumpster diving. You can dumpster dive at the following places:
- ICA Folkes Livs: Located in Rackarbergsgatan, this ICA branch contains an outdoor bin labelled "organiskt material" or "kompost" where you find fruits and vegetables. In addition, there is a separate garbage room which you have to open a door to access. Since they close 23.31, it would be a good idea to tread carefully when diving there, or do it a quarter or so after closing time. One employee reported that it has been messy lately (February 2014).
- ICA Hörnan: This ICA is very close to Geocentrum. The dumpster is found behind the shop, outside, fully accessible, you just have to open a door. There is a good variety of things to collect from fruit and vegetables, baked goods, bread, milk dairies, meat, and also coffee (June, 2019).
- Lidl: Located at Liljefors Torg 2, it might be worth looking into. However, this requires a triangular key to access the bins. Lidl opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-21, Sat 9-20, Sun 10-19. This supermarket has a number or very dirty bins where employees keep unpackaged organic trash. It is often crushed and mouldy, but small amounts can be saved. The rest of the trash seems to go into a crusher. (Last checked: January 2016).
- Lidl located in Boländerna, the bin is behind the store and you can easily entry if you go from the parkering and you fins a passage between the stores. Has the bins in an small grey house. (Last checked: March 2020)
- Coop & Hemköp: These two supermarkets are located in Västertorg, Eriksberg. There are two rooms filled with bins. The doors are usually never locked, only closed. One belongs to Coop and the other to Hemköp. They are usually filled with bread, flowers, and many vegetables and fruits. It is also known to be good for meat in the winter, with only little to collect during the summer. There is another large container that contains a variety of goods, including household items such as shampoos, packaged fried chicken, and ice cream. (May, 2019). Possibly due to noise caused by dumpster divers, the large container in the back seems to have been swapped with one that is significantly more difficult to open (February, 2019); however, the backside container can be opened with the help of a friend and a crowbar and secured using wooden slabs that are found nearby.
- Ica Väst: located between the Flogsta high rises and the low houses, it is a reliable source for vegetables, fruit, but no longer for large quantities of juice, dairy, eggs, soda and other products. Most dumpster diving trips to ICA Väst will yield large amounts of fruits, especially bananas and avocados; however, there is rarely ever any packaged meat, cheese, milk, or dairy (Last checked: September 2018). Some dumpster diving nights can be busy, and so it is advised to show up directly after the guards leave to avoid competition despite the fact that there usually is enough food for everyone (unless you arrive some time after 01:00). The dumpsters are in a separate garbage room to the left of the store (when facing the main entrance). One must drag up the door manually. Be aware that the side opposite to the main dumpster area entrance has cameras; thus, it is recommended to avoid appearing in that area. There is an automatic light inside, so flashlights are not necessary, but still useful. When diving there, ensure that the door is closed while you are inside to avoid anyone reporting a possible theft/trespassing. There are numerous small dumpsters that are often filled with fruits with conditions ranging between "soon to expire" and "perfectly good". The larger dumpsters require more effort but can yield eggs, packaged goods, and fish (although rarely in a good condition for human consumption). This ICA closes at 23:30, so it is a late night dumpster diving spot. It is close to student areas, and very well frequented during the semesters circa a quarter after closing time, but remains deserted during summer. There has been some tension between students diving in the area and guards as ICA personnel have raised some complaints to some divers that the dumpster area is not being kept clean -- for this reason, tidiness is strongly encouraged (March, 2019).
- ICA Maxi: This ICA is located in Stenhagen's shopping area. You have to sneak under the fence, and inside the huge area is there a container where they press vegetables. There you can harvest a few bags of fruits and vegetables, so not so good especially considering the magnitude of the store. (Last Checked: May 2015).
- ICA Norby has a green container at the back which has previously been locked, but is currently open (January 2018). Sometimes you can find some decent groceries there but more often there is nothing of interest. The door makes a squeaky sound when opened and the container is quite visible, so divers are encouraged to be discrete. The storage room for organic waste at the back of the building is locked. The store close at 22.00.
