Brooklyn

This list is alphabetical by neighborhood name.

Bedford-Stuyvesant

Kosher market
Myrtle Ave one block west of Bedford Ave
Where/How to get stuff: Regular curbside bags
What you get: Many assorted groceries (an unfriendly dumpster diver was there when we arrived, so we couldn’t really check it out)

Bakery
Myrtle about a block east of Bedford
What you get: We also found challah.

Brooklyn Heights

Perelandra
Remsen St across from Borough Hall, between Court and Clinton Sts
Where/How to get stuff: Regular curbside bags, plus cardboard boxes set to the side with most of the produce (what foragers don’t take gets composted).
When to look: 8:45 when all the employees leave the store. Trash is collected between 10:30 p and 12:30a. One source says nothing is out on Saturdays.
What You’ll Find: Lots of locals count on finding greens and produce in particular. Fewer go thru the bags, which contain health bread, and often assorted packaged health foods, and small amounts of bulk foods (grains, beans, nuts, coffee) that can be gleaned from the not-quite-emptied heavy brown bags.

Trader Joe’s
Atlantic at Court
Dumpster divers from all 4 boroughs have been known to make the trip. On some nights TJ’s puts out upwards of 6 dumpsters, at least half of which are filled top to bottom with quality food. Sometimes the scene gets weirdly competitive, with dumpster divers seeming to forget that the area is packed with other wasteful stores.
When: Lately (fall 2012), usually not until about midnight; sometimes earlier. Be forewarned, the initial reaction of this store’s management was to have the police ticket dumpster divers for trespass or littering; the situation could always take a turn for the worse.
Where: On the south side of Atlantic Avenue near Court St in big dumpsters.
What You’ll Find:Just about anything, depending on the night and how much time you have to sort through.

La Bagel Delight
Bagels and more in a double-wide storefront
90 Court St., between Livingston and Schermerhorn
When: 10p
Where:Large black bags out front.
What You’ll Find:Plenty of fresh, soft and delicious bagels of all varieties. Some sweets like scones and croissants, and a few sandwiches too.

Garden of Eden
Yuppie grocery
184 Montague Street, at Court
When:Sunday-Friday 10p
Where:Three dumpsters on the curb plus “compost” mini dumpsters.
What You’ll Find:Messy and hit-or-miss, but can yield a surprising amount of fresh vegetables,  prepared foods, yogurts and so forth. The “compost” bins are well worth digging down a ways, as they’ve yielded lots of whole fruit and veg.

Gristedes
Supermarket
101 Clark Street
When to Look: After 9:30p
Where to Look: Clear garbage bags out front.
What You’ll Find: Routinely hit or miss, but the hits can be great: dozens of eggs, bags of chocolate chips, cheese.

Key Foods
Grocery store
Atlantic and Henry, northeast corner; also check the one on Montague between Hicks and Henry.
When to Look:After 10p
Where to Look:Clear garbage bags on the corner curb.
Decent produce in reliable quantities. Often there are packaged vegan prepared foods at or near their sell-by date.

Bushwick

Associated Supermarket
Knickerbocker Ave at Starr St
Wendy sez: “I was there in the late afternoon, and there were several bags out. I found cocunuts, yucca, grapes, carrots, garlic, and other types of produce.”

Carroll Gardens

Caputo’s Bakery
Italian bakery
329 Court Street, at Sackett
When to Look: Nightly after 10p
Where to Look: Four garbage cans.
What You’ll Find: Excellent bread and cookies. Baker is on site all night long; move fast. Also, vegetarians beware the sausage bread.

Cobble Hill

Union Market
288 Court Street (just north of Degraw)
When To Look: Sunday-Friday 9p
Where To Look: Black plastic garbage bags on the curb.
What You’ll Find: For those on bicycle or who don’t mind a little walk, this is a great alternative to the Trader Joe’s at Atlantic and Court. It’s a high-end supermarket mini-chain that is just far enough from other stores that it gets few dumpster divers. Finds have included loads of packaged and unpackaged bread, produce, dairy products, quarts of prepared soup (generally not vegetarian), fancy desserts, fancy fresh pasta.

Bagel World
181 Court Street
When To Look: Sunday-Friday 9p
Where To Look: Black plastic garbage bags on the curb.
What You’ll Find: All-you-can-eat bagels in two or three bags.

