Hackensack has a few big stores with lots of stuff. Hackensack cops can be a pain! Mostly, though, they leave you alone or don’t notice you, especially during the day.
Garbage collection in Hackensack is early morning, between about 5 AM and 9AM.
Aylward’s Natural Food
342 Main Street. between Passaic and East Berry Streets
Where to Dive: One small dumpster to the immediate left of the stairs coming out the back side of the store (the side facing the parking lot on River Street).
When to Dive: Pretty much any time is fine. Store personnel hardly even leave the store, and doesn’t really bother you.
How to Dive: Be careful of the double lid on the dumpster– if you lift one side, it will lift the other and one may come crashing down on you. The safest way to do it is to completely open both covers, though I rarely bother.
What You’ll Find: Surprisingly little. This place pretty is good for the rare gem in small quantities. Finds include packs of soy cheese, a box of herbal tea, and a big container of sesame seeds.
C Town Supermarket
154 State Street
When to Dive it: During the day, they pretty much leave you alone if you reach in the dumpster but get annoyed if you climb in. They are closed at night, so you can get a lot more stuff by climbing in after hours.
Where to go: Single medium sized dumpster in the parking lot.
What you’ll find: Wide variety of items including produce, meat, packaged foods
Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins
150 Passaic Street
How to Dive: Pretty good at any time until collection. Staff is totally cool, and will sometimes even bring you stuff they are going to throw out before it gets thrown in the dumpster.
Where to go: Two dumpsters right behind the store.
What You’ll Find: The obvious stuff: ice cream in large tubs (sometimes melted to about “soft-serve” consistency, sometimes not), muffins, cookies, donuts, bagels, croissants, and one big surprise– if you are lucky, you can find small vacuum sealed packs of ground coffee or 5 lb bags of coffee beans
25 Hackensack Avenue (I think)
Where to Dive: In the back corner of the parking lot you’ll find the dumpster.
How to Dive: Reaching in the dumpster is sufficient.
When to Dive: I went during the day and found plenty of stuff.
What You’ll Find: muffins, cookies, donuts, bagels, croissants
120 Passaic Street
How to Dive It: Depending on the employee they may ask you to leave if you dive durng the day, so its best to go after 8 or 9 PM.
Two medium-sized dumpsters behind the store.
What You’ll Find: meat, produce, prepared food and housewares.
Giant Gourmet Farmers’ Market
324 Main Street between Passaic Street and East Berry Street
THE GOLD MINE!!!
How to Dive It: If you don’t want to deal with an unsympathetic manager who will tell you to leave, go after about 9PM. If this doesn’t bother you, go between 9 or 10 AM and closing time. The later in the day, the more stuff will be there, but the dumpsters fill up so high that by the end of the day you won’t be able to access the stuff from earlier in the day without great difficulty. Fish arrives late in the day generally, fruit shows up pretty early, with more added throughout the day, and vegetables show up throughout the day. Staff usually leaves you alone and sometimes presents the best stuff to you before they throw it in the dumpster, but the owner/manager will shoo you away if he sees you. You can get to plenty of stuff by reaching into the dumpster, but you can get to a lot more if you climb into the two monster-sized dumpsters at this place.
Where to Dive: If you stand in the parking lot (on the River Street side of the store) and stand facing the store, you’ll see a fenced area with four very tall dumpsters on the right side of the parking lot– the side facing the McDonald’s parking lot. Of the four dumpsters, the two closest to the store are just cardboard. The other two dumpsters are just food.
What You’ll Find: all kinds of fruit and vegetables, lots of fish, rice, prepared fruit salad in individual plastic containers
Other — Two dumpsters worth of cardboard for all your protest sign and assorted arts and crafts needs!
123 Anderson St (near the Anderson Street Train Station)
Where to Dive: Rite Aid shares a building with a chicken fast food place and a Laundromat. On the side neareast the chicken place, nearest to the Dumkin Donutes are gated fences against the wall, containing dumpsters. The dumpster closest to Dunkin Donuts is the Rite Aid dumpster
When to Dive: Pretty much any time.
How to Dive: I usually just look in, open the lid and see if there is anything.
What You’ll Find:Newspapers, word find game books, TV Guides, magazines.
Trash pick up is in the early morning for Teaneck businesses, so diving at night is pretty much always a safe bet. Teaneck has many strictly Kosher businesses that close before sunset on Friday and are closed during the day Saturday.
