By Amy Reast

A dumpster diver says she’s found $2MILLION worth of thrown-away goods – including a $500 Dyson hairdryer, a $400 Le Creuset cookware and a $500 robot vacuum.

Jennifer Lleras, 40, started digging around in the dumpsters 20 years ago at college.

And while she’s now a full time marketing agency owner with enough money to live on, she enjoys “rescuing” goods thrown away by stores so they don’t go to waste.

She sorts and donates most of what she finds to charities, schools, women’s shelters and libraries, but sometimes keeps “treasures”.

Marketing agency owner Jennifer Lleras started dumpster diving 20 years ago, but still enjoys “rescuing” goods so they don’t go to waste (Pix via SWNS)

Jennifer said she once found a $500 Dyson air wrap hairdryer, complete with all the attachments – in perfect condition – as well as a $500 Roomba vacuum cleaner.

She’s also saved a $400 Le Creuset Dutch oven, designer handbags and pricey jewellery.

Jennifer’s home is now kitted out with a full home security system, robot vacuums on every floor, a voice-activated bin and high-end cookware – all sourced from dumpsters.

She often finds giant bags full of unworn clothes, beauty supplies, non-perishable food packages, books and school supplies.

Marketing agency owner Jennifer Lleras started dumpster diving 20 years ago, but still enjoys “rescuing” goods so they don’t go to waste (Pix via SWNS)

Jennifer said “nothing makes me happier than when I’m finding things I can donate” – but loves to find the odd luxury item that she’d never buy for herself, too.

She sometimes ends up in tears at how wasteful big retail suppliers can be.

Mum-of-two Jennifer, from Baltimore, Maryland, US, said: “I find it fun – it’s like treasure hunting.

“I go maybe once a week – I just go whenever I’m out running an errand, I’ll go check out the dumpsters.

“I have even gifted dumpster finds to family before – my sister loves when I find decorations and kitchenware to go in her home.

“I don’t think it saves me a ton of money because I keep things I like, not things I need.

“But thinking of everything I’ve found, it works out about $100k a year.”

Jennifer first started the hobby after an art professor suggested she have a hunt through a dumpster for materials.

Marketing agency owner Jennifer Lleras started dumpster diving 20 years ago, but still enjoys “rescuing” goods so they don’t go to waste (Pix via SWNS)

Now married with a house, two teenage children and a successful marketing business, she still likes to have a rummage when she sees a dumpster.

When she finds a haul of goods, she loads them into her truck before taking them back to her home to sort through.

Even if items have sustained a bit of damage in the dumpster, she’ll do DIY to make them useable again before she distributes them.

Jennifer said: “I do keep a bit for myself but I’m not a hoarder.

“My house isn’t cluttered but if I find things I need or can use, I will hold onto them.

“You can’t dumpster dive anywhere – Maryland has quite relaxed laws around this so it’s OK for me to do here.

“I do get asked if I’m poor and that’s why I do it – but it’s just a hobby for me.

“I do it more because I can help others than myself.”

Jennifer said: “It is really fun but sometimes it does make me sad – once I found a dumpster full of kids art supplies. That really affected me.

“I get a lot of feedback from the places I donate to. They’re very thankful.”

While she has often benefitted from her finds, she wishes she didn’t have to.

She said: “I wish I had the capacity to make legislation that would change things.

“It’s really sad that the stores could take this stuff and donate them somewhere they will be used but they don’t.

“Sometimes the stores even destroy things before they dump then, with paint or bleach, and it breaks my heart.

“I find that even worse than throwing it away.”