Our cover photo shows the dumping at the Smith Family Bins in the Lane Cove Coles Car Park at 9.30 am on February 26th 2020. The person(s) who dumped the goods did not even put them in bags.
Charity Clothing Bins used to be dotted all around Lane Cove. Now there are fewer bins. Bins have been removed from Rosenthal Avenue and the Caltex Service Station on Burns Bay Road. The Smith Family Donation bins will soon be removed from the Coles Supermarket car park.
The Smith Family made the following announcement on their website:
“Effective January 2020, The Smith Family no longer operates in clothing recycling and is no longer able to accept clothing donations. We still highly encourage clothing recycling and there are a number of clothing bins that are run by other charity organisation.”
The Smith Family is currently in the process of removing the bins from each suburb.
Flow On Impact to Charity Stores
There are three charity (or op shop) stores in Lane Cove. Items are regularly left in front of the stores (particularly after long weekends). Dumping items in front of these stores is a hazard for footpath users. More than often, people will go through the donated items and remove them from their bags and leave them all over the footpath.
With fewer clothing bins, more items will be left outside stores.
Donations should only be made during open hours to ensure the donations are left where the charity shop can sort them.
This was the mess outside Vinnies Lane Cove after the Australia Day Long Weekend.
What Can Lane Cove Council Do?
Lane Cove Council needs to develop a model to cope with this dumping. They could work with a charity partner to install more bins throughout Lane Cove or as happened a few years ago remove the bins and educate people to donate at charity shops when they are open.
The City of Ryde partnered with the Smith Family (they will need to find another partner) to install 30 charity bins throughout the Ryde Area and has a map of all the charity bins for residents.
ITC has spoken to several local churches about the charity bins on their grounds. They are happy to accept a donation of clothes, but items such as car batteries and furniture are regularly dumped in or near the bins.
The frustrating thing is there are places to recycle some of these dumped goods.
In 2017 the EPA noted in a report of dumping and charity clothing bins:
“Recent research shows that approximately half the people who donate to charity lack awareness of ‘appropriate donation practices’. This means nearly 50% of the community are unsure of the type and quality of items that are acceptable for donating to charity. This confusion is compounded by the fact that charitable recycling organisations differ in the types of goods they can and cannot accept. With no awareness about appropriate donation behaviour, well-meaning, ‘unintentional dumpers’, may leave the responsibility of selecting useable items to charity staff. Unusable items then become the responsibility of the charity to dispose of.”
Should Lane Cove Council have signage near the bins advising of where goods can be recycled?
In 2018 Uber and Red Cross joined together and held a Clothing Drive. All residents had to do was request an Uber between 12 pm and 4 pm on a particular Sunday in June and have their pre-loved clothes picked up and delivered to Red Cross Shops for FREE to help Australian Red Cross continue to have a positive impact around the country. Lane Cove Council could seek to partner with a charity to have a Lane Cove Clothing Drive day.
Options for Donating Clothes and Recycling
There are many different organisations that offer an alternative to donating via a clothing bin here are just a few of them.
Clothing Clean Up
This is a commercial enterprise that will pick up clothing from your door. Details here.
Dress for Success
What would you wear to a job interview? That is exactly the type of clothing Dress for Success is looking for to distribute to their clients. Your fabulous suits and other professional apparel could furnish another woman with the confidence to enter or return to the workplace, make a great first impression and land a job that could change her life. You can find out more here.
Lane Cove Council Clothes Swap Party
Each year during national recycling week, the Lane Cove Council organises a clothing swap party – look out for them in the future (they will on ITC’s event calendar). If you can’t wait for a local clothing swap party, then check out The Clothing Exchange.
At The Clothing Exchange, you can swap your preloved garments at their professionally hosted events across Australia. Their innovative events have grown from a small community of devoted swappers to a national network of swapping. The events are always friendly and fun!
Second Hand Footy Boots
Boots For Africa (B4A) is a not-for-profit organisation that collects pre‐loved football boots and delivers them to children and young adults across Africa. The charity began in 2011 in Australia and was founded by Sarah Gardner. One of the main goals of this charity is to make sport more accessible to young people in developing nations.
DONATE your old football boots and sports equipment (eg. head gear, shin pads, witches hats, balls, etc) to the people of Africa to help build communities and social understandings through the power of the game. Details here.
The Uplift Project
In the developing world, a bra is often unavailable or unaffordable. Used and new bras are sent worldwide. Drop off and postal details are here.
Items (other than Clothing)
There are options to recycle many items that are currently dumped outside Charity Shops or Clothing Bins. Check out our A to Z of Recycling list and see where you can recycle those hard to get rid of items.
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