After spree of mattress drop-offs, thrift store says no more

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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) — Elkton Area United Services is reminding the community to not donate used mattresses after 12 were dropped off at their thrift store over the weekend.

Elkton Area United Services provides assistance and develops programs where needs exist in the Elkton community, and they use their thrift stores to help fund some of the programs.

Marsha Keck Deavers, Executive Director of EAUS, said they cannot take used mattresses as donations per health department policies, and it can leave the store with a burden.

"The health department issues says we cannot take them and resell them," Keck Deavers said. " Also because of the health issues that could come with it, as they could be filled with bed bugs or other germs."

Keck Deavers said when this happens, staff and volunteers then have to haul the mattresses away to the landfill, taking time and money away that could be used to help people in need.

She said this isn't the first time this has happened and each time staff take the mattresses to the landfill, it can cost up to $200 for the costs of using the landfill, filling up on gas, and paying employees.

That's time they'd rather pay employees to stock the store and help out with customers.

Keck Deavers said another issue they've had is people going through donations at night taking items of value, so they've had to install security cameras.

"We've had to go to the further extent of installing a security system now because of these issues," Keck Deavers said. " Which also uses money that could have gone to help clients in need."

She said they are working with police to identify the person who dropped the mattresses off on their security footage.

Earlier this year, they also had a work truck vandalized to the point of being a complete loss.