Thrift shop volunteers Linda Moorey (left) and Kay Ross are often dealing with mess left behind by donors. Photo: John Boivin

Trash to treasure to trash: Castlegar thrifts deal with waste

Volunteers ask public to be considerate when leaving donations at the door

Volunteers at a Castlegar thrift store are asking locals to be a little more thoughtful with their donations.

They say they are being swamped with waste and garbage.

“People drop things off after-hours. Some mornings you go down there, you cannot get in the door from the outside for the stuff that’s been left overnight,” says Bonnie Thompson, the chair of the St. David’s Thrift shop. “The whole area is jam-packed with donations.”

But that’s the problem. The discarded stuff is marginal to begin with, but then high-graders pick through it before the thrift store staff can.

“If it’s left overnight, or over the weekend, the dumpster divers go through it and take all the good stuff, so they can resell it, and the rest of the donations are left scattered around,” says Thompson. “It’s left wet, dirty, and we can’t sell it and then we have to throw it in the garbage.”

A generous landlord allows the thrift store to use their dumpsters, but plenty of material that’s unsalable the staff have to deal with themselves.

“Please don’t leave TVs, or exercise machines, we don’t have room. Take them to the Re-store,” says Thompson, pointing to the Habitat for Humanity store at the south end of town.

“And we don’t have room for mattresses either. Just take them to the dump.”

The thrift store raised about $50,000 last year for two local churches from the sale of cast-away stuff.

But Thompson says they have to go though a lot of chaff to find the salable goods.

“Please, if you are going to bring donations, which we would love to have, make sure it is something we can sell,” says Thompson. “We can’t sell things that are torn, or dirty. We get sometimes one shoe, or one slipper. Really? We can’t sell that.”

But most of all, Thompson asks donors to drop goods off during their business hours, Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

“There’s a sign and doorbell that says “Ring and we’ll come out,” says Thompson. “I think people are afraid we’ll say ‘no.’”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Security video captures Castlegar porch pirate

Man stole package from front of house in December

RCMP still investigating body found between Nelson, Castlegar

Halimi’s body was found between Nelson and Castlegar in May 2018

Castlegar Rebels come from behind to beat Nitehawks

The Rebels earned victory over the first-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks, but fell against Golden

Two big housing projects planned for Castlegar

A mix of single family and multi-family units planned

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Veteran B.C. journalist battles cancer through pioneering immunotherapy treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Most Read