*Please note: Goodwill doesn’t accept mattresses from the public, but does partner with the WLSSD Materials Recovery Center and other locations, where individuals can dispose of their mattresses for a small fee.
In addition to providing employment and employment services Goodwill’s retail effort is also about re-use. By accepting your donated household items and selling them in our stores, we keep significant volumes of goods out of landfills.
However, you may not know just how much we’re doing. Many of the items donated to Goodwill cannot be resold in our stores as they are too worn, broken, unsafe or simply unsalable. Further processing of these rejected materials results in more employment opportunities and another source of revenue: salvage markets.
We’ve developed secondary markets for salvage textiles, books, stuffed animals and shoes. Goods that don’t meet quality levels required for our stores, but meet minimum quality levels set by a salvage customer, are recycled through these markets and kept out of landfills. For example, unsalable metal items, from pots and pans to bicycles, are recycled through scrap-metal dealers. Even the cord off of a lamp or toaster oven generates revenue through copper reclamation.
Each fiscal year, in addition to the millions of pounds of goods recycled through retail sales in our stores, we used secondary markets to recycle:
- 2.2 million lbs. of unsalable textiles
- 300,000 lbs. of general scrap metal
- 100,000 lbs. of salvage shoes
- 400,000 lbs. of salvage books