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Recycling efforts at SVdP Processing Center

St. Vinny's Thrift Stores

March 19, 2024

At St. Vinny’s, we take your donations seriously!

Every piece of clothing, book or furniture item you donate makes its way to the St. Vincent de Paul Processing Center in Madison. Once there, it is inspected, priced, hung (if needed), and placed on a semi trailer for delivery to one of our seven thrift stores. A team of about 80 people (55 on any given day) work here. Each type of donated item has its own sorting room: electronics, softlines (clothing, linen), hardlines (knick-knacks, kitchen goods), books, furniture.

Centralized processing at our warehouse means our thrift stores operate like traditional retail. When staff receive new goods at their stores, the items are already sorted, priced and ready for sale! Centralized processing allows us to randomly distribute goods across our stores.

After staff diligently inspect each donation, items are sent to one of these four places:

Recycling Efforts

When you donate goods to St. Vinny’s we make the most effective and sustainable choice to use those goods to their fullest potential. The large majority of items we receive are either sold or given away through charity right here in Dane County! When you shop and donate to St. Vinny’s you help your planet, help you budget and help your neighbors in need.

If an item does not sell at one of our six thrift stores, we send it to Dig & Save Outlet Store. There, we let the community decide what is usable, what is sellable and what is not. Dig & Save Outlet Store is a “pay-by-the-pound” store where clothing is $1.50 / lb. and miscellaneous goods are $0.60 / lb. 

If an item does not sell at one of our six thrift stores and does not sell at Dig & Save Outlet Store, we recycle it. We recycle as much as we can and are constantly working with local and national outlets for sustainable options.

We recycle items such as:

  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Handbags
  • Shoes
  • Cardboard
  • Scrap metal
  • Plastics
  • E-waste
  • Christmas lights
  • Insulated wire
  • Tablets
  • Batteries

Fun Facts

  • In 2023, we recycled 225,000 lbs of clothing each month.
  • Our Processing Center distributes 170 racks of clothing to our stores each week.
  • Dig & Save Outlet Store receives 3 shipments (trailer shipments) of goods each day.
  • The International Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an associate member of UNESCO and a special adviser to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is also part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and is aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations in its Agenda 2030. (


Watch our store webinar for more information on our sustainability practices: Why Do St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores Exist?

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