- Frukt och Grönt at Knivstagatan 1 is very diver-friendly. There is a large, green dumpster just a few meters from the street, where you can find large quantities of fruit and veggies on good nights, and sometimes even bags of flour or rice. The area is very quiet with few passing cars or people after 9-10 pm. A good place for beginners! (last checked january 2016)
Bakeries and bread deposits
- The old distribution centre for bread in Boländerna (industrial area) is gone but there is a bin with bread and some buns on Säbygatan (see map) (Last checked: spring 2011)
- There's a container on Skebogatan 1, in Librobäck. It says Kimex on the building on the right side when coming from the city. The entrance is facing Sibylla. Fortunately, at the moment you don't have to climb the fence, you can crawl under it from the back side (just where the container is). The security car surveiling the area usually drives away around 23.30. Warning: it is definitely a trespassing violation! (Last checked: January 2015). There is a container filled with huge amounts of bread approximately 1000 packages on a good day and sometimes cookies
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Not available for dumpster diving
Here you can post any place you've checked that´s not available, to make it easier for all of us!
- Coop Boländerna (Last checked: September 2012)
- Ica Samköp (Heidenstams torg) (Last checked: November 2013)
- Ica Tunabackar (Last checked: November 2013)
Furniture and artefacts from homes
- The Flogsta low-houses have two trash rooms which are full of functional furniture and electronic equipment. One is a little house located between buildings 91 and 93. The other house is next to buildings 63, 65 and 43. All of the rooms require key access, but it is a small price to pay for the awesomeness which can be found there. Wednesdays are emptying days, so make it there before they clear the rooms.
- in Flogsta low-houses is it customary to just put bigger stuffs you don´t need directly on the street instead following regulation and putting it in the more serious trash rooms. Best to look is in the end of the months, there you can find eg. fully functional, beds, lamps, dvds, coffee machines and clothes. Adress is Uppsala 75272 Flogstavägen
- Plantagen throws indoor plants, trees, bushes and outdoor plants. Annual flowers as well as perrenial herbs. With some water and care is it possible to resuscitate them without any problems. It is an open container so no trespassing is needed, perfectly chill to dumpster any time during the day. It is located at the back of the Bauhaus store in boländerna. Adress: search for Bauhaus uppsala. (last checked: june 2015). It is now believed that the containers are now inside the fence and store area, thus difficult to dive into without serious tresspassing (Last checked: August 2018).
- I have heard of a plant store, blomsterlandet, close to Willys in the industristaden district, this one needs to be confirmed though.
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Urban foraging in Uppsala:
- You can find several places on
- In Årsta district there is a plenty of fruit trees and berries: apple trees (about 100 different types), pear trees, (black) currant bushes, cherry trees and many more. These are mostly in north eastern parts of Uppsala; in the south one can find hazelnut trees. [Please specify more precise locations if you can.]
- The public park, Seminarieparken has circa 10 appletrees.
- The public park, Observatorieparken has circa 5 appletrees.
- There is a private historical garden, sometimes open to the public. There you can find, apples, pears. Plums and various types of berries. It is called Skytteanska trädgården, close to the cathedral. My experience (2011-2014) is that the owners do not harvest the delicacies, therefore do I argue it is fine to harvest daytime, or jump a wall and do it night time. Stealing fruits in a clandestine manner has a specific word in Swedish which is Palla.
Other freegan opportunities
- There is a free bike workshop every Tuesday at 7 pm at Ungdomens Hus. Here you can get help to fix your bike and borrow tools and get spare parts for free. See their Facebook page: Ateljén Veloisternas Kabyss.
- Good orienteering maps of Uppsala can be collected for free at: Fjällskog, Biotopia, Vasaparken, Uppsalahems distriktskontor, City (S:t Persgatan 28), Eriksberg, Ekebyvägen 15, Sala backe, Brantings torg, Gottsunda, Stenhammars väg 6. The maps are filled with tips from the project Hitta Ut.Nu offering you plenty of good ways to spend a free day outdoors.
- Coordination of dumpster diving, sharing food etc. (Facebook)
- Giveaways in the 018-area (Facebook)
- Giveaways in Flogsta (Facebook)
- Meat free monday cooking/eating at self-cost price (or less) (Facebook)