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ACT Acts on Illegal Dumping at Charity Bins

24 April 2014 at 12:22 pm
Lina Caneva
Strict new guidelines for the use of charity bins have been introduced by in the ACT Government after more than a year of negotiations with local charities.

Lina Caneva | 24 April 2014 at 12:22 pm


ACT Acts on Illegal Dumping at Charity Bins
24 April 2014 at 12:22 pm

Strict new guidelines for the use of charity bins have been introduced by in the ACT Government after more than a year of negotiations with local charities.

A new Code of Practice to reduce illegal dumping at charity bins across the ACT has been introduced which places stricter requirements on rubbish removal, the number of bins and the collection locations.

Under the Code, charities will be able to register their interest in the locations and, once approved, will be required to follow strict new requirements.

Charities will have to clearly label the donation bin with the name of their charity, a list of the items that can be donated, information on how the items will be used, an instruction not to leave items outside the charity bin and a 24-hour on-call number to report issues such as illegal dumping or damage.

Other requirements include removing rubbish within 24 hours of it being reported and undertaking regular maintenance of the bins to ensure they are kept free of graffiti.

The Code says the placement of charity bins will be done in a manner which limits adverse impact on visual amenity, pedestrian and vehicle access or existing landscaping and each bin will display a sticker providing a clear message that those caught illegally dumping at charity bins will be prosecuted.

The new Code will see all charity bins relocated from Canberra’s current 55 neighbourhood centre locations to 14 identified group centres, with the exception of those outside a charity shop front.

It’s estimated that illegal dumping at charity stores and bins nationally is $5 million per year.

Late last year charity stores across Victoria received Government funding for new surveillance equipment, signage and fencing as part of a $500,000 support package to help prevent illegal dumping of unusable goods.

The ACT Government says it has been in consultation with the five main charities using the collection bins in that state and were included a trial which began almost twelve months ago.

The ACT government waives tip fees for Charities.The charities that have charitable donation bins on public land include:  Anglicare, Lone Fathers Association, Koomarri, Kidney Health Australia and The Smith Family.

The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul have charity bins on leased land (which does not fall under the new Code).

“The Code was developed in consultation with local charity groups and shop owners affected by illegal dumping.  A range of measures were tested across a six month trial to see if they improved the management and reduced the cost of operating charity bins, including relocation or removal of bins and greater enforcement,”  Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury said.

“The trial found that, where charity bins were consolidated into a group centre location, illegal dumping was significantly reduced.  This approach also allowed for more targeted enforcement activities, while not causing any significant decrease in the amount of usable donated items – despite the reduction in charity bins.

“The Code of Practice for the Management of Charity Donation Bins in the ACT aims to achieve a balance between allowing charities to use bins to receive donations to support those in need, while also mitigating against illegal dumping and best allowing the ACT Government to undertake enforcement activities.”

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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