WOULD YOU SLEEP ON THIS?

Mattresses are among the items found at the Blessing Cup Storehouse, left by either a dumper or a person who thought they night be used.  The charity cannot distribute them, especially after a rain.

 

The season of giving doesn’t mean charities want any piece of debris that won’t fit in your trashcan.

The pile of junk stacked in front of the Blessing Cup Storehouse last Wednesday afternoon serves as a perfect example. The food pantry needs small cans of vegetables and fruits, bed sheets, towels and other items it can distribute to the needy.

What it does not need is the full-sized couch with torn cushions setting alongside the soggy and stained mattresses and broken chairs at its drop-off point.

They are not sure what they can do about it, Blessing Cup President Dorothy Bacak told the Leader-News.

“I think people are finding it easier to take it over here than to take it to the dump,” Bacak said. “We’re grateful to the people of El Campo (who) support us, every time were getting low, something appears ... It’s just the one percent (who dump unusable items).”

Dumping is also an issue at the Second Time Around Store, 1825 N. Mechanic. Unusable items have easily doubled, representative Crystal Munoz told city council recently.

“We began seeing a lot more trash,” Munoz said. “We’re paying for two dumpsters to be picked up five days a week.”

The city of El Campo’s garbage service switched from Waste Connections to Texas Disposal Systems on Oct. 1. Heavy trash pickup under the new company is limited to roughly a pickup truck load per month and must be called and reported for collection.

Now, the Blessing Cup must find a way to take items to the dump, items it never asked for or wanted.

“What do we do? It’s not ours and it’s not fair for us to have to pay (to leave it at the city dump),” Bacak said.

Both charities have signage clearly saying what they cannot accept.

Bacak said she’s willing to try to find families to take furniture items, but only if would-be donors offer reasonable items and call ahead to 979-541-9982.

There’s no actual storage for large items at the Blessing Cup. If an exchange can’t be arranged in advance, that recliner, bookcase or other large items will sit out front. Once it’s rained on, Bacak said, nobody wants it.

“We’re a non-profit ... now we’re getting even more trash,” she said.

Usable donations are welcome at both. Blessing Cup is a giving pantry. The Second Time Around store operates as a resale shop providing jobs for area handicapped residents with proceeds funding activities, training and in some cases housing.

Now, the store has had to pay for more outside security cameras to try to catch would-be dumpers.

“It’s slowed down, but we put up a lot of signs and we do have new cameras which see things more clearly,” Munoz said.

Second Time Around accepts small furniture items, kitchen tables and chairs, end tables and the like, but has no room for the bulkier items.

Earlier issues with trash bin service appear to have been resolved, Munoz said, but added those bins come with a fee.

Carrying items to the dump does as well.

“We’re a non-profit and you need a credit check and a credit card (for TDS to deliver one of the large container boxes),” Munoz said, adding the resale shop doesn’t use credit cards or credit. They would have to find a single volunteer willing to be responsible for the roll-off container.

The city re-instated exclusivity, making TDS the only provider in town with the contract signing.

“I went to the dump (thinking it would be another alternative),” Munoz said. “But the dump is now only open on certain days ... and, they only take credit card payments.”

Volunteers helping raise dollars for the handicap or distribute goods to the needy are now caught between regulations and refuse.

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