Our Commitment to Sustainability

PTA Thrift Shop has as one of its core values, a commitment to Sustainability, which is defined by a commitment to the ‘triple bottom line’ or ‘People, Planet & Performance’ also known as ‘The 3Ps.’

In addition to the traditional items that can be recycled in our community, our efforts to be good stewards of our environment, as well as being good stewards of the look and feel of our community is achieved by how we deal with the donations that are unsellable to the general public.

We are proud of our efforts and are happy to share them with our community:

Unsellable Textiles are recycled through a program we call GRICE (named after a community member who began picking up unsellable clothing in the 80s and distributing it to families in need.) Our GRICE program now includes, textiles (clothing., etc.) shoes, as well as books. We are currently working with Friendship Used Clothing Collections, LLC at www.friendshipusedclothing.com, which provides clothing and jobs to individuals and families in need both locally and abroad. Annually, our GRICE program helps us keep between 275 and 300 tons of textiles out of the landfill.

Our scrap metal recycling program is administered through Fortress Metals, Inc. at www.fortressmetals.com, and includes all things metal and items which contain metal such as power cords off of electric and electronic items. Since we began this program in mid-2008, we have kept approximately 200 tons of metal out of the landfill.

Although we no longer accept toys, occasionally we do have toy donations. Stuffed animals are passed along to organizations such as SAFE (Stuffed Animals For Emergencies, Inc), and you can find information here on how to donate to their NC chapters (http://www.stuffedanimalsforemergencies.org/Chapters.html).

Other toy items are passed along to organizations such as Durham’s Scrap Exchange, www.scrapexchange.org, as well as other organizations that are able to use those items for crafts, etc. We are also fortunate to have a large creative class in our community, which avails itself to some of our unsellable items to create art.

Currently we are recycling our electronics/computers, as well as hard plastics (outdoor furniture, storage containers, outdoor/indoor toys) through Orange County Solid Waste.

In recent months, we have formed a relationship with Durham’s Triangle E-cycling (www.triangleecycling.com), which serves the Triangle’s small to midsized business/organization sector, helping to protect the environment and create jobs for those who most need them. They provide businesses and individuals a way to support education through electronics recycling. We have also formed a relationship with the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Durham (http://www.restoredurhamorange.org/) that helps both of our locations best serve our patrons while keeping as many goods out of the landfill as possible.