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To the Editor, Creston Valley Advance
First, we would like to thank you for your article regarding Creston Valley Gleaners problems with dumping fees.
Gleaners received many comments from those who understand that we are not an alternative to the local dump. Unfortunately, some who saw the picture of bags in the recycle shed with the article concluded that Gleaners was wantonly throwing away clothing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Gleaners makes every effort to make positive use of the mountains of donations we receive. Unfortunately, an increasingly large number of the donations are of totally unusable items, unrepairable, heavily soiled, contaminated, etc.
We do have a volunteer who makes small repairs to clothing, however much of the clothing that is rejected is heavily stained, moldy etc. and unusable.
Upon arriving at our store, the donations are sorted according to the area for which they will be used Household items, Toys, Linens, Clothing. They are then sorted for sale-ability. Items such as clothing are also sorted for season (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) and packed away for future use if out of season. In this process, if the clothing is unsuitable for resale, it is packed up for transport to a recycling hub where it can be used for other purposes. The Gleaners recycles 250,000 – 350,000 pounds of clothing, linens, shoes and purses annually. We do keep things like cotton Tees for sale as bagged rags, sheets as coverups for painters, and quilts as dog blankets. Items are similarly sorted for G2 where an increasing amount of broken and unrepairable items are being dropped in our bins.
We take great pains to see that the donations are used to their fullest. However, there has been an increasing amount of “garbage” donations that we cannot use, nor are they acceptable at the recycling hubs. These are the items which we must consign to the local dump. We have been asking the Town and RDCK for a reduced rate and for assistance since 2014 without success. The fees associated with these items have been steadily increasing and that was the point of the article.
Gleaners is not a substitute for the dump. Our ability to repair and restore badly damaged items is limited, as are the numbers of volunteers who are willing to sort through “garbage” donations.
We fully appreciate those who bring us their lightly used items for resale. You make the effort to see that the items you donate are clean and in reasonable condition. Because of you, each year we can return thousands of dollars to the Creston Valley community in assistance to a wide variety of on-going programs for children, adults & seniors, Gleaners Food Bank, educational bursaries, Hospice, hospital equipment etc. To you we say, “THANK YOU”.
Elaine Keeling, PR
On behalf of the Creston Valley Gleaners Society

This is an example of the "garbage" which is being left in our G2 Store Bins