Trash not always treasure |

Trash not always treasure

John GardnerGarfield County correspondentVail CO, Colorado
Chad Spangler/Post IndependentMatt Fullenwider, right, and Jeremy Kauffman help sort and price donations at Defiance Thrift Store recently. The store is struggling with large trash bills due to a high volume of unusable items such as broken appliances being dropped off as donations

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Most mornings for Kim Cabeceikras are spent going through trash.As the manager of Defiance Thrift Store in Glenwood Springs, sifting through the mounds of donations, separating good merchandise from the bad, is taking up more of her time than she would like.We are literally being overwhelmed by trash, Cabeceikras said. You can only process so much in a day.Since shes taken over as manager for the local nonprofit thrift store, Cabeceikras said the amount of trash that people leave has been pilling up. And the pile doesnt seem to be going down.We take donations seven-days-a-week during business hours, Cabeceikras said. But people dont care what they are dropping off. People are dumping stuff off because they dont want it. But its stuff that we cant sell.Cabeceikras said that shes received unusable merchandise such as ripped or torn clothing, socks with holes, furniture reeking of animal urine and used car batteries.What am I supposed to do with a used car battery? Cabeceikras asked.Furthermore, Cabeceikras has a problem with people dropping off household appliances like refrigerators and laundry machines, some not in working order.Defiance doesnt even accept household appliances and there are signs posted stating the fact prominently in front of the building.Cabeceikras said that its also illegal for people to drop off donations after business hours, but that is when they get most of the trash.I feel like a dump service and that people think this is OK, Cabeceikras said. But we are not.Last month alone, Cabeceikras filled three of the large roll-off trash containers from Rocky Mountain Disposal.Even at a discounted price, according to Cabeceikras, Defiance still spent nearly $1,500 for trash in June. Defiance has allocated $15,000 for trash-pick up for the year.That money could go toward more important things, such as other area nonprofits, or maybe providing some form of health care benefits for Defiances six employees, she said.We would love to be able to provide employees with health care options and maybe we could if we didnt have such a large trash bill, Cabeceikras said.Cabeceikras said that shes thankful for all the generous donations that she does receive from the community.That is, after all, how the thrift store generates income.Defiance Thrift Store raises money mainly for two other local nonprofits Family Visitors Programs, which helps families with newborns, and LIFT-UP.We dont want to turn people off, donations are how we survive, Cabeceikras explained. We just want people to be more conscientious of what they bring here.

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