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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Hundreds of textbooks in near-new condition were found in an unexpected place, and school district officials are calling that place a "mistake."
In a time of very tight budgets, a KSL viewer was surprised to find the books in the dumpsters at Twin Peaks Elementary School at 5325 South 1045 East, piled on top of one another.
The books, aimed at kids in kindergarten and up, teach reading -- but waiting to be recycled, they're not doing much.
Full of stories, illustrations and cultural lessons, some were published as recently as 2008. None were published before 2001.
KSL took the books to parents at the fountain of the Gateway Mall Thursday afternoon to get a quick look at them.
"They're in really good condition," one mom said.
When they were told where the books came from, they were shocked.
"Why? That's horrible!" Tammy Rogers said.
The parents suggested donating them to a variety of causes -- charities, libraries or after-school programs. So KSL went to the Granite School District offices to find out why they were throwing them away instead of giving them away.
"This program was no longer being utilized," said district spokesman Ben Horsley. He says when that happens, there's still procedure to follow.
A re-sale contractor has first dibs on the books to buy them back and sell them to another school. Horsley says in this case the contractor wasn't interested.
"Once the contractor deemed them non-marketable, someone took it upon themselves to dispose of the materials and did so against and in violation of district policy," he said.
Thanks to the viewer tip, the district has now pulled the books out of the dumpsters. It's now up to the principal to sell them, give them away to students or donate them.
Horsley says there are times where they do recycle the books, but says some charities aren't interested in the books.