Summerland thrift stores cope with junk donations

Worn, filthy and damaged items brought to donation bins

Summerlanders are donating used items to the community’s two thrift stores, but some of the donations belong in the landfill, not the donation boxes.

“We get stuff that doesn’t belong here,” said Vivian Beattie, president of the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary.

She explained that some of the donations are worn out or in poor condition and cannot be sold.

READ ALSO: Summerland auxiliary raised $1M for hospital tower

READ ALSO: Critteraid fundraiser in support of 53 sick and injured cats and kittens

Other items, including televisions and other electronics, are items the store does not sell and cannot use.

Ursula Wenzel, store manager at the Critteraid thrift store, said people have left garbage at the donation area behind the store.

“Our volunteers have to deal with this,” she said. “They get so fed up coming here in the morning and seeing the mess.”

The Critteraid store now has its donation area fenced off and receives donations when staff are present at the store.

However, some have left items at the store after hours, just outside the fence.

At other times, people have dropped off damaged couches and other furniture at the store.

When thrift stores receive unusable items, they must pay for the cost of hauling these items to the landfill.

Wenzel said the store is happy to take good quality furniture, but cannot sell torn or broken items.

“If you wouldn’t pay for it, don’t drop it off,” she said.

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