Charity Bins Becoming Rubbish Dumps

By 31 January, 2010 34

This morning after a long overdue clean up of my spare room, I made a visit to the tip (or whatever it is now known as). I duly paid $10 to dump about three boxes of rubbish from the boot of my small car.

I then drove on to the Woolies carpark in Gungahlin to put a load of clothes into the Smith Family Bins and what I saw there absolutely appalled me. The area in front of these clothing bins, about five or six carspaces worth, was knee deep in garbage. None of this stuff could be of any possible use to charities. I am talking about broken plastic laundry baskets, stained mattresses, smashed tables and general household garbage.

I can only assume the people responsible for turning this area into their own rubbish tip have a good reason for it. Can they not afford tip fees ?

I would like to find out who is responsible for cleaning up this mess and hope it isn’t the charities. I think, financially, this would send them backwards rapidly.

I would also like to put it to my fellow RA associates if anyone has any ideas on how this illegal dumping can be stopped. Lowering tip fees might help. How about the Government put some large skips in designated places for people to dump stuff in ?

I don’t know. What does everyone else think ?

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34 Responses to Charity Bins Becoming Rubbish Dumps
#1
I-filed2:43 pm, 31 Jan 10

An electronics company should sponsor webcams at the bins … get great kudos from the public that way … I would support any business that helped there …

#2
moneypenny26123:11 pm, 31 Jan 10

This is not a local problem – it is a nationwide one.

Apparently the Salvos spend nearly several million dollars per year on clearing up rubbish dumped at their charity bins or charity shops around the country. You can probably multiply that a couple of times over for the total costs for charities having to dispose of other people’s “charity”. Say, $5 million per year spent on rubbish removal instead of charitable assistance? Not good.

I don’t know that waiving tip fees will help much though – I imagine a lot of people can’t be bothered driving out to the tips when there is a ‘bin’ conveniently at their local shopping centre. But some people might go to the tip if dumping were free.

Maybe a few hard waste collection days would help also – for those things that can’t even be Freecycled.

Does the ACT have illegal dumping laws that covers misuse of charity bins? If so, are there inspectors or rangers who can issue on-the-spot fines?

… I’d be interested to know whether TAMS does much to enforce whatever laws there might be about this sort of thing. While I recall TAMS putting city rangers on the case of cigarette butt littering, I don’t recall similar attention on littering / dumping at charity bins and stores.

#3
MrPC3:50 pm, 31 Jan 10

I’m pretty sure it is the charities that have to pay. It’s the price they have to pay for keeping those collection bins in place, which do occasionally get them saleable merchandise.

Similar dumping occurs at the door of or out the back of pretty much every charity store every weekend.

Canberra needs to adopt a twice yearly kerbside hard waste collection. Pretty much everywhere else in the country manages it, and while their charity stores still have to deal with dumping, it doesn’t seem quite as bad elsewhere.

#4
grunge_hippy4:57 pm, 31 Jan 10

scurge of the earth these people. i too just went to the shops and there dumped outside the bins was a old, broken, and thoroughly useless BBQ. it happens every weekend. there is no room to put your genuine donations.

Its better to go and take your donations straight to the charity shop.

#5
AussieRodney5:11 pm, 31 Jan 10

Personally, I think it’s plain bloody lazy.

Unfortunately, it’s you & me that fund the clean-up. The charities are legally obliged to take only what is in the bin.

Putting skips out there is a great idea, but it’s only going to encourage even more laziness.

#6
belray5:22 pm, 31 Jan 10

I agree. I saw the appalling display of pure laziness and was disgusted. What is the matter with some people??? The end result will be that the council will remove the bins, then the charities lose out.

A great outcome just beacuse some lazy a$$hole can’t be stuffed driving to the tip.

#7
hetzjagd15:46 pm, 31 Jan 10

Maybe we need to setup what Melbourne has and let everone leave their broken or old crap out on their lawn for pickup periodically. It would be worth investigating the relative cost of a service like this compaired to a smaller service dedicated to just checking out the charity bins for this sort of dumping. Then again basic video surveillance near these bins might be the most cost effective measure if it were then possible to record the license plate of people who are doing this and then issue fines to the owner of the car; assuming they aren’t just wheeling piles of this sort of stuff up in shopping trolleys.

#8
Thumper7:11 pm, 31 Jan 10

sadly, the charities have to pay to clean this up.

How to stop it, well, no idea, there’s to many people out there without the smallest piece of shame or social conscience.