Crown Heights

New Utica Produce
282 Utica Avenue
Marsha offers this local info in March 2012: “Out front features the usual assortment of vegetables, fruits, et al. They put out a wheeled trash container filled with discarded produce. During the day, this trash bin is tied tightly with twine and they wouldn’t appreciate it being cut. However, late at night, the twine is removed. I have dug through it after 10 and 11 p.m. to find it loaded with cast-off lettuce leaves, lemons, limes, oranges, mangoes, tomatoes, bananas, apples, bundles of mint, parsley, etc. The nearby cardboard boxes also often have discarded produce.  So far, the manager doesn’t give me any trouble when I dig through it so it might be worth a try for others.”

Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn Street (corner of Hoyt)
Raven reported in March 2012: “The first bag we opened was FULL of nothing but packaged boxes of organic cookies, gluten free cookie, gourmet packaged tortas. It was too good not to take everything which was an unbelievable amount. So much that right now I’m going to go give some away. We must have salvaged over $200 worth of stuff, perfectly good, no expiration date, not stale food!”

Pathmark at Atlantic Center (on Atlantic Avenue)
Where/How to Get Stuff: This is a very old report (pre-2005) but the technique described is an interesting one for any gigantic store whose food is usually inaccessible because of compactors.

“In the produce section, employees have plastic garbage bins that they drag around and go through the produce and throw out items here and there– anything with the slightest imperfection, sometimes stuff that’s completely perfect. From my experience, if you eat it in the store, no one will bother you (though it’s probably wise to stay near the bin you got it from to explain how you got it if an employee asks). If you intend to take it out, put it in a bag so you don’t have to explain that you aren’t stealing it. If you go to the back of the store, you will find the area employees go in and out of. If you go in there, as you walk in, on the facing wall are cardboard boxes filled with items pulled from the shelves. We’ve found that a good way to get the stuff and not have anyone bother you is to say you need a cardboard box if an employee asks why you are there, take one of the boxes, and then just fill it with stuff from the other boxes or take it out with whatever is in it. You can then walk right out of the store without anyone bothering you.”
When to Go There: During store hours. Probably not too early in the day, but I’m not really sure if there is a best time.
What You Can Get: Varies widely, but including packaged and loose produce.

Flatbush/Midwood

Associated Supermarket
1413 Avenue J (north side) between E 14 and E 15 Street, very near the Ave J stop on the Q train.
Where/How to get stuff: Loads of black bags of fruit and vegetables There’s also generally 1 very heavy bag of raw meat that’s been taken out of the packages. The managers are generally friendly but customers sometimes complain, so try to come after dark and be fairly discreet.
When to Look: As early as 7pm, but later means less hassle.

Fruit Palace
1408 Avenue J (south side) between E 14 and E 15 Street
Where/How to get stuff: Some produce, but minimal compared to the Associated across the street.

New Banana King
1123 Avenue J (north side) at E 12th Street
Where/How to get stuff: As late at night as you can stand, on E 12th Street, big black plastic bags. This store stays open very late and some of the managers will diligently shoo you away. They throw out huge quantities of produce, seemingly entire cases of stuff not up to their standard. My partner and I have made gallons of cider from a single night’s pickup of apples and pears, for instance. Other typical mass dumps include bananas and tomatoes. Be prepared to can, dry, freeze or ferment.

Isaac’s bake shop
1419 Avenue J (north side) between E 14 and E 15 Street
Where/How to get stuff: Bags on the street of bread and pastries, particularly on Friday evening.

Greenpoint

Pom distributor
Ash Street just west of Pulaski Bridge; look for Pom trucks inside parking lot. Dumpster is at the back of the lot.
This is the legendary juice dumpster; one editor of this site stumbled upon it in June 2012. In the late afternoon of a weekday, the gate was open and the dumpster chock full of everything from pomegranate juice to lemonade to smoothies and lattes. Everything was acceptably cool; no bottles were bloated. Some were way past “pull date”.

Lowell Importers
Importer and distributor
Greenpoint Avenue and West Street, southwest corner
When to Look: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9p
Where to Look:Two dumpsters. Polish cheeses. Farmer cheese, sliced sandwich cheese, spreads, yogurts.

Gowanus

Garden of Eden Warehouse
Distribution and food processing
Butler and Third Avenue
When to Look: Sunday-Friday 10p
Where to Look: Three to five dumpsters.
What You’ll Find: Messy with big clear bags of food waste. Some fresh produce, a little prepared food, and good sweet and savory bread.

Navy Yard

Jewish Bakery
Franklin between Park and Flushing
Where to Look:Two overstuffed dumpsters.
What You’ll Find:Cakes, cupcakes.

