Local St Vincent de Paul charities in the region are grateful for the consistent and generous donation of goods, however, to avoid the donations from heading straight to the tip, they are pleading for the goods to not be dumped outside shopfronts.
“We have created such a great habit for people to donate their goods” said Julie Crosby, Area Manager of St Vincent de Paul North West. But the donations don't always make it inside.
“Often dumped goods get spread all over the ground, unhelpful people go through the bags, then the rain comes, the local dogs, and eventually it all just goes in the garbage bin. Landfill is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do”.
Research from the NSW Environment Protection Authority indicates that NSW charities are spending $7.3 million every year on disposing of donations that are in too poor a condition to be resold and must be sent to landfill.
Tamworth’s Duri Road Vinnies has been closed due to storm damage since February 26, with dumped donations piling up daily, only to be removed “three or four times a day” by volunteers.
“It’s about as anti-donation as you can get, to leave your donations out the front of a closed store” said Julie.
During the peak of COVID-19, many charities reported unwanted goods being left outside when bins were full and shops were closed. The charity bins at Tamworth’s Duri Vinnies shop were removed due to COVID-19. That particular store had the highest level of donations in Tamworth because of its easy and convenient location.
With the change in season upon us, Julie knows there will be a considerable amount of donations coming in. Have no fear, for Julie has a solution.
“I am going to put four new bins at Duri Road. That will keep donations clean, dry and tidy. The volunteers will come and empty the bins, and they will be in a much better state”.
There is one thing Julie, and most charity workers, would like you to ask yourself before you donate your unwanted goods and that is: Is this something you would give to a friend?
“If it’s got food stains, last nights dinner or any bodily fluids, we don’t want it either”.
St Vincent de Paul in the North West run the ‘re/CYCLE Range’ program, which is an eco-friendly range of blankets, throws, rugs, mats and various other recycled goods. Vinnies NSW has been collecting and sending off their non-saleable donations to overseas partners who then turn the no-goods into something of value.
“It’s an exciting industry” said Julie. “Things that aren’t soiled, but might have a minor issue such as a hole or rip, we send off to India to recycle and turn into floor mats”.