A Community Website by Lopez Island
What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it? (Solid Waste Services)
Lopez Island
February 22, 2020
Posted by Grace Dostert, Lopez Island

Hey, this is becoming a pattern so I’m wondering if it’s happening to anyone else? Nikita is always amazing and helpful;this is not about her it’s about other volunteers I have encountered. Every time I try to drop something off at take it or leave it I get harassed by like 2-3 volunteers who reprimand me for some items and tell me it’s trash and then another volunteer will come over and be like “wow that’s so cool!” about the exact same item I was just told to throw away...! It’s so confusing and off putting. I feel like a salesperson every time, and it’s good stuff people will use! They sit there and literally give me a lecture about very useful items being trash and how they are SO busy they don’t have time to sort everything(meanwhile I’m the only person dropping things off at the time!). I get that they get busy but I always offer to help and I sort everything neatly prior. Everything I bring is clean and in good shape which are the only guidelines they give for what you can bring as far as I know (besides Christmas decorations). Am I missing something? Do they just assume the stuff I bring is junk because of how I look or what? Seems like it’s hard to sort things objectively, it seems like right now it’s based on the volunteer’s opinion at the time and I always hear about something and I’m tired of being bothered every time and then watch someone else walk up with way worse items and they say nothing to them...anyone experiencing this? Can the dump try to streamline their guidelines for items more so we can try to help better? I want the dump to keep being a happy friendly place for me and my family but now it’s causing us anxiety every time we go since we get talked to every time...any helpful suggestions would be much appreciated thank you!


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Dawn Dawson Wexo: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Grace.....I wish to apologize. I was the volunteer that turned away so e of the items you brought in. We have been very short on volunteers this winter, and it had been as busy as we are in the summer. Due to the sheer volume of donations, we have to.... Read all
Ruby Layne Hampton: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Hmmmm, Brava Grace....
I'm glad you're teaching.
Laurie Bullock: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Great idea - TIOLI's last chance! I'll talk with staff about the idea and see how we can approach it. Thanks for understanding our challenges and keeping the conversation going with suggestions. In the meantime, we'll work on changing the.... Read all
John Waugh: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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I think the "last chance" idea is great! If practical...
Grace Dostert: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Thanks for all your thoughtful responses and help! Good to get insight. I sympathize with everything that has been said and love the dump etc. but again my issue specifically is that we get lectured in a demeaning way every time we try to donate, and.... Read all
Nikyta Palmisani: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Thank you all for a really very informed, compassionate and civil discourse about a difficult matter.
It's true. We live in a society of epic consumption. And the TIOLI gets to be that epicenter of cultural anthropology in real time. All our.... Read all
Laurie Bullock: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Thank you for speaking up! As the district manager for Lopez Solid Waste you have my full attention and I’m sorry to hear that some of your recent experiences at TIOLI have ended poorly.

Last July I started working for Lopez Solid Waste and.... Read all
Karen Allen: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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We are all connected. Every person on Lopez is precious. It's hard to be told, No, we don't want your stuff. It feels like we've been told we're wrong. It's hard to tell people, no, we don't want your stuff. It's.... Read all
Rebecca Hellman: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Leave It & Take It is a wonderful facility, & lots of great interactions with staff & patons. I keep a mental list of items I want,then check there first. It's often saved me money. I've become OCD on recycling/reusing/repurposing/reducing/.... Read all
Ann Katzenberger: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Mr. Williams,

It's not about whether printers are accepted or whether other posters volunteer their time at TIOLI.

It is about:
1) Capricious acceptance.
2) The demeanor of some current volunteers. This is most certainly.... Read all
Grace Dostert: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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I volunteer my time and energy to the children and families of the Lopez community with all the extra hours I work that I don’t get paid for by being a full time teacher at the school. I would love to volunteer at tioli one day, maybe when my own kiddos are grown. Most of the items I bring are gently used things from my room that students don’t use anymore. My biggest concern is the manner in which the volunteers communicate with us; they are aggressive, berating, and disrespectful. There are ones who are also really kind, but the past 5 times we have gone we have been berated over things in front of our children and our kids don’t understand why the people get so upset. We don’t either lol. All I’m asking for is some common decency and respect in how they treat us, like how we treat them...
Ann Katzenberger: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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I agree. I have twice seen dump volunteers take used toilet bowl brushes with obvious brown stains -- and worse, carry them bare-handed by the base (touching the stained part) to the area they are displayed.

We once brought in a perfectly.... Read all
David Williams: What’s up with volunteers at take it or leave it?

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Grace, consider volunteering.

And as to the comment about printers, it is posted that they are not accepted and you pay to dispose of them. If it’s such a good item sell/give it away on Lopez Rocks.