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The Green Residential and Commerical Mini Dumpster Service

Serving Homeowners, Remodelers, Builders, and Roofers

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Is Your Thrift Store "Donation" Just Unusable Junk?

Donating to a worthy cause not only feels good but is also doubly... nay, triply rewarding if you're simultaneously clearing out the clutter in your life in a sustainable way! Unfortunately, the methods of some clean-out culprits are a little questionable as thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army continuously see the ongoing dumping of junk at their drop-off locations. While it would be a task to discern whether each case is simply ill-informed, neglectful, or downright nihilistic, perhaps some potential donors of detritus could benefit from a few checkpoints regarding their thrift store donation. Is your thrift store "donation" just unusable junk?

thrift store donation unusable junk

Thrift Stores Don't Benefit From Donations of Garbage

It helps to remember that thrift stores are not dumping sites or repair centers. Especially if dropping the donation off after hours or without anyone around to ask for information. Chances are if the item doesn't work, then neither will the donation. Remember: thrift stores are trying to use the money made from gently used items for helping the needy.

If they pay to have the unusable junk removed, that money could have gone toward a family's social services, help with utilities, food, clothing or disaster response. Be good at doing good - Be sure your thrift store donation drop off isn't simply dumping garbage!

garbage thrift store donations

What To Donate To Thrift Stores

New or gently used items such as:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Housewares and Small Appliances
  • Electronics, VCR's, Stereos, Flat-panel HDTVs
  • Tools
  • Records, Tapes and CDs
  • Books, Records, Videos, DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Toys, Games, and Puzzles
  • Collectibles and antiques

What Not To Donate To Thrift Stores

While some items are junk, many thrift stores don't accept certain items for other reasons such as safety or sanitation. Think twice about donating any of these:

  • Broken televisions
  • Old tires
  • Mattresses/box springs
  • Hazardous waste/materials
  • Used children’s car seats
  • Construction remains (i.e. carpet scraps, boards with nails, etc.)
  • Products recalled by the CPSC
  • Liquids


The ultimate rule of thumb is to donate what you would give to a friend. If you wouldn't give the item to a friend, then don't donate it to the thrift store. If an item is ripped, torn, or broken, think before you drop it off - Especially if you have a lot of it! Hire a professional dumpster service - shameless plug: Give Frog Hauling a call!

Posted in Dumpster Blog, Junk Removal, Waste Management