#9
TheDJPea7:32 pm, 31 Jan 10

I noticed that this morning too, and ranted at my gf until I realised I was too hungover too continue. I haven’t got much to say on the subject other than I have little faith in the human race at the best of times. I’m not surprised it’s happened, it’s happened before at other bins, will happen again.

#10
Felix the Cat8:27 pm, 31 Jan 10

Remove the charity bins from shopping centres and only have people donate directly to the shops during business hours.

Maybe more “transfer stations” are needed, similar to the one at Mitchell but without the tip face bit, just have skip bins and you pay $10 or whatever to an attendent to dump your household rubbish. You would need to keep transfer stations in industrial areas like Fyshwick, Hume and Mitchell, be a bit of an eyesore and probably on the nose to have them in the suburbs.

Council pickups once a month or so like they do in Sydney could be another solution or more Second Hand Sundays.

There was an article in The Canberra Times that said the charities and revolve are getting hundreds of old still working cathode ray televisions donated to them as people update to flat screen plasmas and LCDs and they can’t sell them so now give them away to pensioners and I think unemployed.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/tuning-into-peoples-financial-woes-with-free-tellies/1738330.aspx

#11
sepi8:39 pm, 31 Jan 10

I think Jon Stanhope should live up to his election promise to provide Hard Rubbish collection once a year to Canberrans, by 2010.

There was an article in yesterday’s paper about it. He blames the Greens for the delay. (Only because the Greens stopped Labor getting full government, not because he actually has proposed a plan and they blocked it or anything.) He has no plan at all for actually doing hard rubbish as yet.

Some people don’t even have cars, let alone afford tip fees. In a way piling it outside charity bins is better than just dumping it into the middle of the road, or a bustop or nature reserve.

#12
cleo10:48 pm, 31 Jan 10

Mr PC

+1

#13
dvaey11:52 pm, 31 Jan 10

One other interesting side note here, is that if someone does dump ‘illegally’ near a charity bin, no-one wants it.

The charities say they only take what is INSIDE the bin.
The government wont pay for cleanup of the area around the bin.
If a member of the public removes anything from outside a bin, they can be charged with theft.

Maybe what we need is some sort of government-supported business to collect this useful stuff and re-sell it like, say, revolve.

On the flip side, the last few times Ive been into a salvos or vinnies op-shop, Ive noticed the items for sale are often either very poor condition, or priced almost the same as new similar items. Many years ago, you used to be able to buy 10 items of clothing for 10 bucks, these days 5 items wont leave you much change out of a $50.

#14
bd842:05 am, 01 Feb 10

Most charities do have security cameras outside these days, but it’s not hard to disguise yourself dumping stuff. There are dumping laws that were strengthened a few years ago, but like most things are never policed, I’d recommend shooting the offenders. It’s probably time they got rid of all bins and stopped allowing donations outside business hours. Perhaps only having shops in locations where people cannot dump things, charity of some large shopping centre owners would help there.

#15
fgzk8:55 am, 01 Feb 10

dvaey “If a member of the public removes anything from outside a bin, they can be charged with theft.”

I’m not sure that is right. As far as I know if its not in the bin its fair game to be scavenged.

#16
colourful sydney rac9:30 am, 01 Feb 10

Intorduce a $5000 fine for dumping outside bins – monitor the bins via webcam. Boon for the taxpayer.

#17
sepi9:56 am, 01 Feb 10

If you want to actually donate stuff, your best bet is to find a small out of the way shopping centre that still has a collection bin, or some churches have then too – they are never as feral as the mountains of garbage at Dickson.

also, The little Kingston Op shop, the Seventh Day adventist op shop in Braddon and the Big one in Mitchell are happy to have boxes of stuff brought in when they are open.

#18
Snarky10:23 am, 01 Feb 10

bd84 @#14 beat me to it, but I think the idea of putting charity bins inside a shopping centre would pretty much eliminate the problem entirely. They’d need to be better presented of course, but I reckon that they’d actually be even more convenient to use for most people, and they’d likely eliminate most of the crap people dump inside the bins too – just leave the useable stuff.

#19
Gungahlin Al10:41 am, 01 Feb 10

This issue was raised on the Gungahlin Community Council Facebook page, and we’ve carried it over to our website and are featuring it in the next edition of Gungahlin Smokesignals due out in 3 weeks.

