Waste of money: Lismore Salvation Army Family Store manager Peter Parker with some of the unusable goods being dumped in the alley behind their premises.
Waste of money: Lismore Salvation Army Family Store manager Peter Parker with some of the unusable goods being dumped in the alley behind their premises. Jacklyn Wagner

Lismore Salvos sick of rubbish

ABOUT three times a week volunteers at the Salvation Army'sFamily Store in Lismore arrive at work to find piles of soiled mattresses, broken furniture and other dumped rubbish.

Yesterday was no different. The back alley was littered with unusable fridges, a mattress with the stuffing protruding from a large hole and a three-legged chair.

The store's manager, Peter Parker, said that removing the rubbish being dumped outside the store was costing the Salvos about $15,000 a year in tip fees.

“People are dumping stuff here to save them going to the tip and it's getting worse,” he said.

“People out there need our help, but when we have to pay these extra costs it means we can't do as much – it's very frustrating.”

Other charities like Lifeline and St Vincent de Paul are having the same problem.

It is estimated the three charities combined spend more than $50,000 a year on tip fees – money that then can't be spent on helping the region's needy.

Long-time Friend of Lifeline Doug Ridley yesterday urged the Lismore City Council to exempt charities from the fees.

He said he believed that Clarence Valley Council waived its tip fees for charities. However, this could not be independently verified yesterday as the council had a half-day public holiday.

The Lismore City Council does waive a small portion of the waste fee, recently doubling the amount a charity can dump for free each month to two tonnes.

“It's very welcome and I feel for Lismore City Council because they don't have a lot of money either, but this only equates to about 20 per cent of what charities take to the tip,” Mr Ridley said.

“We still have to pay for the remaining 80pc of rubbish that is dumped by people who don't want to make the effort of going to the tip themselves.”

Mr Ridley said even the Lismore council's two tip-free days a year did not help alleviate the problem as people unwilling to queue to get into the tip simply drive to a charity office or bin to dump their waste.

He said after last year's flood people left water-soaked mattresses and other soiled goods outside the Lifeline office.

“The amount of dumped stuff over that period tripled, so Lifeline had to pick it up and carry it to the dump for the council and pay a fortune to do that,” he said.



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