Don’t Trash the Good Stuff: Some Migrating OSU Students Toss the Coolest Things

donate_1Majestic herds of students prepare once again to migrate home for the summer and leave behind the accumulated comforts of their temporary habitats—furniture, dishes, towels. Those living in OSU dorms have Campus Recycling and Surplus Property to aid them in recycling and donating unwanted goods. Over 20,000 pounds of material made its way to local nonprofits instead of landfills last year through their efforts.

But those off campus have to do a little extra work if they want to find a home for all the stuff they no longer want or need. It doesn’t have to be hard work. Dozens of places around town accept donations and quite a few will even pick up large items for free.

Donating to local nonprofits keeps usable stuff out of landfills, supports charitable work, and enables some of the greenest retail there is. The more inventory thrift stores have, the more shoppers can buy used instead of resource intensive, newly manufactured goods. Furniture Share of Benton County alone distributes an average of over 10,000 items annually.

donate_2The Do’s of Donating

Donating items that are unusable wastes nonprofits’ time and money. They must sort through everything that they get and pay to send trash to the dump just like anybody else. At a minimum, items should be clean and in good repair. Furniture should be free of rips and stains. An exception is clothing donations to St. Vincent de Paul’s, which accepts fabric and worn clothing and bedding for recycling.

The local dump, Coffin Butte Landfill, is predicted to fill up in 40 years. My house is predicted to need some new (used) furniture this summer. Help everyone out by donating instead of trashing your good stuff.

A Few Great Local Nonprofits Accepting Donations

Vina Moses

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 968 NW Garfield Avenue, Corvallis
Accepts: Clothes, shoes, camping gear, housewares, kitchen appliances, electronics, other small household items (books, etc.)
Does NOT accept: Furniture
Why donate here: Vina Moses gives its donations to Benton County’s neediest residents free of charge.
Contact: 541-753-1420;

Furniture Share

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 155 SE Lilly Avenue, Corvallis
Accepts: Clean, usable furniture and household items
Does NOT accept: Entertainment units/armoires over 5 feet tall, oversized or excessively heavy items, office furniture, pianos, exercise equipment
Free pick-up available: Yes, online scheduling form at
Why donate here: Furniture Share redistributes donations to children, families, and individuals in need free of charge.
Contact: 541-754-9511;

The Arc of Benton County

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5:30 p.m.
Location: 928 NW Beca Avenue, Corvallis; 936 Main Street, Philomath
Accepts: Clothing, housewares, furniture with manager’s approval, bicycles, magazines, hand tools, other small household items (books, etc.)
Does NOT accept: Mattresses, sofa beds, very heavy items, major appliances, TVs
Free pick-up available: Yes, call Christensen’s Delivery Service to schedule: 541-908-2416
Why donate here: The Arc’s profits are used to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Benton County.
Contact: Corvallis: 541-754-9011; Philomath: 541-929-3946;

Benton Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: 4840 SW Philomath Boulevard, Corvallis
Accepts: Appliances, home and yard remodeling supplies, furniture, garden and yard furniture and items, tools
Does NOT accept: Clothing, bedding
Free pick-up available: Yes, call to schedule
Why donate here: “Benton Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes.”
Contact: 541-752-6637;

Heartland Humane Society Thrift Shop (aka Cat’s Meow)

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 411 SW 3rd Street, Corvallis
Accepts: Clothing, furniture, housewares and household items, toys, collectibles
Does NOT accept: Large appliances, large exercise equipment, mattresses
Why donate here: For the cute animals!
Contact: 541-757-0573;

St. Vincent de Paul

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 2220 Pacific Boulevard, Albany
Accepts: Clothing, housewares and households items, electronics, toys, sports equipment, furniture, mattresses, single shoes, fabric scraps/holey clothing
Does NOT accept: TVs, building supplies, office chairs with fewer than five wheels
Pick-up available: Yes, in Albany and Corvallis, call to schedule
Why donate here: They take and pick up a wide variety of items. They use their profits to “assist the poor and those in need of consolation.”
Contact: 541-928-1559;

By Lana Jones