SHAMOKIN — Two dumpsters sit outside the Salvation Army in Shamokin, and they are both overflowing with garbage. Thrift store manager William Bowers said this is not trash from inside the store, people are using the Salvation Army’s property as their own personal dumpster.
“Half used garbage food, dirty diapers from children,” Bowers said.
Garbage gets picked up once a week at the Salvation Army, but with people dropping off their trash, extra garbage pickups are sometimes needed, at $130 a day.
“If this continues, 2-3 extra dumps per week could drastically reduce how many people we can help at Christmas,” Director of Social Services Judy Orney said.
Bowers says the Salvation Army in Shamokin usually helps more than 600 families for Christmas, but if this continues, they won’t be able to.
“Because of the economy, more and more people are asking for help. A lot of them we have to turn away because of this issue,” Bowers said.
Bowers says in addition to people dropping off their trash, they are leaving their donations outside the Salvation Army after-hours, and people are stealing them before they hit the shelves. Someone even smashed a security camera.
“Without having the good stuff in there for people to buy, our sales go down. And when our sales go down, that’s less money we can put into the public,” Bowers said.
The Salvation Army board discussed ways to prevent this from happening again. They talked about putting additional security cameras up in the back of the store, and putting locked gates around the dumpsters.
“It’s just extra work that they don’t need and it’s ruining a good thing that they have here,” Tammy Blessing said.
“I think it’s terrible that people would ruin something good. A lot of people like to come in here and shop,” Betty Maskowski said.
Shamokin police say they are patrolling the area, and if you have any information you are asked to call police.