Goodwill Not Landfill

Posted by: jilly

Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/01/10 06:52 PM

a really interesting photo essay about where the usable and unusable clothes donated to Goowill go - Goodwill not Landfill

It is exciting to see nothing is wasted!
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/02/10 05:16 AM

it is interesting. I wonder if all the Good Wills are as together as that one.

The Good Wills in Austin have gotten expensive in the last few years. I used to shop there all the time, but not so much any more. We have a few other great thrift stores here and I shop at them mostly.

The Good Will store I shop at seems very clean and somewhat organized, and they have a lot of things. But I bought my son a 4 cup Mr Coffee machine. It was completely wrapped in clear tape and it looked very clean but when he took the tape off, inside it had an old coffee filter filled with coffee and it was moldy in there! The whole inside was filled with mold! On electronic stuff, you only have 2 days to return things, and I had given it to him so it was a few days later that I found out, so I couldn't get my money back. Actually that was the last time I shopped there, about two years ago.

i'd like to shop there but the other thrift stores are so much cheaper, with the same or better quality.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/04/10 06:47 PM

Very inspiring about the fabric!

That is dismaying about the coffee and mold. What a shame that someone in essence "destroyed" a good quality item by doing that. But then again, let's think of the alternative. What if the donating person took out the coffee and gave a quick rinse to the mold before then giving it to the store. So your son could have gotten something that looked fine but was really infested with mold, and gotten really sick. Sometimes it is better to go with new items.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/08/10 08:41 PM

I think this kind of thing, about the clothes, is a good example of right use. I like that nothing is wasted, that every last possible use will be wrung from these fabrics.

It goes to show that all old clothes, linens, towels, sheets, curtains - no matter what their age or condition - need to be properly donated to a facility that can actually put the fabrics into this system.

Goodwill does this - I hope all of them do. But I doubt the little 'Senior Center' rummage thrifts do. I know the very nice thrift in town here can only do so much...if something is not up to their resale standards, they do one of three things:

- put old blankets into bins for free pet blankets
- use old towels for bags of rags
- use old sheets for bags of dropcloths

...I think everything else they burn. Yes, actually burn. They have a burn permit to save them trash tipping fees. So they put particulates in the air with the unsellable fabrics.

That is not exactly something I am in favor of, but they simply do not have the infrastructure to do the fabric baling that Goodwill does.

It makes me want to sort my clothes, into "things my thrift store might be able to sell" (so i can support my local shops), and a pile of dirty, tattered, ripped and old clothes for Goodwill. But that is not really nice to use Goodwill in that way, is it?

Isn't it better that the really rubbish fabrics will at least end up being used to the last drop?
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/08/10 09:31 PM

Thats a good point Lisa.

@ Jilly you take everything you choose to tackle to a very fine point, don't cha!! lol. That's good though. I wish I had that determination. In my younger days, I would start so many projects, and if I couldn't get any headway going, I would lose interest fast! Now, I'm very picky about what I start! I used to tear my house apart and then if I lost interest before the end, there I'd be, with my house torn apart!! lol.

I have a friend who used to work at Good Will, so I know that what they don't consider "saleable", they send on to the St. Vincent De Paul, or the Salvation Army and places like that, who do charity work.

I do give old towels and blankets (from vacant apartments) to my vets. They really need them, and it always helps to be on the good side of your vets!! Same with pet food and water bowls. Clothes that don't fit me or is not my style, I give to people in my apt complex and my neighborhood. I do keep old tee shirts and shorts and sweats to wear to my job. It won't matter if I get caulk or whatever on them and if they're too bad, after I've worn them, I can throw them away.

I must say that I hate the idea of them burning things. It seems to me that there are enough things in the air we breathe! I'm always thinking of that, having COPD and asthma and bronchitis.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/09/10 04:39 PM

Quote:
@ Jilly you take everything you choose to tackle to a very fine point, don't cha!! lol. That's good though. I wish I had that determination.


Maybe it's my First World Guilt. I want to do what small things I can to make the world better. And the corollary is I want to do as little amount as possible to make the world worse.

It's also interesting to me. I don't like complaining about the government. It bores me. It's much more fun to try to work on my zero-net trash and minimal carbon footprint ideas.

So, back to what you were saying about picking your battles...well, these are the battles i have picked. smile

Quote:
I do give old towels and blankets (from vacant apartments) to my vets. They really need them, and it always helps to be on the good side of your vets!! Same with pet food and water bowls. Clothes that don't fit me or is not my style, I give to people in my apt complex and my neighborhood. I do keep old tee shirts and shorts and sweats to wear to my job. It won't matter if I get caulk or whatever on them and if they're too bad, after I've worn them, I can throw them away.


That is really great that you take the time to make sure these left behind items are reused! You feel feel very proud of yourself for that. With your job, you really are in a position of doing a lot of good things and giving items to people/animals in need.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Goodwill Not Landfill - 05/12/10 03:25 AM

I think part of what we can do is ask, when we bring clothes somewhere, what they do with the clothes. If they do say they burn them, we can suggest alternatives. It might be that they're so stressed just doing their regular jobs that it never occurred to them. It is probably FAR less work for them (and far less dangerous!) to pick up the phone and have someone come and take all their leftovers away. So it's a win-win!