Taking out the Trash

29 Sep

Sadly some people just can’t grasp the meaning of charity. Too many people take advantage of charity stores, reading their call for donations too literally. Some think the donation bin is just the place for practically anything they don’t want anymore, whereas others don’t even bother to use the donation bin and just leave their unwanted items on the footpath. This has become a particular problem for one of my favourite local op shops. Over the weekend whilst the store is closed thoughtless people dump huge quantities of “donations” on the footpath outside the St Vinnies store. I’ve also seen others stop to collect whatever they want, often arriving with a ute or small truck to load it onto. I suspect that these are many of the regular stall holders I see at the nearby Blacktown Drive-In Market. Profiting from others and effectively stealing from a charity trying to raise funds to help those in need. A low act indeed. By the time volunteer staff arrive Monday morning the footpath is completely covered in the picked over debris. Many of the volunteers are elderly ladies, would you expect your nanna to collect rubbish from the side of the road? It’s quite disrespectful if you ask me. The store has often had to ask council to collect the dumped item which is then sent to the rubbish tip, but the problem has gotten out of hand becoming a weekly occurence.

Monday morning I visited this store. There was so much rubbish on the footpath that I was forced to walk around it onto the road. To make matters worse, there were 3 people digging amongst the pile taking items at will and simply tossing the rest over their shoulder. I was disgusted to say the least. They looked like your stereotypical foul-mouthed, smoking, dole bludging scabs. Here they were stealing in broad daylight from the very place that likely gave them free goods to furnish their Housing Comission flat.

So just what is fit for charity donation and what is rubbish? Basically broken household items and ripped or stained clothing are only fit for the rubbish bin. When I’m spring cleaning (which seems to be all the time?) I just ask myself, would I buy this second-hand? If the answer is no, it goes in the bin. Of course a charity donation bin needn’t be your only option. I always first offer items to friends or family whom I think might appreciate them. Kids clothes especially are well received. Your local childcare or preschool might take the toys your kids have outgrown. Community groups are also open to donations, the knitting club would love the wool you’ve been saving for a rainy day and the community garden could use the pile of unused pots you have stored under the house. Free-cycling is a great way to contribute back into your local community as well as recycling. I for one hate waste and throwing things in the bin, so think before you chuck it.  

If it’s all too hard then remember that your rates entitle you to a number of Household clean ups, where council will collect rubbish piled neatly on your nature strip. Contact your local council for details.

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2 Responses to “Taking out the Trash”

  1. The Hunter Gatherers October 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Statistics from St Vinnies:
    Last financial year they spent $43,392 cleaning up rubbish dumped in and around their donation bins. Money that could have helped more than 850 people with food assistance. Illegal dumping = $1500 fine.

  2. Lisa August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    It’s good to see that Vinnies have moved and don’t have to put up with that anymore. The “poor” bludgers are probably whinging to anyone who’ll listen that they can’t pick through the dumped stuff anymore.

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