Charity shops seen as rubbish dump

Salvation Army Family Store Hornby shop manager Terry Murray (right) and volunteer Neville Walton standing next to their overflowing rubbish skip filled with donated goods they cannot sell. Photo: Laura Hitchon
Salvation Army Family Store Hornby shop manager Terry Murray (right) and volunteer Neville Walton standing next to their overflowing rubbish skip filled with donated goods they cannot sell. Photo: Laura Hitchon
By Laura Hitchon

People are discarding damaged goods and other rubbish outside charity shops to avoid paying refuse station fees.

Charity shop staff are turning up to work on Monday mornings to discover large piles of damaged goods lying on their front door step and, although some items are saleable, many are not.

St John Opportunity Shop volunteer Brian North said many people dropped off the goods at their Addington store at night or during the weekend when the shop was closed.

“We would prefer that people drop off their goods during the daytime when we are able to inspect them.

“People think that just because they donate something, we will accept it but we need to be able to sell these items and if they’re damaged, we can’t,” he said.

Salvation Army Family Store Hornby shop manager Terry Murray said some people genuinely believed the goods they were donating were in an acceptable condition but many people knew the goods were rubbish and donated them anyway.

Damaged goods being donated included lounge suites, drawers, mattresses, tables, chairs, sporting equipment, crockery, glassware, artwork, books, clothing and shoes.

The money generated from selling donated goods goes back into the charity to help people in need, however, this was being jeopardised by the cost of having to dump other people’s rubbish.

Mr Murray said they emptied their skip about three times a week which cost them about $140 each time.

“One of the biggest expenses we have is taking damaged goods to the dump.”

Mr Murray said the cost of taking rubbish to the refuse station was a possible cause of people dumping their unwanted goods at charity shops.

“Many people don’t own a trailer and can’t afford to hire one let alone afford to take their rubbish to the dump, so they just leave it on the charity’s doorstep,” he said.

To dump one tonne of general waste, the Eco Central website lists it at $253.40.

Mr Murray said it would be beneficial if the city council collected large waste from the charity once a month and subsidised the dumping fees to ease pressure.

A city council spokesperson said they expected residents to dispose of their unwanted items responsibly and that people should only make donations to charity stores that are open, able and willing to take their items.

The spokesperson said dumping damaged goods at charity bins or store fronts could be seen as illegal dumping and could incur a fine for the person disposing of the litter.

“The kerbside collection service is a standard service funded by ratepayers and we are unable to provide additional services above the entitlement of a property.”

The spokesperson said unwanted goods could be disposed of at one of three EcoDrop recycling centres across the city at a cost.

 

 

 

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