Council sets sights on people who dump items outside charity shops

 

Source: Jim O’Rourke, Manly Daily

A Sydney council is threatening fines and court action against people who dump material on footpaths.

A Sydney council is threatening fines and court action against people who dump material on footpaths.

AUTHORITIES are threatening to fine people caught dumping clothes and household goods on footpaths next to charity shops and donation bins.

Bags and boxes stuffed full of clothing, kitchenware, books and toys have been piling up outside shopfronts and bins operated by charities including St Vincent de Paul, Anglicare and The Salvation Army on the northern beaches.

A footpath was almost completely blocked with goods spilling out of cardboard boxes and garbage bags left outside the closed Vinnies shop on Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen, this week.

And Anglicare workers have had to regularly clear away items left next to clothing donation bins at St Matthews Anglican Church in Darley Rd, Manly.

Clothing and books dumped near Anglicare donation bins just off The Corso, Manly.

A Narrabeen resident said the items left outside Vinnies had attracted flies and other insects. They also prevent passengers from using a bench at a bus stop.

Northern Beaches Council said the dumped items were creating a hazard.

Council’s general manager for Planning, Place and Community, David Kerr, said council was disappointed that items were dumped on the footpath.

“Where council is able to identify the perpetrator of the dumping, fines and even court action can result against the people dumping the goods,” Mr Kerr said. “While we encourage our residents to support local charities, it is simply unacceptable to dump goods on the footpath outside a charity shop rather than disposing of the items responsibly.

“It creates work for the charity and also creates a public safety hazard.”

Charities are urging people not to leave items on the street where they can create a safety hazard.

Mr Kerr said the dumping incident at Narrabeen was being investigated by council.

Executive Officer for Vinnies in the Broken Bay region, Maureen Roast, said while it appreciated people’s generosity she urged them to drop items off at a Vinnies shop during their working hours.

“If you can’t, all donations should be placed in dedicated Vinnies’ bins; never outside the bins, our shops, or anywhere they can inconvenience others,” Ms Roast said.

Where council is able to identify the perpetrator of the dumping, fines and even court action can result against the people dumping the goods — David Kerr

“If you have a lot to donate, you can phone a Vinnies shop to arrange a suitable time, and large amounts of goods can also be donated in person at the Vinnies Brookvale Warehouse in Clearview Pl.”

Anglicare’s Sydney shops operations manager, Julie McAuley, said illegal dumping had become a “hot topic” among charity organisations and was high on the agenda of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations’ conference.

“We advise people to make their donation count by putting items in bins or drop off items personally when the shop is open,” Ms McAuley said.

Dumped clothing and household items piled up outside the St Vincent de Paul shop on Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen.

“People have good intentions and want to do the right thing but what might be good quality clothing left outside is sometimes taken by thieves or damaged by wet weather and then ends up going straight to landfill.

“There is a huge cost involved in clearing away the items.”

Last year the Salvation Army said it spent about $150,000 a year to clear the rubbish and unsellable items left outside its northern beaches stores.

Lifeline, the charity which offers 24-hour personal crisis support, said people dumping rubbish they could not be bothered to dispose of themselves was costing its northern beaches branch about $60,000 annually.


 

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