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People who use charity bins as a dumping ground for unusable, damaged items are costing local charities thousands of dollars each year.
Endeavour Foundation’s Leanne Rudd said overflowing rubbish at charity clothing collection bins was a regular occurrence after Christmas when people clean out their homes, but feared the recent floods and cyclones may have exacerbated the problem.
“Of course I feel nothing but sympathy for flood and cyclone victims – what we’ve experienced in Queensland is horrific,” Leanne said.
“But I urge people not to dump their waste in or around charity bins.
“We’ve been affected as well – Endeavour Foundation has had several services and stores to clean out across Queensland and Sydney. Having broken, damaged and unusable items left in and around our collection bins only adds to our woes and impacts on our capacity to support people with a disability.
“Placing flood-ruined items in the collection bins can then ruin other goods already in the bins, making them unsaleable, and therefore takes away from proceeds that would go to providing services for people with a disability.
“Clearing the rubbish from these areas is also taking up the valuable time of staff and volunteers, not to mention costs that could be used to provide services for people with a disability.”
The donation bins are for clothing and household items yet a variety of waste, including broken or flood-ruined furniture and other unusable items, are often left at the site.
“A lot of people think that donating anything is a good thing and that charities would appreciate any items,” Leanne said.
“Unfortunately that’s not the case. We’re obviously extremely grateful for genuine donations and rely on these to help fund vital services we provide for people with a disability. But if you’re leaving something at the bin site that you yourself wouldn’t buy second-hand, then it’s of no benefit.”
The organisation regularly services the bins but said due to people dumping rubbish in the bins they were sometimes seen to be overflowing. Items are also being left around the bins, which means the items are exposed to rain and therefore become damaged and unsaleable.
Endeavour Foundation relies heavily on donations of clothing and household items to raise money to provide life-changing services to more than 3,500 people with a disability.
Top quality donations are sold through Endeavour Recycled Clothing stores, while unsaleable clothing, such as uniforms with business names or ripped clothing, is turned into industrial cleaning cloth and sold.
“There is also the community impact of bins that are overflowing and surrounded by rubbish,” Leanne said.
“They are an eyesore and can have a negative impact on the public’s perception of that charity. Endeavour Foundation is very proud of our excellent image in the community and work very hard to maintain this. It’s very disheartening to see that people have dumped their general rubbish in or around our donation bins.”
Endeavour Foundation provides accommodation, education, employment, training, development and lifestyle opportunities to more than 3,350 people throughout Queensland and Sydney.
Ways you can help:
Jo Glover, Media and Communications Officer
Phone: (07) 3908 7257, 0429 065 440
Fax: (07) 3253 7271