TACOMA, Wash. — We’ve all made a trip to Goodwill to help clear out the clutter but this time of year the nonprofit said they’re swamped with items they can’t sell.
Spring cleaning leads to a very busy summer for nonprofits that rely on your second-hand goods. But not everything that’s dropped off can be sold. Once it’s inside their store, unfortunately it becomes their expensive problem.
“When we have to pay for things like transportation and moving product to the landfills it takes away from our ability to serve the mission in our communities,” said Mike McGarvey, the Director of Operations for Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region.
He’s tasked with figuring out what to do with the stuff that can't be resold to consumers like propane tanks, printers, fax machines, and old mattresses.
Goodwill has a dedicated sorting and salvage facility that runs seven days a week. Fabric is sorted into shipping containers and can end up as far away as Pakistan. Over the summer they expect to pay up words of $400,000 out of pocket to dispose of unusable goods. For the year, they’ll pay close to $1.2 million in dump fees.
“We collect over 105 million pounds a year and we try to keep 80-90% of that out of the waste stream,” McGarvey said.
Money that otherwise would go back into community programs.
“It’s hurting the community. It’s hurting our programs. It’s diverting money away from those programs,” McGarvey said.
And as the summer is just getting started they hope you’ll think twice about what you can and can’t donate. Click here for a list of what Goodwill accepts and doesn't.