"One man's trash is another man's treasure." It's kind of the unofficial slogan for thrift stores.
But apparently, some trash is just literal trash.
Goodwill is asking donors to stop dumping their trash and calling it a "donation." It's still going to the landfill, but the thrift store chain is footing the bill. Donations of all kinds have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and that includes donations of actual trash.
According to Heather Steeves, Goodwill's communication manager:
"What we're anecdotally seeing is that it's a younger generation of donors. Now in the world, we're seeing a lot more one-use items. At the same time, we have millennials, like me, who don't want to throw stuff out. We want to act as sustainably as possible. So there's this optimism of, ‘I'm sure someone wants this old spaghetti jar to turn into a flower vase.' But the truth is, they don't. Some things are recyclables or trash and should not be brought to Goodwill."
*casually throws away my spaghetti jar vase*
So apparently, millennials can't tell the difference between garbage and reusable products, which is a little embarrassing (not as embarrassing as not knowing what meat is, but that's another issue.)
According to Goodwill, a simple rule for deciding what is acceptable to donate to a thrift store is, "If you wouldn't give it to your judgy mother-in-law, then don't donate it."
So I guess there is nothing safe to donate... unless your mother-in-law is cool with getting your hand-me-downs, but yeah, I'm gonna pass on that rule of thumb.