Abbotsford charities burdened by after-hours drop-offs

Some members of the public use the MCC Furniture and More store and the Salvation Army thrift store as places to dump their garbage.

These items were dropped at the MCC furnitre store on South Fraser Way after hours on the weekend

These items were dropped at the MCC furnitre store on South Fraser Way after hours on the weekend

The large sign at the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) Furniture & More store at 31877 South Fraser Way clearly lists the hours that donated items can be dropped off.

It also states that they should be left at the MCC Plaza across the street.

But every weekend, staff return to the furniture store on Monday morning to find a pile of items – such as beds, couches, toys and clothing – left outside the building.

Store manager Bob Dyck said the problem is that most of the objects have to be thrown out because staff and volunteers do not know their history or because they are not saleable.

This results in extra disposal costs for the charity – for example, $8 per mattress or box spring. An on-site container where unusable items are deposited costs $350 a week to empty.

He said most charitable stores are facing the same issues.

Deb Lowell of the Salvation Army said that agency sometimes faces the same issues at its thrift store on Gladys Avenue.

She said some people drop off junk items after hours because they do not want to pay the disposal costs themselves.

Dyck and Lowell encourage the public to drop off items only during the listed hours, so that a receiver can ensure they are suitable to sell.

Both locations are closed for drop-offs on Sundays. For donation drop-off hours at the MCC store, visit http://thrift.mcc.org/shops/abbotsford-furniture-and-more.

For drop-off hours at the Salvation Army, visit http://www.careandshare.ca/en/thrift-store.