Stop dumping garbage in charity bins

GRASS clippings, household rubbish, used nappies and old mattresses are among the waste Hunter charities have had to pay to remove from their doorsteps in the past 12 months.

The Salvation Army and other Hunter charities have appealed for people to stop using their second-hand shopfronts as rubbish dumps.

Waste has begun to build up around charity shops and bins while the outlets are closed over Christmas.

Among the refuse this year were televisions rendered useless since the switch to digital, ripped and stained mattresses and three-legged chairs.

Samaritans retail operations co-ordinator Pauline Sellers installed a fence, signs and camera around their Wallsend store and still people dumped goods over Christmas.

"It's dreadful," she said.

"I'm just trying to work out how to tell people we do not accept this junk."

The charity even got rid of its donation bins because they were such a problem.

Salvos stores Hunter manager Harold Cleveringa said their worst sites were Clarence Town, Belmont North, Raymond Terrace and Jesmond.

"It's usually outside the door or strewn around the car park," he said.

"It means extra costs we have to take to pick up goods and volunteers that have to sort through it.

"If you do leave it out the front it lends itself to weather damage and theft."

Mr Cleveringa urged people to leave goods only during trading hours and to call for a collection of used furniture, not dump it.

"We do get it all year round but it seems to be a lot more at Christmas," he said.

Ms Sellers reminded people that volunteers had to sort through whatever they donated.

She said they typically used less than half the goods dumped or donated and blamed a proliferation of cheap and poor quality clothing in shops.

"People are turning over the clothing so quickly and often I don't think the quality is there, so by the time we get it it's pretty trashed," she said.

"A lot of people do mean well but if you wouldn't wear it or use it, please don't give it to us."

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