DON’T DUMP: Ballina Care Bargain Centre volunteer John Hargreaves and manager Ally Lycenko with just a small part of the rubbish dumped at the rear of the op shop which supports welfare programs.
DON’T DUMP: Ballina Care Bargain Centre volunteer John Hargreaves and manager Ally Lycenko with just a small part of the rubbish dumped at the rear of the op shop which supports welfare programs. Graham Broadhead

Op shop rubbish dumpers taking money from the needy

DUMPED rubbish at op shops in Ballina is taking away thousands of dollars from welfare programs in town which operate to help people who are doing it tough.

The Ballina Care Bargain Centre in Tamar St is the latest op shop to be hit with dumped rubbish, a problem which has been ongoing for many years and has affected most of the op shops in town.

Manager Ally Lycenko said the amount of unsaleable bulky items like analogue televisions, old mattresses, lounges and even household rubbish dumped behind the shop in Holden Lane had been particularly bad recently.

"It's a real struggle," she said of the costs involved in taking rubbish to the tip.

"We're here for the community, but every cent we spend on rubbish removal takes away from the people we help."

The cost of taking rubbish to the tip increased their operating costs and raised their store prices.

It's been well reported in the North Coast Advocate that there has been a general increase in people looking for help in Ballina, with most welfare organisations citing the increased cost of living as the reason people were struggling.

Ms Lycenko said the Ballina Care Bargain Centre appreciated the support of Ballina Shire Council in providing some free tip drop-offs, but she also appealed for more support.

And, most importantly, she said she appreciated those who donated saleable items to the store, which supports people in crisis.

She said anyone who had bulky items they would like to donate should contact staff first.

The centre has a truck and offers free pick-ups of items that can be sold.

For the next fortnight jumpers are in store for $2.



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