Dumpster Diving: Consumers open trash instead of wallets for beauty products

Tia Ewing investigates trend of dumpster diving for make-up

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dumpster diving for free make-up products and other items is on the rise in northeast Ohio, with some people looking to save a quick buck and others looking to resell.

However, a spare cosmetic tester brush isn't the only thing that can be found.

A MacBook Pro, a pair of diamond earrings and beauty products that many would pay thousands of dollars for were all uncovered in the depths of a dumpster.

Chicago native Angel Jones has been dumpster diving all over the Midwest since 2014. Some see her work as a dirty deed, but to her, it's a way of life.

"I go through the alley and look through people's trash," said Jones. "My husband at first thought it was gross."

Jones sells her findings and has made quite a profit. "I've made roughly $8,000," she said.

I went to five different cosmetic stores to see what I could uncover in a dumpster.

"Unfortunately, I came up short." I only found a mostly used jar of Aveda botanical kinetics Intense Hydrating Rich Creme (retail value $42) and a duo make-up brush from Lancome (retail value $40).

Dumpster diving for make-up is happening at stores in Summit, Stark and Cuyahoga counties.

Before you go trying to find treasure in the dump, think twice. The practice can be very dangerous.

"You come in contact with germs," said Jones. "You must be careful to not stick yourself. Diabetic patients throw needles away. You must get gloves to protect yourself."

The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology said that make-up should not be re-used.

"You cannot clean make-up," a representative said. "You only use single-use brushes on each individual."

Germs aren't the only thing to look for. You could also face charges.

Last year in Solon, a man scavenging through the dumpsters at Ulta Beauty was handed a warning.

Even though Jones decided to go to the dumpster instead of her wallet, she says that spending money on items that you know are safe and untouched is priceless.

Make sure to watch Cleveland 19 News at 11 for the latest in dumpster diving.

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.