We are very fortunate to have a variety of second hand and thrift stores here in the valley. Many of them are run by volunteers and are in the business of raising funds for various charities or community projects. However, in speaking to a number of people who are involved with these types of stores, there seems to be one common issue.
In this age, we are all taught to reduce, reuse, recycle in an effort to minimize waste. However, many of our second hand and charitable shops receive a large quantity of “un-saleable” items that end up in the trash. These organizations have to pay for this garbage removal, often directing money away from much more worthy causes. Not to mention, the time it takes for the volunteers to sort out what can be put out for sale and what gets thrown away.
I would certainly encourage people to donate good used clothing and items to these organizations to help them in the work they do for our communities, but I would also encourage people to seriously consider what they are donating. Clothing that is soiled, torn or worn out. Toys that are broken. Appliances and electronics that are non-functional. General household items that are dirty, damaged or otherwise at the end of their useful life.
Please, when you are gathering up items for donation to thrift or charity stores, have a good look at what you have. Does the item look like something you would want to buy second hand? Perhaps there would be some things that would be best if you sent them to the landfill or recycle yourself rather than having the hardworking volunteers having to deal with and pay for their disposal. These people will thank you.