Goodwill watchful of product recalls - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Goodwill watchful of product recalls

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October 18, 2007

Albany--From toys made in China to home appliances, massive recalls this year have many Goodwill stores on high alert. That's because some of those recalled items are being donated to the popular thrift stores.

With recall after product recall, Goodwill employees in Albany are watching their donations more closely than ever before.  "We have a list that we go by. And whenever we get out toys, we have to look on the list to make sure there's not anything on that list," says Khadeja Boone. 

Her job is to make sure recalled items don't make it onto stores shelves.  "It takes a little time, but it's worth it," she says.

And believe it or not, some people are actually donating recalled items, especially toys. Just this week, someone donated toy blocks to the store. "The bright colors and the neon colors and stuff is why they're recalled for the lead," she says.

"We're doing everything possible to keep the recalled products out of the store," says Kari Finley with Goodwill.  She says store management is doing its part to educate the public and store employees on all the latest recalls.

"Some of the things we're doing first and foremost is putting postings in our stores of all the different recalls that have come out at least in 2007. We're going to be going to years prior very shortly," says Finley.

Finley says donors play a vital role in keeping recalled products out of Goodwill stores. "If donors can help us by not donating products that they know are recalled that will help us tremendously because we can't do anything with recalled products," she says.

They end up here instead.  "They're going to be trashed," says Finley.

"If you can go on-line or somewhere and check up on your toys, we'd appreciate it," says Boone. And it makes her job a little easier.

"We put out nothing but quality," she says.

And she wants to keep it that way.  "We get donations constantly and we're thankful for them," says Boone.

Toys aren't the only thing store employees here are watching out for.  In just the past few days, Goodwill stores have stopped accepting car seat and crib donations because of recent problems with those products.

The Goodwill in Albany also has a part-time employee who comes in once a week and spot checks the entire stores to make sure no recalled item made it onto store shelves by accident.

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