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Calgary family disheartened to find thousands of new books tossed in bin outside Chapters

Thousands of new books tossed away outside closed ‘Chapters’ store
WATCH: A troubling find for a Calgary family outside a closed book store. Stacks, upon stacks, of brand new books were discovered discarded in a recycling bin. Jill Croteau reports.

The sight of thousands of brand new books discarded in a Calgary recycling bin is causing outrage and disgust.

The mounds of literature were discovered by Sheldon Wolf on this way to work. He saw them in the bin outside the now closed Chapters located on Macleod Trail.

“We see this dumpster billowing, overflowing with all these books. It was shocking,” Wolf said.

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“I feel bad for the authors. For it to end up in the dumpster is almost disheartening.”

READ MORE: Used books spotted in recycling bin in Montreal sparks conversation 

The unsold stock wound up in the bins at the back and Wolf, with the help of his daughter Micaela, salvaged the novels and children’s books.

“I figured if they’re not going to be responsible and they’ll end up in dumpster and in a landfill, if they’re not going to take the effort and put them in the hands of children, then we will,” Wolf said.

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Calgary businessman collects discarded books to donate
Calgary businessman collects discarded books to donate Jill Croteau

They spent hours plucking them out and then sorting as many books as they could carry. They brought them to their boardroom, hoping to offer them to anyone who needs them.

“So many people could use these — Women, children, families, anyone,” Micaela said.

“It’s so wasteful. There’s got to be a better way to do it.”

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Indigo/Chapters released a statement to Global News about the practice.

“Under arrangements between Canadian booksellers and publishers, it is a requirement of the publisher that unsold copies of books are stripped of their cover, recycled and the covers returned to the vendor. The stripping of covers, such as the ones in the recycling bin pictured, is a widespread industry practice devised by publishers and channel partners to eliminate the wasteful shipping of full books, which reduces energy consumption and environmental footprint.

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“The industry continues to work together to limit returns and unsold stock.”