Thrift stores sort trash from treasure

By Molly Robles
Flapjack Chronicle

As the academic calendar closes on another year at Humboldt State, Arcata thrift stores are getting ready to face their busy season.  The student population transitions in May, and local businesses like waste management companies and thrift stores are faced with the question of how to deal with all the stuff that falls by the wayside.

Local thrift stores anticipate the high volume of donations this time of year.  The Hospice Shop manager Meghan Quintantilla confirmed that the late spring to early summer is the busiest time of year for her donation intake team.

“Between now and June first we get a lot of donations coming in,” Quintantilla said.  “We just did a sale that we do every April to kind of help clear out inventory, so that way we can make way for the influx of donations that come in in May and June.  That helps keep the things flowing.”

Many students move away after the school year concludes.  Dorm residents either return to their hometowns, move off campus, or travel during the summer.  Biochemistry student Isaac Mayer and all of his five housemates are going their separate way when the semester ends.

“All of my roommates are leaving for the summer,” Mayer said.  “I’m going home, but I’m going to move into a smaller place here with some other friends.”

When asked what will become of the stuff that doesn’t make the cut in the moving process, Mayer said that he would be donating the excess to a thrift store.

Both the Hospice Shop and Angels of Hope thrift stores said that they have methods for filtering the salable reusables from the many donations.  Angels of Hope thrift store manager Shannon Hardin said that her staff goes through the donations as they arrive to make sure that items are in good shape.

“We sort through the donations one at a time because if we don’t, we end up with enormous dump bills,” Hardin said.

Both stores have items they can’t get enough of.  Quintantilla emphasized the preference for furniture at the Hospice Shop.

“We can’t get enough of it and it sells really fast,” she said.  “We have a truck that picks up furniture so it’s really convenient for students.  They can call us with a furniture donation…we’ll pick it up and bring it here for free.”

Angels of Hope thrift store prefers household items and men’s clothing because they donate clothes to homeless people.

“Just think about, what would you buy at a thrift store,” Hardin said. “What would be useful?  We love really useful stuff.”


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