Yesterday ITC drove past the St Vincent’s Charity Clothing Donation bins at St Michael’s Parish Hall and noticed that a very dirty looking BBQ and other old and unusable household items had been dumped by the charity bin. ITC wondered why you would dump items when every Lane Cove household is entitled to four free council pick ups a year.
Today the NSW State Government Minister Environment and Heritage Minister Mark Spearman held a press conference to highlight the need to donate responsibly. He wants you to use the pub chat test: “If it ain’t fit for a mate don’t donate.”
There is always a spike in donations between the Christmas and New Year period. “During the holiday season, charities see a spike in unusable donations and even some unscrupulous behaviour of people using street-side clothing bins as dumping grounds for food waste and other rubbish,” Minister Speakman said.
What Should Be Donated?
The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO), the organisation that represents Australia’s charities and op shops is working with the government to create awareness about responsible donations.
NACRO advises the following on their website
Giving unusable or broken goods and rubbish to a charity bin or op shop is not a donation – it is dumping waste on a charity that then has to use its funds to pay to dispose of your waste. That’s money that should be used to help others.
Australia’s charity recyclers stand to lose millions of dollars each year disposing of rubbish and unusable ‘donations’. Make your donation count by following these simple tips:
1.Ask yourself, would you give this item to a friend in need (ie it’s clean, undamaged, good quality)
2.Donate direct to the op shop during operating hours or call to arrange pick-up for larger items
3.Put rubbish and damaged items in your rubbish bin.More information on donating goods to op shops is available here …
NACRO chief executive officer Kerryn Caulfield said this time of year was “heartbreaking” for the volunteers and staff who return after the break to be faced with sorting through “piles of dirty, broken household rubbish dumped amongst the donations”.
“The summer holiday season is a hard time of year for many Australian families struggling with poverty, so donations of good quality goods are needed by the charities to raise funds so they can deliver their services,” Caulfield said.
“But giving unusable or broken goods to a charity bin or op shop is not a donation – it is dumping waste and the cost of disposal of this rubbish takes away funds needed for the charities’ community programs.”
The NSW EPA has in place a project to Reducing Dumping on Charitable Recyclers. It’s part of the NSW government’s $65 million commitment to addressing illegal dumping. It offers charities grants to install surveillance equipment, lighting, fencing and gates to get donors “to do the right thing”.
Areas Should Be Set Aside for Donations During the Festive Season
Charities also need to provide places for people to donate items when they are closed. The Goodwill shop on Longueville Road had donations lined up in front of the store during the festive break. People want to donate during the holidays (as they have time to sort out their houses) – areas should be set aside for people to donate during this time. If it is left on the street, it is a trip hazard, looks unsightly and people can pick over the goods.
Ways to Reuse, Recycle or get rid of Unwanted goods in Lane Cove
You can book your Lane Cove Council clean up here. If you live in Lane Cove North and are part of the Willoughby Local Council, the Council offers three scheduled General Household Clean-ups each financial year and one free On-Call Clean-Up Collection per financial year at a time that is convenient. These clean-ups are for bulky items from residential households that can’t be collected through the weekly service. You can arrange your collection here.
What other recycling options are there in Lane Cove?
If you are interested in other ways to help the environment you might like to read the following blogs:
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]
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