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Junk donations cost Salvation Army

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This is the season of giving, Salvation Army representatives say not everyone is donating what you'd like to find under the tree.

There are just some things the Salvation Army can't use like toys. They say too many have been recalled. As for the other items, if you think its junk, chances are the Salvation Army does too.

Trips to the dump cost the Salvation Army about $150,000 every year. It's a problem that captain Erik Nickell says affects their operating budget.

"This trash compacter… about every day and a half, is taken to the dump of stuff that we can't use," said Nickell. "Everything around town has signs, please don't dump. Wait until we're here, but if it is dumped out there, 90 percent of the time it's not good."

Broken electronics, bug-infested furniture and out of date TV's are all items dumped after hours that the Salvation Army has to pay to haul away.

Look how bulky that is. If I have to take that to the dump, and I have to take ten of those, that's a truckload that's uh…around 50 bucks," Nickell said. "We can change something like this, a chord, a pull chord, a cable, yes, but not motors."

Bicycles are the one exception, and are always welcome.

"As long as they haven't been run over by a tractor trailer," Nickell said. "Whether it's a rim, a rubber, or cranks, seats, we can mix and match and make bikes."

Large items, like furniture, don't fit inside collection boxes like this, but people keep leaving them outside and that's why ten of these are sitting in the Salvation Army's parking lot right now.

"If that lamp gets rained on, the electrical stuff inside's getting wet. Once something gets rained on, it's done," Nickell said.

Nickell says he can think of plenty of other things the trash money could be used for.

"The more that we don't send to the dump, the more we can put back into the program," Nickell said. "If you can't get it out of your house and you know we can use it, call us. We come and pick up. We pick up six days a week."

Another problem that increases at this time of year is stealing. Just because these items are donated, doesn't mean you can do some after-hours shopping.

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