LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The Irwin Preschool in Lakewood is one of several being closed down due to consolidation of elementary schools in Jeffco Public Schools. Neighbors were shocked to find the dumpster filled with items they felt were perfectly good and useable.

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Preschool teacher Sarah Smith says photos of the items that were thrown out were sent to her.

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“They were angry about the waste of money and resources that could have gone to other schools or the neighborhood,” said Smith.

Things like a little red wagon, lots of shelves, toys and other items.

Joette Stewart is a retired Jeffco Public Schools director who helped gather the items for the schools.

She told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “I think it’s criminal because I know how much that stuff costs.”

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She says it hurts her to see these items she helped purchase end up in the trash.

But Jeffco Public Schools says many of the supplies had been in storage and no longer met state criteria for use. Others were either outdated or damaged. The district said not all items from the schools are being thrown out.

Joette Stewart feels much is being wasted.

“To see all those books thrown away, I mean there were hundreds of books in that dumpster,” she said.

It’s a similar situation with the Litz Preschool Center in Golden. Items that children once used for learning and playing are not available for another child to use.

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Jeffco Public Schools says there are items from the schools that will be cleaned and used in other classrooms.

Rick Sallinger