For many years, Trinity United Church in Port Coquitlam has operated a thrift shop to support various community activities in PoCo and beyond. On behalf of our thrift shop, we are sending this letter to inform the local community of its challenges with other people’s garbage.
The thrift shop has numerous signs stating that it does NOT accept mattresses, furniture or electronics as there is no storage capacity for such items. Frequently — i.e., daily — these signs are ignored.
Over the past 10 years, people have dropped off furniture (couches and chairs), mattresses, electronics and — can you believe? — even kitty litter and dirty diapers.
We wonder whether one of the main reasons for these “unwanted donations” is a result of the tighter controls over household garbage removal. If so, Trinity (and likely other charitable organizations) is left to deal with the garbage dumped on our doorsteps.
And we have to pay for the removal of all of it. Recently Trinity had to pay $350 to remove half a household of furniture dumped in our parking lot. Our cost for the disposal of these items has increased our expenses. This means that we have less money to support such things as breakfast clubs and child support in local schools, help for the homeless, donations to the Downtown Eastside community church and maintaining the facility where the food bank and soup kitchen are held. Trinity United Church is also used for the Extreme Weather Shelter program.
We urge those who are dumping garbage and unwanted furniture on our doorstep to think about the impact their actions are having on the charitable work Trinity offers to the community. You are taking away food, warmth and comfort from those in need.
Betty McLean, Jo-Ann Dahms, Co-chairs of Council, Trinity United Church, Port Coquitlam