Charities Face Post-Christmas Dumping Deluge
5 January 2012 at 11:25 am
|Flickr image: Some rights reserved by theerstwhilekate|
Unwanted Christmas presents and household rubbish is a costly problem for charities as they return to full and overflowing charity bins.
St Vincent de Paul says it has been “swamped” with unwanted items after people clean out their pantries and cupboards at Christmas time.
According to a report in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, “instead of helping the charities, the annual dump costs the society $1.5 million a year as up to 50 to 60 per cent has to be taken to the tip.”
The Red Cross – which begins a national campaign on Monday for goods is looking for “saleable donations only," according to a company spokeswoman.
A St Vincent de Paul Society spokeswoman asked people to "consider what they are leaving is actually of use".
"Around Christmas, there is a marked increase in goods left in our stores. People often just leave everything they have, often after their (Vinnies) store is shut," she said.
"They need to check the store is open so items aren't damaged by rain or whatever else."
The problem of dumping unusable goods in charity bins is growing with the problem costing charities $5 million a year to clean up – in Victoria alone.
Salvation Army general manager of operations Frank Staebe said that a national hotline should be established to “dob in a dumper” in the same way that ‘hoons’ can be reported via a special hotline.
Yarra City mayor Geoff Barbour told the Herald Sun that the council would increase patrols to catch dumpers. "It's not appropriate for us to provide a regular collection service, as this would just encourage people to continue using it as a dumping ground," he said.
Last year’s clean-up blitz in Melbourne on Cup Weekend saw the removal of everything from dead animals, broken bikes, old TVs and bags of dirty nappies.
In NSW around 500,000kg of non-resaleable items are dumped on charities each month. As it’s not possible to recycle all the rest “ends up as landfill”, according to the Telegraph.
Currently in Victoria the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has the power to fine people $244 for illegal dumping rubbish.