At Load of Rubbish, we collect hundreds of items every week. We donate as many things as we can to thrift stores, but sometimes issues arise that prevent us from being able to keep items in circulation. Whether it is the presence of pests, like bedbugs or mice, the lack of cleanliness, or the improper storage of an item, some things no longer retain their original value and get resigned to waste. And that is counter to the Load of Rubbish mandate. We want to salvage as many items as we can to prevent our landfills from overflowing.

How can you help? By making sure the quality of the items you get rid of are as good as possible. That means looking at how well you take care of your possessions in the first place and getting rid of deterrents to donating.

Deterrents to Donating

mice droppings

Pests can degrade the quality of donatable materials


  • bedbugs
  • cockroaches
  • lice
  • mice

One of the biggest deterrents to collecting items for donation is the presence of pests. As we’ve noted in the past, Load of Rubbish does NOT collect anything that has bedbugs. While we have been in many homes that also house mice, lice or other bugs, most thrift stores would rather not accept items that contain any critters. They do not have the facilities to wash donated items and retain the right to refuse anything they consider questionable.

pet hair

Thrift stores are less likely to accept dirty items


  • cigarette smoke
  • dirt, stains, soiled items
  • pet hair

While most things can and should be cleaned and/or sanitized after purchasing from a thrift store, when it comes to donation, it doesn’t hurt to give usable items at least a cursory swipe before donating them. Most thrift store guidelines request donations be clean before donation, for obvious reasons. Dirty items are less appealing and less likely to sell. When Load of Rubbish collects items, we are very much aware that soiled or stained items are more likely to be rejected. As we prefer to keep as many items out of landfill as possible, a little cleaning goes a long way to reducing our waste footprint. If a quick clean means that an item doesn’t end up in the trash, isn’t it worth it?

Improperly stored items

Improperly stored items lose their value, due to getting broken, losing pieces, or being exposed to the elements

Improper Storage

  • broken or damaged items
  • missing pieces
  • mold or mildew

When you improperly store items, the usability of said item becomes reduced. Flimsy boxes make for lost or damaged parts. Items left in damp basements are prone to mold and mildew. Drafty sheds or garages lead to weathered items, water damage, insect infestation, and worse. Even tossing books haphazardly on a shelf can lead to bent or ripped pages, reducing the potential value of it. Whether you plan to use an item in the future or you hope someone else might have the opportunity to use it someday, when it is properly stored, there is a better chance of that happening. Incomplete or damaged items are more often than not relegated to the trash. Wasteful and not necessary.

Before you contact Load of Rubbish to schedule a pickup think about these deterrents to donating. Can you improve the likelihood of us salvaging your castoffs, so that someone else can use your stuff? Even if you don’t plan on getting rid of anything, these tips will help keep your personal belongings usable far longer.