The weight loss clean out special! Part 2: Weight Gain & Refusal from Goodwill

4 Jul

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How do you have a weight loss of 440 .lbs and gain it back in 60 minutes?
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Try donating to Goodwill and having them turn their backs on company policy!  After all my hard work and research throughout multiple website and companies, I was under the impression that Goodwill had a policy that made use of 99% clothes.  Here’s what I thought was going to happen, via Earth911.com

“As a general rule, there isn’t much that we won’t allow to be donated to Goodwill,” Michael Meyer, vice president of donated retail goods at Goodwill Industries International, Inc., told Earth911. “We take all textiles in any condition. All those textiles end up in our system and they’re sorted to determine where they will land.”

After my first post and delivery to my local Goodwill facility, they’ve trashed my entire donation.  This action is to the complete opposite of what my goal is and what their policy states.  They’ve even taken it a step further and said that all donation no must be inspected and that they will not accept the musty and dusty clothing I’ve separated and bagged.  After confronting the floor manager and even showing them the policy set forth by her bosses, she said she will not accept my donation.

I’m not one to give up so suddenly.  People have asked me now if I will just send the bags to the dump and I cannot simply do that.  I’ve already put the effort in, I need to see it fulfilled.  Most people are telling my that Goodwill is all smoke and mirrors, and all b.s. anyways.  They don’t really go to those lengths to be environmentally friendly, do they?

After the incident last week, I wrote to customer service:

Good afternoon,
I’m currently managing a project in which I’m having the contents of a hoarder home that’s been abandoned for 20 year removed. The goal is to donate and recycle as much of the contents as possible. 
There’s a blog documenting the entire process. Every item is sorted and weighed before being removed from the property. 
Can you give me more information on clothes and textiles donation process? I have over 1,000 lbs of clothes that are in need to avoid a land fill and after my first donation to the Goodwill, they told me the clothes were too dusty or musty to accept. The location is in Greenport, NY 12534, store manager’s name is Lynn. 
My blog reaches out to hundreds of locals and are excited about the project and setting a proper example and now this is the first road block I’ve run into. 
I’ve quoted Earth911.com interview with vice president of donated retail goods at Goodwill Industries International, Inc. and was still turned away.  Here’s my reference:

“We’ll let you in on a little secret: charities will accept all sorts of textiles, including those that you think are too worn or damaged to donate.

“As a general rule, there isn’t much that we won’t allow to be donated to Goodwill,” Michael Meyer, vice president of donated retail goods atGoodwill Industries International, Inc., told Earth911. “We take all textiles in any condition. All those textiles end up in our system and they’re sorted to determine where they will land.”

To my dismay, I learned that most of the 370lbs of cloth material ended up in a landfill after donating to one of your stores. 
Please help me be more informed in the process so I can stay positive and also educate those around me on how to do things properly. 

 

Thanks,

Michael J. Molinski

So far they haven’t responded.

Needless to say, I’m still fighting the good fight in organizing and doing my part to keep the land fills clear of anything that doesn’t need to go there.
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I have one more thing to ask.  Now that I gained back the 440 lbs. of clothes, is there anyone out there willing to take it upon themselves to resort the good from the bad and get these to the people in need?  It’s too much for me at this time and hopefully one or a few people will take  on this challenge.  Who’s with me?

Donation to ReStore: Habitat for Humanity
Three boxes of unused ceiling tiles: 162.6 lbs.
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Clothes Bags & Fabrics:
Bag 1: 37.2
Bag 2: 47.2
Bag 3: 51.8
Bag 4: 41.4
Bag 5: 39.8
Bag 6: 43.8
Bag 7: 36.2
Bag 8: 31.6
Bag 9: 54.4
Bag 10: 55.8
TOTAL: 439.2

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Sold to Five&Diamond:
Bag 1: 26.8
Bag 2: 12.8
+ $50 Sale 🙂
Not measured in previous exchanges, 3-4 more bags & $80 sale

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Cardboard and lots of paper, just a glimpse into what’s happening here.

Paper:
Box 1: 13.8
Box 2: 19.2
Box 3: 23
Box 4: 17.2
Box 5: 18.2
Box 6: 52.8
Box 7: 19
Box 8: 11.6
Box 9: 29.2
Box 10: 33.6
TOTAL: 237.6

Plastic:
Bin 1: 18.2
Bin 2: 9.2
Bin 3: 12.2
Bin 4: 6.2
Bin 5: 9.8
Bin 6: 9.6
Bin 7: 25.2
Bin 8: 11.8
TOTAL: 102.2

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Just some of the bins of recyclable material. Check out the scale, I told ya I was measuring everything!

 

Trash:
Bag 1: 31
Bag 2: 32.6
Bag 3: 38

Pickup Truck Load: 280
TOTAL: 381.6

All said and done, here’s the total weight loss this time (still counting the clothes because they’re not on the property now, just in my barn {my wife hates that 🙂 }) I’ve unloaded a whopping  1,200.2 lbs. this time and still more to come!

