Today’s post comes from one of ILACSD’s program assistants and hotline managers, Barbara! Recently, Barbara and our Hotline Manager, Amanda, took a tour of Goodwill’s aftermarket facility in Otay Mesa. Here is what they took away from their experience!
Many of us head to the nearest Goodwill location to donate our unwanted items, but do you ever wonder what happens to your donations? Conveniently, we’re here to give you the play-by-play.
At the facility, Goodwill collects and sorts any donations that are not fit for resale or donations that have sat in one of the Goodwill stores for too long. Goodwill has an extensive sorting process for recycling items and to minimize the amount that makes its way to the landfill.
The first stop on the tour was the electronics testing and disassembly area. Here, Goodwill employees first check if a donated electronic item works. If it does, Goodwill will sell it at one of its San Diego stores. Any non-working electronics are collected and sent to a certified electronics recycler. Also, in this area Goodwill employees wipe all hard drives, although Goodwill recommends clearing any hard drives before donating.
As we continued through the warehouse, we saw where clothing and household items are sorted. These items are considered difficult to sell at Goodwill stores and are bundled together in large boxes to be auctioned off in bulk. Auctions are held daily and the public is welcome to attend and participate – we witnessed one on our tour, too! After paying, auction winners go through their boxes and take with them what they’d like. Any unwanted items go through the aftermarket facility again and are resold through the auction boxes.
The last stop on the tour was the recycling area where Goodwill employees break down and sort any recyclable material. Although Goodwill does not accept car seats as donations, they are sometimes left at donation collection sites. Instead of just throwing them away, Goodwill removes any recyclable material, like the hard plastic base, and has that part recycled. It was great to see all of Goodwill’s efforts to keep valuable resources out of our local landfills.