Vinnies braces itself for illegal dumping costs
VINNIES is bracing itself for significant illegal dumping costs over the January holiday period, Executive Officer at the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW Lismore Central Council, Michael Timbrell has said.
"January has become our 'peak dumping month' as a number of households use the summer holidays to clean out after Christmas and get things organised and tidy at home for the year ahead," Mr Timbrell said.
"Many of our shops are closed in the first week or two in January - it's when our hard-working and dedicated volunteers take a well-deserved break.
"Unfortunately, rather than taking damaged, soiled or unwanted items to the local tip, goods are frequently dumped outside our charity shops during this period."
Each year, the Vinnies Lismore Central Council - which spans from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie - spends around $200,000 to dispose of unsaleable donations and household rubbish dumped at its shops, Mr Timbrell added.
"The money we are forced to spend on waste management each year is crucial money that should instead be going to people experiencing severe disadvantage in the local community," he said.
"We certainly don't want to discourage people from donating to Vinnies - it's really about asking people to plan before donating.
"Vinnies is always looking for, and greatly appreciates, quality clothes, bric-a-brac and books - items that you would feel comfortable giving to a friend or relative.
"We also ask that people donating items place goods into the bins provided and do not leave anything exposed or on the pavement next to the bins - we are very conscious that an overflowing bin can be quite an eyesore for local residents, and items can be easily ruined by the weather or taken by people passing by.
"Dropping off donations during business hours is always encouraged, and if you are in doubt about a particular item, please contact your local Vinnies shop."
Mr Timbrell added that for legal, health and safety reasons, the Vinnies Lismore Central Council cannot accept furniture; mattresses; electrical items; gym equipment; baby equipment including prams and safety seats; bicycles and scooters; medical equipment such as crutches; and household rubbish.