The expression "One man's trash is another man's treasure" implies that everything one person throws away, can be used by another. Not so! There are things you never want to see coming out of a bag of donations.
If you think I am exaggerating, maybe you wouldn't be disturbed by a bag of used condoms, tampons and sanitary towels. Evidently yesterday someone thought it would be funny to donate a bag of sanitary waste to our charity shop in Sliema. So thank you (whoever you are), for putting some good volunteers through that. I am sure that is exactly what volunteers need in order to want to keep coming back...NOT. Occasionally, we also get a great bag of donations which just also happens to have a turd in the midst. Maybe this prankster signs his pranks by name.
Besides the obvious waste that gets deliberately placed on our doorstep, there is also a little-known but big problem called bulky refuse. We have had big old and damaged bulky pieces of furniture dumped in front of our charity shop in Naxxar, or delivered to us without notice or request, and no possibility to refuse it. We aren't stupid. We have seen this furniture before, very often on recycling groups and pages on Facebook. Often it also turns out to be infested by moths and could ruin our whole stock of furniture, including our administration office.
Here's the thing! If you can't give it away for free, then we certainly won't be able to sell it to raise funds. In fact, what happens is that we will have to dispose of it, but being a retail outlet we do not benefit from free bulky refuse collection. No! We have to pay for waste to be collected and instead of helping us raise funds for the animals, you actually make us spend money on your garbage which you could have had collected for free. Please! Think before you do something like this. We battle the uphill enough as it is.
Lastly, while I'm on the subject of suitable vs. unsuitable donations, it's worth mentioning clothes. Our clothes stock is what moves the fastest because our clients know that we sift through donated clothes and sort them, so what reaches the shelves is actually in good shape and clean. Our clients don't have to encounter rust stained linen, torn or stained or faded clothes, single or torn shoes, battered and broken pots and pans, damaged electronics, etc. Indeed the list is endless. There is a certain point when an item has passed its usable life. When that has happened, please donate it to the recycling or mixed waste bin. We also have to pay for such garbage to be stored in a skip and collected.
We would rather use the funds we raise on the animals, instead of waste disposal. I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to every person who volunteers for the MSPCA, whether it's in our charity shops or mucking at the rehoming center because together we are all pulling one rope to bring about the better future for animals we hope for.