The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Charlottetown needs good used clothing. ((CBC))

The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Charlottetown just reopened after being closed for six years, and it's being swamped with donations of used clothing.

A lot of the clothing being dropped off has to be thrown away because it's in such poor shape, said Michelle Aitken, who works at the store.

"It's coming in with rips, stains, tears, and it's not anything we can put on our racks to sell to the public," she said Tuesday.

The Salvation Army sells the donated clothes and uses the proceeds to support the food bank and its other community programs.

The charity is grateful for the donations, but worn out clothing doesn't help,

The Salvation Army doesn't have the time or the money to wash soiled clothing. The donated clothes have to be ready to hang, Salvation Army Lt. Ian Scott said.

"With a Thrift Store, you sort of get in mind the used clothing. But, really in the last several years thrift stores have come up in their quality and their availability," he said.

"I think in order to be competitive, we need to sell good product, just like anyone else."

Staff and volunteers spend hours and hours sorting through what they can sell, and what they have to throw out.

Getting rid of the waste is costly, Scott said. It's what forced the Thrift Store to close six years ago, after close to 50 years in operation. It was costing more to haul away the garbage, than the store was making.