Salvation Army donations going into trash, says woman
Some items end up on the ground, raising safety concerns, employees say
A Winnipeg woman says she's angry to see some donations to the Salvation Army's thrift store ending up in the garbage.
Jessica Kabayiza says she has dug out donated clothing, furniture and other items from an overflowing dumpster behind the Salvation Army's thrift store in St. Boniface.
"I find [it] very shocking all these items end up in the garbage when they've been donated for people that really need it," she said.
Kabayiza said she gives many of the recovered items to newly-arrived immigrants to Canada.
As Kabayiza picked through the dumpster for clothes earlier this week, a female employee of the thrift store watched from an open doorway.
"I can tell you it appalls me to see this everyday," said the employee, who did not give her name.
"But this the exact reason why we have to throw it out. You should see the people just destroy it."
Donations left on the ground
According to staff, the thrift store is closed on Sundays, but that's when many people drop off donations.
By Monday morning, those donated items end up scattered on the ground in the parking lot, often picked over and broken.
Citing health and safety reasons, the Salvation Army's national recycling office says it cannot pick up items off the ground and sell them in the store.
"We don't know if possibly an animal's been on it, or something unsafe has been on there," said Scott Gilmore, the organization's marketing coordinator.
"We have no idea. So for health and safety [reasons], we have to get rid of that product."
The Salvation Army says it is grateful for people's donations, but it adds that people should either bring items into the store during business hours or place them in the drop-off bins when they are not full.
Other thrift stores in Winnipeg told CBC News they have similar policies in place, as they do not have the capacity on-site to clean all the donations they receive.