Last Wednesday morning, before the Thrift Store opened, an individual in a white pickup truck dropped off several mattresses, a lounge chair and a sleeper-sofa at the Beacon of H.O.P.E.
"Unfortunately we don't take any of these things," store manager Ray West said. "And now it's our responsibility to dispose of these items and we will have to pay for that. So instead of helping the Beacon, we will incur the costs to dispose of these things."
Thrift stores like the Beacon of H.O.P.E. often have furniture and other goods "dropped off." Goodwill of Southwest Florida has a sign posted on the side of its building notifying people that "dumping is illegal and violators will be prosecuted. Any donation left other than during business hours is considered illegal dumping. The law provides penalties up to $10,000 and one year in jail."
Items left outside Beacon of H.O.P.E. on Pine Island.
"The best thing for people to do is to call us to see if we can take what they have," West said. "We do have a list of the items we can not take. It's a list of the things we can't resell. A few of the items we can't take include mattresses, box springs and sleeper sofas. I would also remind people that it's rainy season and people have to realize anything left out in the rain probably can't be resold."
The Beacon does not accept the following items: TV's, monitors, keyboards and printers, car seats, cribs and playpens, appliances or furniture that is rusted, stained or in need of repair, mattresses, box springs or sleeper sofas.
"WastePro will pick up almost anything," Betsy Haesemeyer, executive director, said. "you just have to notify them what it is you want picked up. We encourage people to call first rather than load it on a truck and bring it down only to learn we can't take what they have. And we just don't have the funds to dispose of these things people just drop off."