Toronto resident Nicholas Staudt discovered the books in a Dumpster outside Harbord Collegiate Institute June 27 and posted a photo of them to Instagram, the Toronto Star reported.
Many people who saw the picture questioned why the books were being thrown out instead of donated. The Toronto District School Board said that no one wanted them.
Board spokesman Ryan Bird said school libraries regularly go through their collections and weed out books that are either too old and contain out of date information, or that do not meet the board's equity policy on discriminatory language.
"The books in there are being recycled. They have been replaced by new up-to-date content in the school. It's more of a refresh," Bird said.
The school board asks various charities if they would like the books as a donation, but are often turned down.
"And if they're not good enough for our students, we wouldn't want to donate them to anyone else," says Bird. "When it really comes down to it, that's the fact."