Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

March 18, 2014

Donated 'junk' costs stores more than it's worth

EVANSVILLE (AP) — Spring cleaning equals junk for a lot of people, and where that junk ends up has an economic impact on local nonprofits.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store on Evansville’s southeast side receives so much trash that its compactor must be emptied twice a month.

Store Manager Donna Gronski said it costs about $650 each time it’s emptied.

“A lot of Monday mornings I come in and I’m so overwhelmed by all of the trash that’s piled up,” Gronski told the Evansville Courier & Press. “In the end, we spend over a thousand dollars a month to get rid of it.”

Landfills charge for trash disposal, so Gronski guessed people don’t want to pay to throw stuff away.

“I think people think, ‘We’ll just drop it off and they’ll throw it away,’” Gronski said. “But they are not doing us any favors whatsoever. I don’t think it connects with people that it costs us to empty our Dumpster.”

Recently, Gronski said someone “donated” a five-drawer chest that only had two drawers.

People continuously “donate” mattresses, which the store doesn’t sell anymore because of bed bug concerns, she said.

“It’s pure nasty,” Gronski said.

She said she’s seen sofas with dog hair all over them.

“If you take it out of your house because you have no use for it that’s one thing. But if you take it out of your house because it’s trash, that’s another thing,” Gronski said. “We get it year-around, but we get a lot of good stuff, too.”

That’s if it survives. Gronski said another problem is the items that could actually sell end up being stolen before employees have a chance to move them indoors.

The store, which is open from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday, could use more housing decorations and clean clothing on its shelves. Gronski said they’d like to see more appliances with electrical cords, too.

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