PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Donations are given second chances at secondhand stores, including that of the Salvation Army on Mercer Street in Princeton. But lately, some particular drop-offs are leaving Lt. Dennis Smith second guessing the intent of these donors.
“They come in the middle of the night, when nobody can stop them, and they unload their trash,” Smith said.
Lieutenant Dennis Smith told 59News this is almost an everyday occurrence. The most recent incident happened over the weekend of Saturday, October 10, 2020, when a completely broken down mattress with extensive water damage was dropped off. Smith also said some people trash the alley behind the store with actual donations dropped off afterhours.
“As soon as they donate, they come running down, they tear through it, and they take the good things,” Smith said. “All of the other things are just pulled and thrown throughout the alley way. It’s just an absolute mess.”
Smith explained this constant problem costs the nonprofit time and money — up to $35 for every trip to the landfill.
“Eventually it becomes a burden, because it’s just money that we shouldn’t be spending on trash,” Smith said. “We should be spending on people and doing good things with it.”
The store plans to install security cameras and begin talks with Princeton Police about monitoring the situation. Regardless, Smith said this issue isn’t going to stop them from serving.
“We want to do the very best we can for this community and take everything in that we can,” Smith said.