Environmental Initiatives

As a charity, The Salvation Army Thrift Store exist to generate funds to help support services offered by The Salvation Army to help our nation's most vulnerable citizens. The driving force behind this mission is a commitment to Recycle and Reuse.

Unwanted or gently used items are donated by individuals and businesses, giving items a second chance to find greater use while simultaneously diverting unnecessary waste from landfills.

In 2011 alone, The Salvation Army Thrift Stores of Central Ontario recycled:

  • 1,683,739 pounds of electrical and electronic equipment
  • 44,051 pounds of copper
  • 1,168,400 pounds of scrap metal
  • 6,515,805 pounds of unsalvageable clothing

When you shop or donate to a Salvation Army Thrift Store, you are not only helping generate funds to help someone in need, you are contributing to sustainable living.


The Salvation Army has made a commitment to reduce the impact of our carbon footprint; a monumental task when you consider our mission is helping those at risk in society. It is often hard to balance the environment against the human condition.

Nonetheless, we have reduced our carbon footprint by reducing the size of our truck fleet, retiring older vehicles with higher emission rates, purchasing new vehicles using cleaner low sulfur diesel engines and using GPS tracking to assist in monitoring vehicle movements and route planning. These efforts have resulted in significant reductions in our overall fuel consumption.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Reusable shopping bags are becoming the norm throughout much of Canada and also at the Salvation Army Thrift Stores. The Salvation Army Thrift Stores offer reusable shopping bags in many outlets throughout the country and this program is expanding. In other areas, we have begun to charge 5 cents per bag in order to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags to our stores.

Plastic bags' leaving our Thrift Stores is only a small portion of the story, a vast majority of the clothing and household donations we receive are made in either plastic bags or cardboard boxes. The Salvation Army bales this massive amount of plastic bags and cardboard and sells it to recyclers increasing the funds returned to the charity, reducing garbage costs and helping our environment by keeping these materials from landfills.