Look at this disgusting stuff: Mildewed mattresses, tattered furniture, broken toys complete junk. But we didn’t find it in the junk yard.

This is what people are "donating" to charity. Old paint cans. Worn out tires. Charities like the Salvation Army help the needy with the money they get by selling donations, but we found this stuff is *costing* them and other charities big bucks because they have to pay to get rid of it.


"So all these things you'll just have to throw away?"

Major Michael Copeland, Salvation Army

"Yes we do."

At the Salvation Army: Old computer equipment. Broken monitors. Ancient TVs. A broken dresser.


"So what do you do with this?"

Major Michael Copeland, Salvation Army

"We have to dispose of it because without the drawers, there's no way we can sell that."

The Salvation Army and wastes hundreds of hours unpacking, sorting unusable donations..and spends about $6 million nationally each year disposing of them. Six million dollars.

Major Michael Copeland, Salvation Army

"It's hurting our ability to help those people who come to us."

Are these people brazenly dumping? Are they taking tax deductions? No one could never use these. Planet Aid has to rip up mattresses, and rip up books, and stack up the junk tires. They try to recycle, but it all uses up time and money and it helps no one.

Fred Olsson, Planet Aid

"It hurts, it hurts."

Look at these drop boxes in Middleborough there's literally garbage! At this one in Ashland useless trash. But charity workers become garbage haulers, opening the boxes, taking out stuff out and trucking it away.

Last year alone Planet Aid shelled out $700,000 to get rid of junk! That's money that did not go to help people in need.

Fred Olsson, Planet Aid

"For us, it's a huge problem."

They try to stop it, The Salvation Army installed a video monitor. Planet Aid has asked police to patrol their sites. Goodwill put up signs, posted lists of acceptable items, set up tip lines, and staffed some donation centers.

They even placed some donation boxes next to garbage dumps–hoping to make it easier to trash the trash.

Bill Labelle, Goodwill

"It's been a strong effort on our part."

But in Eastern Massachusetts alone, they're still paying $200,000 a year to dispose of junk.

But charities know as long as boxes are junk magnets, they'll battle to weed out the good—and pay to get rid of the bad.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Charities say they welcome your donations, but please: give smart. Most of the non profits list on their websites exactly what they can use and what they can't.

For more details on how to “give smart” to these charities, check out their websites:




(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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