Thrift store

Bismarck thrift stores handle large amounts of donations

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — Local thrift stores are constantly sifting through piles of donations, spending time sorting through what they can sell and what is just junk.

Clearance sales are a staple of North Dakota summers, as people hope that items they don’t need can become someone else’s treasure. What isn’t sold is usually donated to a thrift store, but with all the treasures, sometimes there’s just junk.

“Sometimes that’s what people bring, they hide things a little bit, so yeah, we have to go through that, sort of dispose of the trash or whatever,” said Pat Salter, the donations supervisor at Goodwill to Bismarck.

Salter says putting things in boxes and keeping things organized can really help cut down on the time he spends donating.

“It looks really nice too,” Salter says.

He says he appreciates the community providing all the donations for those in need, but would like people to keep one rule of thumb in mind.

“Would they like us to drop it off…to them, you know,” Salter said.

At Second Chances Thrift Center, they take everything they can safely keep in their facility, but end up throwing some things away.

“And we have trash removal twice a week, we have one of the big dumpsters and we have full dumpsters twice a week, so that’s all we have to throw away,” said the store manager, Brad Wahl.

When asked how long it takes his volunteers to go through all the donations, he laughs.

“In fact, almost all day, every day we’re open because we get so many,” laughs Wahl.

Bismarck’s two thrift stores said they were grateful for generous donations, but it would help if people looked through the donated item for stains or broken parts. If something is not in working order or stained or torn, they will not be able to resell it and they will have to pay to take it to the landfill.

If you have donations in good condition, both stores encourage the public to call ahead to ensure they are still accepting donations as capacity is often full before the end of the day.

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