Don’t dump on charities

17 July, 2014Posted in: Community, Environment

Donating to charities never goes out of fashion.

Your good quality clothes, books, music and bric-a-brac not only get a new lease of life, but they also support Australians doing it tough and help reduce landfill.

Remember though that charities are unable to accept items that are soiled, damaged or broken.  Doing so only takes monies away from the charities as they then have to fund their removal.

If in doubt, it’s best not to include it because if the item can’t be re-used, the charity is then responsible for its disposal.

What’s worse is when charities are used as after-hours dumping grounds.  Apart from dropping good quality clothing into a designated after-hours clothing bin, goods should never be dumped outside of a charity.

Dumping unwanted articles outside a charity store or bin is illegal and offenders may be subject to an on the spot fine of $750 up to a maximum penalty of $250,000.  Council officers are often required to review CCTV footage and assist our local charity outlets in identifying dumping offenders.

Remember also, that not everything is acceptable.  Some charities do not accept furniture.  Most do not accept electrical appliances (for both legal and safety reasons), and old mattresses are a definite no-no (mattresses of any size and condition can be disposed of for a flat-fee of $31 at Council’s Moss Vale Resource Recovery Centre).

Your best bet is to call the charity ahead of your visit to ensure they can accept all of your pre-loved belongings.  However, thoughtful donations of good quality clothes and goods will almost always be welcome.

Local charities play an important service in our community but unfortunately often pay the price when used as a convenient alternative to the responsible disposal of waste.