Park Slope

Union Market
754 Union at 6th Avenue (trash is on 6th)
402 7th Avenue between 12th & 13th Sts
(also on Court St– see listing in Cobble Hill)
When To Look: Sunday-Friday 9p
Where To Look: Black plastic garbage bags on the curb; Union St location also has “compost” bins.
What You’ll Find: High-end supermarket mini-chain. The Union St location is brightly lit and is frequented by neighborhood dumpster divers. The south slope location is on a dark and quiet stretch and does not seem to be well known to dumpster divers. Finds at both stores (and the Court St location) have included loads of packaged and unpackaged bread, produce, dairy products, quarts of prepared soup (generally not vegetarian), fancy desserts, fancy fresh pasta.

Associated
Chain supermarket
5th Avenue and President Street
Where to Look: On 5th Avenue, but the bags are in cardboard boxes to the north side of the store entrance.
What You’ll Find: modest amount of produce in good condition.

Bageltique
Bagel and fast food joint
5th Avenue and Carroll
Where to Look: Regular curbside bags
What You’ll Find: A reasonable number of bagels, but mixed with a bit of paper trash.

Nature Plus
Convenience and some health food
5th Avenue and Park
Where to Look: Regular curbside bags
What You’ll Find: OK, this may have been a one-time find, but I found a bunch of staples like rice, cornmeal, industrial-sized containers of spices (partially used), a few canned goods. It could be that the store stopped doing soups or some other kind of prepared food, or the dry goods in question had been on the shelf a long time. The outsides of containers had that old stickiness like they had sat on a shelf above a stove for many moons. But worth checking back.

Back to the Land
Small natural foods store 142 7th Ave between Garfield and Carroll Sts
When to Look: Sunday-Friday 10p. On at least one occasion, food was still there after midnight.
Where to Look: Regular curbside bags
What You’ll Find: Health food store stuff; besides the regular slabs of wheatgrass and assorted greens, I found a bag full of all sorts of veg/vegan prepared foods, including packages of curry tofu, sweet and sour tofu, meatless chicken salad, macrobiotic noodle and vegetable salads, etc. Good for yogurt, eggs, and packaged goods.

Key Foods
Supermarket
130 7th Avenue at Carroll Street
Where to Look: 2 big dumpsters on 7th
What you’ll find: We don’t know this location very well; needs more exploration. On latest visit (Jan 2011), some produce and bakery goods, but hard to get at. Location is super well lit, there is a lot of foot traffic and there is not much room to work, as the dumpsters are directly outside the store entrance.

D’Vine Taste
148 7th Avenue, between Garfield and Carrol
What you’ll find: We found cheese, bread and some tofu on the night we went.

Williamsburg

Northside Health Food
Bedford & N. 8th
Trash is usually out by 10:30
Hit or miss, but on a recent Sunday night, loads of packaged sandwiches and salads. Only two or three bags, so it’s easy to check.

Sunac Natural Foods
N. 7th just west of Bedford Ave
Kind of a health food 7-11.
Packaged salads, grapes, and other produce.

2nd location: Union Avenue at Metropolitan (right by the Lorimer St. stop on the L)
Needs to be scouted more.
Both store are open 24 hours a day, so they’re not for the shy.

Food Town/Williamsburg Food Market
N. 3rd just west of Bedford
Lots of prepared foods, some produce. In November 2011 we also found lots of unopened beverages, including kambucha.

Duane Reade
Bedford at N. 3rd
As of November 2011, lots of  fruit, vegetables, bread, packaged sandwiches, cooked meats and salads. Verifies what we’ve heard from locals and a contributor (Jan 2011).

The Bagel Store
Bedford and N. 3rd (trash is on N. 3rd)
We recently (November 2011) met at this store, which has a few inside tables and loud TV.  They do toss bagels, somewhat erratically.

Khim’s Market (at least we think the trash was from there)
Bedford and N. 1st (dumpsters on N. 1st)
We found lots of produce and sandwiches, plus canned goods (including, weirdly, Hershey’s syrup).

South Side Food Plaza
kosher supermarket
Bedford at S. 8th
Lots of fruits, vegetables, and snacks

Food Bazaar
21 Manhattan Ave, near Lorimer J&M stop; trash in parking lot on Broadway
When to Look: Needs more exploration, but on our midweek trailblaze food was out at 10pm.
Where to Look:Several large dumpsters in the east corner of the parking lot, the corner farthest away from the store itself. There are gates, but left open. Veggies, herbs, fruit, meats and cheeses, junk food and more.