- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Some charities are fed up with people who donate items, including used tires, old sofas and stained mattresses, that they say belong in a garbage dump.

Disposing of the unwanted items is costly and limits profits that fund needed services, Todd Oberg told the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/YUMVLC ). He runs the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store and said it usually costs him $150 to take the garbage off the property and to a landfill.

“I wouldn’t let my dog near some of this stuff,” Oberg said. “It’s stuff you or I wouldn’t touch even to burn.”

Oberg said he once had to pay $600 in a month to remove the garbage and noted that the funds could have been used to give a disabled veteran a ramp for his house.

Goodwill of the Great Plains manages 21 thrift stores in four states including Iowa. Sonny Kellen, vice president of development for the charity, said that all of its locations have had to address the issue by installing security cameras to prevent the bad donations.

Karen Froelich helps manage the Bargain Center, which helps families pay for schooling. She said she finds unwanted garbage there almost daily.

“A lot of people drop off TVs or tires or mattresses that can be full of bedbugs,” she said. “Our sign says you can’t leave this stuff. We just put it in the Dumpster, and we have to pay for it all to be taken away.”

Environmental Services Analyst Melissa Campbell said the problem has caught the attention of city officials, but that there’s not much the city can do because it occurs on private property.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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