Amarillo, Texas - Some Amarillo charities are being turned into personal trash dumps. It's unusable, not sellable and in some cases, it's even unsafe... The Salvation Army is overwhelmed by junk... Dropped off outside the store.
We're talking about dirty underwear, used mattresses, stained couches, dressers without drawers and chairs without seats, just to name a few. And getting rid of all that trash is costing them a lot of cash.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. But ask Kenny Freeman, and he's not so sure. "I've seen a lot of gross stuff. We had about 15 or 20 bags of soaking wet clothes covered in leaves that looked they'd been sitting outside for months. Mattresses, lots of broken glass."
Major Tim Grider says, "They're just dumping their trash."
To that, the Salvation Army says thanks, but no thanks.
Grider says, "Old electronics. Broken furniture. They're stained, old, filthy watered down clothing. All because things they don't want to pay dump fees for."
But someone has to pay them. Which means the folks at the Salvation Army have to come up with the cash... Forced to literally throw money in the trash... $38,000 of it in 2010 alone.
Grider says, "Imagine what we could do with that money if we didn't have to pay that." Freeman adds, "We struggle here everyday as it is and then people go and do that."
Grider says, "We're short staffed at our shelter. I could hire two new people with that money. We need a new donation truck. I could buy one of those."
Every dollar spent getting rid of junk is a dollar not spent on the charity's mission... Making their effort to "do the most good" hard to do at all. "It costs us $1.70 for every meal. Divide that into $38,000 and you'll see how many people we could have fed... With mortgages rent and utility bills, we could've kept families in their homes."
Freeman says, "It's a big problem. We have to sort through the good and the bad. 8 hours every single day."
Proving that sometimes trash is just trash and what a waste it can be.