Education

Trash or Treasure: AISD Dumps School Furniture at Landfill

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) - Trash talk ensues after pictures from an Amarillo landfill go viral. 

While out at the landfill a local man took several pictures and posted them on Facebook.  

He alleges Amarillo ISD was throwing away perfectly good school furniture.

In the images, you can see piles of wood and metal desks mangled together along with rugs and tables.

One man's trash is another person's treasure, or in this case: tax dollars.

"And why are we getting rid of them. I'm sure we don't have less kids. That was my big thing, if we don't have less kids why are we throwing things away? said Bill Lewis, Amarillo Resident.

Or so he thought.

"There could be some things that you wouldn't see on a picture where it could be underneath a chair where the rivets are broken, the wells tend to break off," said Brent Hoover, AISD Chief Operations Officer. 

"What we were seeing was not broken down stuff, this was stuff that could be used. Anything that I saw broken, I maybe saw two desks in those two piles that were damaged," said Lewis. 

Despite that the school district still considered the items to be a hazard, so they were dumped.

Lewis also wondered why the furniture at the landfill couldn't be sold? 

"Some things are unsafe, so we would not, if we can't repair it and reuse it and it's unsafe, one thing we don't want to do is try to sell that to somebody else because that could be an unsafe item or somebody get hurt with that item, so we want to make sure that safety is really important to our district," said Hoover.

AISD has a process when it comes to old-school items.

First items are assessed at the warehouse to determine if they can be used or if they can be repaired. 

Second, the district decides whether or not it's cheaper to repair or replace the items.

Then after this process, district employees determine whether or not the items can be repurposed. 

Hoover said the items seen at the dump didn't fit any of the criteria.

Sending items to auction is another option Hoover said they use to try to get rid of old supplies.

In the last 14 years, Hoover said they've auctioned $350,000 worth of product. And then returned it back into the budget to be used for other needs.

Lewis told us he didn't expect for his post to get the number of shares and interactions the post garnered.

At last, checked it has more than 1,000 shares and more than 400 interactions and comments.


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