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How area thrift shops recycle donated items in need of repair

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - This time of year many people are doing some spring cleaning, and that means tossing out old clothes, shoes or kitchen appliances.

Those items often end up in thrift stores, but what happens to the donations in need of repair?

James Bolin, executive director of Teen Challenge, said the center likes to repair damaged items instead of throwing them away.

“We go through them, test them, clean them and again if they are damaged or is beyond repaired, we have someone who comes and picks them up about once a month,” said Bolin.

He said the goal is recycle as many of the items as possible.

“We try to use everything that we can, but if we get soft items, clothing, shoes those kinds of things that are soiled or ripped or mildewed,” said Jessica Hill, executive director of Safe House for Women. “There is a service that we’re able to recycle those items through a company called Remains, that way were able to generate some revenue from that.”

Hill said they prefer items that are in good condition.

“We recycle everything that we can’t sell and then, unfortunately, we have to throw away items on a pretty regular basis, so we fill a dumpster just about every week with things that we’re not able to sell,” Hill said.

Safe House For Women said they encourage donors to give items that are reusable.

“If people have items and they know they still work but maybe the batteries are dead, feel free to go ahead and donate those. We’ll make sure they work, if they have older clothing or shoes but they’re wearable and is still in good usable form,” said Hill.

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