13,200 Girl Scout Cookie Boxes Destroyed

A news report about 13,200 Girl Scout cookie boxes that were destroyed in California has raised questions and criticism toward an organization usually considered to be charitable.

Thousands of unsold Girl Scout cookies were smashed to bits at a waste warehouse in Riverside, California last year before being hauled to a local landfill. There was nothing wrong with the cookies and they were still within their expiration date. If the cookies were still edible, why weren’t they donated?

According to The New York Daily News, this is not an isolated incident. Unsold cookies from the Girl Scout’s annual, and extremely popular, cookie drive have been sent to the same landfill for years. However, most people were unaware that leftover boxes are being disposed of in such a wasteful manner.

A recent investigation by CBS News into the Riverside incident has raised public awareness. The report included a video of the 13,200 Girl Scout cookie boxes being gleefully destroyed by sanitation workers, much to the disgust of those who feel the cookies could have been put to better use.

According to CBS News, Chuck MacKinnon of the San Gorgonio Council of the Girl Scouts in Redlands, blames the destruction on the bakery who supplies the cookies. He points to ABC Bakers’ policy of only allowing one percent of unsold boxes to be returned for a refund.

However, it was the San Gorgonio Girl Scout council who originally overestimated the amount of boxes they would need. The excess, 1,100 cases containing 13,200 boxes, could not be returned. MacKinnon claims he was not aware of the disposal process until the CBS News report.

He also stated that his council frequently donates unsold cookies, including more than 100,000 boxes given away last year. When asked if the council could have ultimately done the same with with this particular batch, MacKinnon replied:

“We certainly could have.”

What do you think of 13,200 Girl Scout cookie boxes being destroyed instead of donated?