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The Dream Meaning of Waste (Garbage)

December 30, 2023


Waste can refer to a misuse of resources and waste. In dream symbolism, garbage stands for things or information that one should finally process or has already dealt with and which are now no longer needed and can be thrown away. However, it often also expresses ‘mental garbage’ and the invitation to take a closer look at one’s own personality. The dream is positive if no aversion is felt, then the decision has already been made or is imminent. However, if aversion and disgust are predominant, then clarification and overcoming is overdue. The color of the waste is often significant.Sometimes the coming spring cleaning triggers a dream about cleaning and tidying up. But it can also be the interpretation: Your life is littered with useless problems and people that you should definitely get rid of. Perhaps you are investing more than is good for you in relationships or other things that need to be brought about. If you see garbage, you may want to erase annoying thoughts from your mind in waking life. If the dreamer produces a lot of garbage in his dream, he should review his lifestyle. If you keep collecting garbage, want to take it away, but find another basket full, another overflowing bucket – and no end, then you want to free yourself from the ‘soul garbage’ and don’t really know where to start. You finally want to ‘dispose of’ old problems, but you don’t yet have a concrete plan. If you throw the garbage away, you want to get some mental relief or get rid of any worries. Here and there it suggests that you might get something back that you carelessly threw away but was actually quite valuable. Looking for and finding something specific in the trash can mean that you are about to make a valuable discovery. Make use of it, but try not to hurt a friend in the process.


Perhaps the dreamer is experiencing an energy crisis that he does not understand. He should go in search of the ‘energy leak’. Waste in dreams (similar to some idioms) can herald financial successes that are often not expected.

Cultural interpretations


  • seeing with a bad accompanying feeling: heralds poor handling of affairs,
  • seeing with a good or neutral feeling: one will get rid of an inconvenience or difficulty,
  • possessing: the possession will increase.
  • finding: making a valuable discovery,
  • collecting: your effort is pointless; you will not succeed with it,
  • stumbling over it: one should discard false ideas, reevaluate old attitudes, and replace them with new ones,
  • various things falling from above, not clearly recognizable: with positive feelings during the dream, an indication that one can increase their possessions; with negative feelings, a sign that false accusations, envy, or resentment from others are imminent.