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

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.’”

Just Posted

LETTER: Castlegar reader calls for stop to inter-provincial travel

Rod Retzlaff calls on political leaders for change

New COVID-19 cases from May 2 to 8. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Four new COVID cases in Castlegar last week

Cases continue to decline in West Kootenay

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

File photo
Paramedic training returning to Castlegar

Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic training to take place in Castlegar

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Tim Miller is selling his 76-foot steel bridge from his property in Burton, B.C. The bridge originates from the railway in Revelstoke. (Contributed)
For sale: a 100-ton 19th century bridge by Arrow Lakes

Bridge is in Burton, B.C. and advertised for $40,000

Most Read