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Nonprofits, thrift shops burdened with after-hours donations

May 20, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bismarck nonprofits and thrift shops are facing a growing burden of having to cover the costs of hauling away items that were donated after operating hours, including moldy mattresses and rained-on furniture.

Several agencies have put up signage and installed security cameras, but they said it’s done little to deter the after-hours dumping, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Mandan’s AID Inc. gets inundated with leftover goods that no one wanted to buy at garage sales, according to Patti Regan, the nonprofit’s executive director. She said landfill disposal fees range from $7 to $20 per item.

“People want a place to dump their garbage,” Regan said. “If you’re bringing in a moldy mattress that’s been laying in the garage for months that the dog’s been sleeping on . we don’t really need it. Don’t tell me the poor need it.”

The Ministry on the Margins, which operates a food and clothing pantry, recently had two couches dropped off after hours. The organization’s founder, Sister Kathleen Atkinson, said they don’t have the capacity to deal with furniture.

“I know some people are doing it out of charity and goodness, but they need to stop and think of the mission,” Atkinson said. “There are other places that take couches. Always respect the mission of the agency.”

Regan and Atkinson both stressed that they’re grateful for the community’s generosity.

“It’s hard out there,” Regan said. “There are a lot of people that are hungry, a lot of people in need.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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