Trash…or Treasure?

 In Bargain Center, Ministry Village

Are you cleaning out your closets while you’re spending more time at home? Redecorating and finding items that you just don’t need anymore? The Ministry Village Bargain Center accepts donations Monday through Saturday, from 9AM to 4PM. As you make decisions on what items to donate, please keep in mind – some items are TREASURES…and some items are simply trash.

Since opening its new location at 92 E. 9 Mile Road in February 2020, the Bargain Center has made weekly trips to the dump to get rid of donated garbage – over 6,900 pounds of garbage to be exact. Dirty clothes with stains or pet hair cannot be sold or recycled. Items with musty odors from attics or storage, items with holes from wear, items stained with paint – these are all unusable donations the Bargain Center must sort and discard. Physical waste that also creates a waste of manpower and dollars for the ministry.

“The average cost of each trip to the dump for us has been $60,” says Julie Paden, Manager of the Ministry Village Bargain Center. “We can’t sell items that smell or are stained or broken, so we have no other option but to take them to the dump, which costs us money that could be helping our Ministry Village programs. Unfortunately, sorting through items that should have been discarded instead of donated has become a growing problem. We’ve had dirty dishes donated…broken furniture…clothes that are ripped or full of paint stains. If you look at the item and have to stop and think, ‘Would the Bargain Center really want this?’ the answer is probably no. Help us by donating only items that are in sellable condition – clean, odor-free and unbroken.”

Television shows that feature “Trash to Treasure” makeovers have inspired a lot of people to believe that their broken, outdated items can be reimagined into something fantastic. That can be true with the right vision, tools and skill. However, the Bargain Center’s limited retail space does not provide adequate square footage to allow room for such items. Instead, they encourage donors with questionable items to do a quick search of Facebook swap groups and websites like Freecycle. Through these sites, you can find fixer-upper capable people who would be happy to provide free pickup of items that are in need of repair and help them find a new life. Have towels or linens that aren’t in sellable condition, but could keep a shelter animal warm? Contact the Escambia County Animal Shelter – they routinely accept donations of used linens that can keep their pets warm in cold weather while they wait for adoption. These alternatives keep items that can still be used out of landfills without costing the Bargain Center additional fees.

So, as you clear your clutter and sort the items that will help the Bargain Center raise funding for Ministry Village, keep these guidelines in mind.

Items that are accepted include clean, stain-free, odor-free clothing; housewares; books; unbroken furniture; working lamps; knickknacks; working radios; antiques; shoes; working clocks; working small appliances; working big appliances (washer, dryer, fridge, oven); cookware; glassware; kitchen utensils; toys; records; cds; linens; jewelry; bikes in good condition.

Items that are not accepted include carpet; stained items; swing sets; kids pools; doors; cabinets; anything with chemicals; weapons; tires; mattresses and box springs; old box-style TVs; bulky gym equipment; or any item that is in need of repair.

✅ For more information about the Ministry Village Bargain Center, follow them on Facebook or on Instagram @MinistryVillageBargains.

💻 For more information on Ministry Village at Olive, Inc. and its work in the community, follow them on Facebook, on Twitter @MinistryVillage, visit their website,, or call (850) 473-4466.

🛍 Shop the Bargain Center at 92 E. Nine Mile Road, just east of Palafox, near the railroad tracks. Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM. With unique vendor booths, furniture, clothing and more, there’s always something exciting for everyone!

🚛 Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM. If you have large furniture, call the Bargain Center during regular store hours to schedule the Bargain Center’s truck for pickup. 850-912-9222.

📲 Want to be a Bargain Center VIP Treasure Hunter? Be the first to learn about our sales and special events! Text 850-613-0288 to join our new text group and receive special text updates!

**Because of government regulations, the Bargain Center does not accept donations of mattresses, and does not sell used or new mattresses. Please contact your sanitation service to dispose of used mattresses. **

Ministry Village Bargain Center ~ 92 E. Nine Mile Road ~ Open Monday-Saturday, 9AM to 5PM

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