Signs in the windows of the Wellesley Square CVS store that closed at the end of last month advertise that fixtures and furniture are available for purchase. Locals are more focused on the piles of goods CVS discarded in dumpsters out back of the Central Street store last week.
Residents have taken to social media to describe and post photos of the goods, ranging from vitamins to paper goods to hundreds of packages of batteries. Town officials are aware of the situation and are disappointed.
At least one resident has written to the head of CVS to express her disgust, though what the chain of command might have been that led to this situation isn’t clear.
Carloads of goods have been rescued and are being redistributed to those in need, though some of the products were unusable, having been doused in liquid laundry detergent.
We’d seen reports that police were patrolling to prevent dumpster diving, though when we swung by on Sunday morning pickings were slim and we had the place to ourselves.
Wellesley resident Sue Morris copied us on the letter she fired off to CVS management in which she wrote in part:
“What I witnessed yesterday was nothing short of horrifying. Behind the recently closed CVS store on Central Street in Wellesley thousands of brand new items from CVS were thrown into dumpsters. These are items that could easily have been donated to various charities and nonprofits many of whom are in desperate need of the items that they intentionally threw away in the dumpsters. Of note were items like feminine products, soaps, shampoos, vitamins, batteries and personal items that can be costly to buy for many families. With so many financially insecure families all around us the fact that CVS would not have tried to donate these items is inexcusable. And a CVS employee poured laundry detergent and bleach on many of the products to make them unusable. So wrong, wasteful and so socially irresponsible…”
In addition, she cited fears that items such as batteries remaining in the dumpster will make their way to landfills, rather than being recycled.
We reached out about this issue to the communications team at CVS, which quickly responded. CVS suggested that items in the dumpsters only tell part of the story.
“Nearly all of a closing store’s inventory is redeployed to other CVS stores where it will be sold or to one of our Distribution Centers where it will be credited, stocked, and re-distributed,” a spokeswoman wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s a small amount of product, including expired items that are not suitable for resale, that does not meet this criteria and is discarded. In total, the discarded inventory makes up a very small amount of the store’s remaining inventory.”
CVS has other locations in Wellesley in lower falls and on Rte. 9.
We don’t recall any such incident like this involving consumer products. Though Wellesley is quite familiar with efforts to see that unused food doesn’t go to waste through the work of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue operation that works with grocery stores and others to repurpose unused food. The organization was started by then-Wellesley resident Ashley Stanley in 2010.