Friday, May 13, 2011

寶藏或垃圾 / Treasure or Junk

(Based on an Ottawa Sun news article dated May 12, 2011

When I pass by the neighbourhood charity store that recruits, reuses, recycles and resells used household items, I always wonder what kind of junk ppl pass onto them. The Ottawa Sun article confirms my suspicion that many are using the place to dump their garbage in the name of donations.

Of course, ppl will not put the heirloom silverware sets granny left behind into a garbage bag and leave it at the local Salvation Army store. But on the other hand, some of the "donations" received are so worthless that even Salvation Army doesn't want them.

According to the Ottawa Sun article, out of the $2 million worth of donated items received each year, it cost the charitable store Sally Ann $186,000 to sort out and get rid of trash donations. Other stores such as St Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army also report spending resources to deal with junks dumped at their door steps.

Don't get me wrong. Charitable organizations still need your donations, just not junks. There is still a need to provide low-income families with merchandise that they can afford. But please don't donate your used 15-year old klunky refrigerator, computers or machines that cost more to repair than its present worth, soiled and dirty clothing, tattered rags that even a dog would not wear, etc.

But if you are serious abt donating your granny's silverware set, please don't just leave it at the front door of a charitable store. (My neighbourhood store has to lock their collection area at night because some adults are sending kids thru the chute/trap door into the storeroom to steal donated "goodies" left there overnight.) Bring the expensive items to the store manager. I am sure he/she will be happy to see some valuables in the store !!

Sent from BlackBerry


Reference: Please read the article "Sally Ann saddled with $1M junk bill" and the video posted on May 11, 2011 at


•Clothing, shoes, boots, swimwear, belts, sunglasses, purses, jewellery
•Bedding, towels, curtains, blankets
•Books, records, CDs, Blu-Rays, DVDs, DVD players, cameras, MP3s, TVs, computers, stereos, radios, VCRs, VHS tapes
•Games, toys, sports equipment, Halloween costumes
•Winter coats, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves
•Dishes, glassware, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, lamps, area rugs
•Art, pottery, stamps, collectibles, antiques, knickknacks
•Blenders, toasters, juicers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, musical instruments, tools, power tools
•Tables, chairs, sofas, desks, dressers, bookshelves, paintings
•Bed frames, clean mattresses & box springs, filing cabinets, mirrors (**Goodwill doesn’t accept these)


•Fridges, stoves, washers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, water heaters
•Dirty or stained items
•Items needing repair (broken zipper, missing table leg, etc.)
•Household garbage & recycling
•Recalled items
•Chemical products

Sally Ann garbage costs:

•2010 $186,820.96
•2009 $177,830.33
•2008 $201,365.40
•2007 $165,082.54
•2006 $185,211.93
•Total: $916,311.16

Money from the eight Thrift Stores are reinvested into various Salvation Army programs and services:

•Ottawa Booth Centre (homeless shelter)
•Transition House (18 bed transitional house)
•Addictions Rehabilitation
•Community & Family Services (assists families, children and individuals with items such as food, hydro and rent support, financial counseling, clothing)
•Emergency & Disaster Services
•Bethany Hope Centre (support for young parents and their children)


新鮮人 said...



新鮮人 said...



啤酒花™_J said...

oh, i love those shoes.... :)

Haricot 微豆 said...

新鮮人: I have not seen any Hong Kong-style "收買佬" here in Ottawa. Most electronic junks are collected either on the curb-side or thru recycling programs undertaken by electronic stores. There are recycling depots and ppl who will buy scrap metals in bulk. But we do not have men going door-to-door collecting/buying used stuff.

Haricot 微豆 said...

新鮮人: Yes indeed. One person's trash can be another person's treasure. That's also how garage sale works !!!

Haricot 微豆 said...

啤酒花™_J: As you can see, they are one of a kind :O

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