107 Cedar Lane
What: newspapers, bread carrot and celery sticks in sealed cups with dip, muffins, bagels, etc
Where: dumpsters are to right of entrance in fenced in area. Go in with some subtlety, act like you belong and the customers will ignore you and the employeers won’t notice you
Annapurna Indian Grocery
561 Cedar Lane
What: Coconuts. Not always in good shape.
Where: Go down the hill to the end of the block. Swing the corner. There is a sort of alley behind the strip of stores and it is filled with dumpsters. Walk to the farthest dumpster.
When: Stuff is out day and night, with night being the ideal time, but I have had one run in with a property manager there, so night is probably the best time to get stuff.
Bake & Bagels Inc
513 Cedar Lane
What: Bagels, muffins, other baked goods. Fairly wide assortment of high-quality stuff.
Where: Bags loose and in plastic garbage can right by front door. Nothing there on Friday nights.
448 Cedar Lane
What: Cakes, hallah bread, etc.
Where: Two small dumpsters right next to back entrance of store (behind store).
When: Night until very early morning. Kosher, so closed on Saturday (don’t expect garbage Saturday night).
Empire Hunan II
444 Cedar Lane
What: Vegetable dumplings and other things
Where: Dumpster in parking log behind store
515 Cedar Lane
What: Bags of prepared, comingled Chinese food.
Where: Plastic garbage cans right in front of store
When: At night, up until about 5:30 or 6 AM.
439 Cedar Lane
What: vegetarian salad bar stuff– not lettuce and tomato salad, but Israeli salad type stuff– eggplant and chick peas and things. Lots of peeled cucumbers. Vegetable potato soup in containers. Sushi. All food is strictly kosher.
Where: Dumpster behind store, right by stairwell leading down from store to parking lot.
When: After about 9 PM weekdays, after sunset Friday night, after about 2 AM Saturday night
Where: In the parking lot right by the back of the store. It’s the dumpster nearest to the street.
When: Definitely night and early morning, possibly anytime
559 Cedar Lane
What: lots of hero rolls
Where: behind the strip of stores, there is an alley of dumpsters. The Subway dumpster is about halfway along the row of dumpsters.
When: Evening and night.
1150 Teaneck Rd
Bagels. Seem to not pick up daily so often older harder ones along with new ones.
Dumpster at back of parking lot behind store on right side.
Teaneck Fruit Market
lots of fruit, canned beans, cans of coconut milk, ginseng drinks, boxes of green tea. Fruit has included strawberries, apples, coconuts, watermellon canteloupe. Also veggies, including string beans. As of yet, the best dive I have found in Teaneck.
1406 Teaneck Rd
What: Usual Dunkin donuts assortment: Bagels, muffins, donuts, etc
Where: Dumpster behind shopping center (furthest dumpster out from shopping center)
Teaneck Road Hot Bagels
976 Teaneck Rd
Dumpster against back wall of store
LOTS of bagels in the dumpster behind the store
Beyond Dumpsters– an apple tree
On Palisade Ave just past Cedar Lane in the direction of Route 4 on the left side of the street. Yes, an actual apple tree. Litters apples into the street, down the hill its on, onto the sidewalk, etc. Really good apples. Just watch out for insects on the apples.
Ronnie’s Hot Bagels & Cafe
296 Kinderkamack Rd
Lots of bagels in garbage bags in dumpster in parking lot behind store, near wood fence.
101 Midland Ave
What: The usual Dunkin Donuts stuff– muffins, bagels, donuts, etc.
Where: Dumpster in surrounded by picket fence in parking lot.
How: Picket fence has an easy access door. I recommend entering fence and shutting door behind you to avoid making a spectacle of yourself and drawing heat from management. They may not even mind (Dunkin Donuts managers often don’t), but why risk it?
Trader Joe’s 1172 Hamburg Tpke
Where: With back side of store to your back, walk straight. Dumpsters are in fenced area on the right(fence is open).
What: Lots and lots and lots really good whole grain bread. Pies. Meat stuff (yuck). Cookies. Nuts. Fresh Fruit (cranberries and bananas). Tofu. Hummus. Precut packaged salads. Fresh salsa. Vegan, sugar-free, whole grain muffins.
When: All night after about midnight.
Hamburg Tpke & Berdan Ave
What: Magazines, comics.
Where: everything from the shopping centers is co-mingled in one set of dumpsters, some within and some just outsider a chainlink fenced area (the fence is open). The Waldenbooks stuff, from my experience, is in the dumpster in the fenced area.
How: Magazines and comics are in cardboard boxes.
When: Any time of night
Hamburg Tpke (near Berdan Avenue)
What: Muffins, donuts, bagels, etc.
Where: Big dumpster right behind store.
When: Any time of night