 

14 Responses to “The weight loss clean out special! Part 2: Weight Gain & Refusal from Goodwill”

  1. Tim Gunther July 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    It’s a shame that Goodwill has decided to snub it’s nose at their own policies. As a former Assistant Manager of Goodwill Store Brent Lane 12, I am appalled that they would do this. There are a plethora of people in need that could use these things, as well as, the people within their programs that would be able to put good use to these items as well. For those that would like to make a statement about these issues and lack of policy follow through, you can contact Frank Harkins CEO of Goodwill Easter Seals at (251)471- 1581.

  2. Virginia Martin July 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Recycling and keeping everything possible out of landfills is so important. Really glad you’re dedicated to doing this. Very sad that it’s turned out as it has. So far, that is.

  3. Rachel Kappel July 7, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    The City of Hudson Fire Department has a donation bin, at 77 North 7th street. I drop off clothes there, my understanding is that clothes are donated to local families that have lost homes and property to fires. Also, consider Salvation Army, Second Show or Rock Solid Church. Rock Solid has made mission trips to Haiti in the past and brought clothes to those in need. Good luck and thanks for fighting the good fight.

  4. Thomas Clifford July 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    I applaud your efforts. You are an inspiration to us all – don’t give up.

  5. Yvonne Cato July 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I just discovered you from an Earth911 post & am fascinated! I’ve watched many tv shows & was disgusted that they always just threw everything away without a care for anything. I”m in complete awe of what you’re doing, THANKS! I’ll be following you from Knoxville.

    As a nurse, I have concerns about the safety & usability of the clothes that may have had some bearing on the Goodwill manager’s decision. The pictures clearly show what may be toxic black mold on the walls & you are wearing a respirator (so glad). I sincerely hope for your health’s sake that you had the house tested for back mold & have taken all reccomended precautions (see CDC). If not, there are some very reliable companies that you can send samples to for testing very inexpensively (I’ve researched them & will post links if you want them). The house has been abandoned for 20 years (plus who knows how long the clothes have actually been there?). The clothes, no doubt, have become moldy & dusty also.

    As many people are severely allergic to mold & dust; it would be an unnecessary workplace health hazard to expect that Goodwill employees sort them (also quite unpleasant!). The Goodwill doesn’t have the resources to protect their employees with respirators. In addition, there is no way they can put mold smelling clothes on the floor racks to contaminate other clothes; much less expect people to buy them.

    Allergic or not black mold (& other types) are not healthy for anyone to inhale or be around. This includes employees of fabric recyclers and other humans in Third World countries.

    The Goodwill has no laundry facilities or any other resources to wash & dry the clothes. I don’t know who would volunteer their resources to launder that many pounds of clothes. Another consideration is whether simple laundering would adequately remove the mold. The CDC may have information. An additional consideration is whether the resulting carbon footprint left from laundring is worth it?

    Who knows if fabric recyclers would require laundering before use? You could contact a few to see if they could accept your bulk donations as is. There also may be a local rag company that would pay you by the pound. Suggestion: there are many button (& maybe zipper?) collectors: post “come salvage free buttons, you pick, you cut”! If all else fails, would there be a local incinerator that produces heat or electricity that could burn them? At least that way some environmental benefit would be realized!

    Most unfortunately, hoarding is a serious mental health disorder. And as you & numerous tv shows demonstrate, one that has a serious negative environmental impact also. Thanks again for what you’re doing & take care & be safe most of all!

  6. Suzie Anderson July 20, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Yvonne did an excellent job of explaining what might be the issue, and she’s much more patient than I am regarding your snarkiness. Why on earth should Goodwill take 400 lbs of clothing that has been sitting around for 20 years (!!!!) in a house that has lots of mold? Why would ANYONE want that material? Not only would I not want it, I would not want it sent to Africa as useful clothing or to seat manufacturers as filling for cushions. It’s just plain disgusting. My guess is that Goodwill rarely gets such a donation – at least in these quantities – and therefore does not deal with it in their marketing materials (or even in their normal policies). If they can’t do anything with this donation, that means they will be the ones to send it to the landfill (which is where it probably belongs) – at THEIR expense.

    Sounds to me you’ve gotten so enamored with your good works that you’ve lost sight of what is reasonable. You ARE doing a great job here, but please don’t forget that EVERYthing can’t be recycled.

  7. Michael July 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    Thanks Yvonne & Suzie for checking out the post and weighing in. I wish I had more pics but it’s difficult to do the task and document everything. I do want to be clear that the place isn’t mold ridden and only the first batch of clothes were dusty.

    90% of the clothes I’m getting are coming out of boxes, trash bags, and plastic bins.

    Somewhere along the 90’s a family member used the place as a place to hold everything.

    So hopefully people understand it’s not a worse case scenario with all of the material.

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