If your old furniture looks like this, take it to the transfer station; don’t dump it on someone else.

The Editor’s Desk: Dumping on dumpers

Have some unwanted, unusable furniture to dispose of? Don't make it someone else's problem.

In this week’s “Local News Briefs” you will see that The Equality Project in Cache Creek is having people dump unwanted furniture at their clubhouse on Stage Road. In this latest instance the two pieces are unusable; so volunteers there will have to take them to the transfer station and pay the tipping fees.

The Equality Project is not the only group dealing with this problem. An article about the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop that appeared in the August 24 issue noted that “[T]he Auxiliary has seen an increase in furniture donations since the Cache Creek landfill closed in December 2016 and the TNRD stepped in to operate a transfer station at the site, which charges tipping fees for furniture” ($5 per mattress or bulky armchair, $10 per any other furniture item).

The two volunteers interviewed for the article said that they would really prefer it if people did not bring unwanted furniture to the shop, as more often than not the volunteers there need to take it to the transfer station themselves, and pay the tipping fee, because they don’t need it, can’t get rid of it, and have no space for it.

Anecdotally, I heard of pieces of furniture dropped off for the Boston Flats Relief Society that were simply unusable, and which had to be disposed of; again, by volunteers who had to take the items to the transfer station and pay the fees.

I’m not in any way trying to knock people who, out of the goodness of their hearts and to help others, give nice items of furniture that are in fine shape. However, it’s important to call your proposed drop-off spot first and find out if a) they need or can use it and b) have space for it (many places have limited storage and/or display space).

As for those who take clearly unusable items and dump them somewhere like The Equality Project, presumably to spare themselves the tipping fee at the transfer station: well, I can think of various things to call them, none of which are suitable for print. And please, don’t try saying that you thought a piece of furniture that is stained, or is missing pieces, is going to be of use to anyone else. If you can’t use it anymore for these reasons, no one else can, either.

I’d honestly like to know the thoughts that go through the head of someone who is prepared to load these items into a vehicle and dump them at The Equality Project or the Thrift Shop, rather than drive a few more miles and dispose of them at the transfer station. I assume it’s something along the lines of “I don’t want this anymore because it’s no good, but I don’t want to pay the tipping fee. I know! I’ll drop it off at XX, and let the volunteers there dispose of it and pay the fee, thus tying up their time and depriving them of some of the funds they work so hard for, and which go to help people in need in our communities! Hey, sucks to be them, but I saved myself $5; sweet!”

Don’t be that person. If you know of someone who wants to be that person, call them on it, and tell them it’s unacceptable. And if you have been that person, make amends by making a donation to the group in question, or volunteer some time to help them out. It’s the right thing to do.

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