Charity calls for office hours donations to avoid repeat of weekend mess

DUMPED: Piles of old clothing lay scattered at the front of St Vincent de Paul's Orange headquarters in McNamara Street on Sunday night. Photo: Contributed

DUMPED: Piles of old clothing lay scattered at the front of St Vincent de Paul's Orange headquarters in McNamara Street on Sunday night. Photo: Contributed

A leading charity has called on donors to offer goods during working hours to avoid a repeat of the mess created by large piles of old clothing being dumped on its doorstep last weekend.

Orange businessman Jeff Townsend spotted the dumped clothing scattered around the front of the St Vincent de Paul shop in McNamara St on Sunday night – some of it wet from the the day-long rain.

“I was totally shocked. It was such a disgraceful mess,” Mr Townsend said.

“It’s just terrible, they’ve got six bins there. Nothing was overflowing from the bins.

“Most of that stuff will have to go in the rubbish. It was just all old clothing.

“I just think people need to be reminded there is an acceptable level of behaviour.

“I think it’s incredibly rude of people to do that when they could wait until mid-week to go in.” 

Vinnies’ Bathurst Central Council retail and distribution manager Anthony Doyle said on Tuesday the piles had been scattered after the goods had been left.

“Someone has come through them. It is generally someone in need looking for items.”

Mr Doyle said dumping had been a problem for some time but the situation was improving after installing increased lighting and security cameras.

However, they did not get footage of this incident.

“If people can drop stuff in during business hours, that’s 9am-4pm daily and 9am-noon on Saturday, that is the preferred way.

“Come during work hours if you can. It secures the stock and we can handle it securely.”

Last year the Bathurst Central Council, which covers 17 Vinnies shops across the Central West, had to spend $59,000 to get rid of unusable items donated to them.

Mr Doyle said all clothing donated should be wearable. “If someone can wear it, it does us good.”

The dumping of goods at NSW charities has become such a problem that in May the Environment Protection Authority established the Reducing Dumping On Charitable Recyclers project. It offers grants of up to $7000 to help charities install surveillance equipment and extra security.

At the project launch Environment Minister Mark Speakman said 40 per cent of items left at NSW charities, some 300,000 tonnes of goods, were unusable.

“The cost alone of getting rid of this rubbish is up to $7 million.”

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