Given it wasn’t just a Xmas/NY thing, and cretins it seems will continue being cretins, what I’m wondering is whether we should be asking the charities to remove the bins from the Gungahlin town centre?

#20
trix10:41 am, 01 Feb 10

I agree with everyone saying there should be a kerbside collection once or twice a year. Virtually no rubbish would get left at the charity bins then, and it’s actually a nice way of recycling stuff. In other cities I’ve lived, you get the people who sift through the collection material and take away the old fridges, stoves and whatnots, refurb them and sell them on.

#21
dvaey11:13 am, 01 Feb 10

Snarky said :

bd84 @#14 beat me to it, but I think the idea of putting charity bins inside a shopping centre would pretty much eliminate the problem entirely. They’d need to be better presented of course, but I reckon that they’d actually be even more convenient to use for most people

Maybe youve never dumped stuff in a vinnies bin, but you dont just throw in a shirt or a pair of shorts, normally we visit them after spring-cleaning, and have several bags of clothes and items to donate. The reason the charity bins are successful is because you can pull up next to them and dump the bags easily, without having to walk through a shopping centre. If you wanted to walk with the bags, you’d just go take it to the charity shop itself.

If these charity bins ARE removed, what do people think will happen to this dumped rubbish which is no use to charities? Do you think itll just magically disappear, or do you think itll get dumped somewhere else, say at playgrounds, carparks or elsewhere?

This falls into the same thing as recycled material for us. We often collect way more recycable material than rubbish, however as our recycling bin fills faster than rubbish, our rubbish bin is often over 50% full of plastic bottles or cans. Sure, I could spend the $5 in fuel to take it to the recycling depot, or I could save my money at the expense of the environment and throw it all in the garbage bin.

#22
niftydog11:51 am, 01 Feb 10

I saw the Salvo’s on the TV a few weeks back – $7 million last year spent on clean up at the collection bins AND at the shop fronts. They also said that if they remove charity bins from a shopping centre, the nearest shop front cops an influx.

It’s not that people can’t afford the fees, it’s just that being a lazy, ignorant, selfish asshole is all the rage these days. I saw some idiot dump a washing machine in a culvert near Lyneham a few months back. He should have realised that you can dump stuff like that for free at Mitchell as it has scrap value. Heck, some scrap merchants will even come and collect!

The resource centres are run by contractors; You can’t exactly make them lower or abolish their fees!

A hard rubbish day would be awesome, but I’d be worried that people would spend six months stacking junk up on their nature strip waiting for the next collection.

Smaller stuff goes nicely in the regular rubbish bin – I often have a little pile of junk in the garage, and every bin day it gets a little bit smaller.

#23
Mike Crowther12:07 pm, 01 Feb 10

There are a large number of people undergoing court ordered’ community service orders in the ACT. Many of them are directed to ‘work’ at charity these organisations.They can be seen on any Saturday morning sitting on the charity shops docks smoking and chatting for their three hours If the territory did a little supervising, then some of these people could be re-directed from their current practice of standing over the poor old girls who run these outlets, and used to actually clean up around the bins. IE: No more sitting on the dock socialising with each other for three hours each Saturday morning as an alternative to a goal sentence.

Of course this would involve the Govt taking some interest in the results of their policies so personally, I wouldn’t be holding my breath Fabforty

#24
Snarky12:11 pm, 01 Feb 10

dvaey@#21

normally we visit them after spring-cleaning, and have several bags of clothes and items to donate. The reason the charity bins are successful is because you can pull up next to them and dump the bags easily, without having to walk through a shopping centre. If you wanted to walk with the bags, you’d just go take it to the charity shop itself.

We generally collect stuff till we have 5-6 bags to drop off too. I don’t find it that big a deal to walk with them to drop off somewhere. Yes, I could go straight to the charity shop if it was open, and often I do. But on a Sunday afternoon our nearest one (Salvos, Cooleman Court) ain’t. The shopping centre is, though.

If these charity bins ARE removed, what do people think will happen to this dumped rubbish which is no use to charities? Do you think itll just magically disappear, or do you think itll get dumped somewhere else, say at playgrounds, carparks or elsewhere?

I doubt it’ll be dumped anywhere else more or less frequently than it is now. If people are going to dump it illegally anyway why do they go to the bother of going to find a charity bin to do it now? There are drains, parks and carparks everywhere a lot closer and a lot less effort to get to, but it doesn’t seem to happen that much (exceptions everywhere of course). I’m not convinced of your implied argument that the bins serve a useful purpose as an unofficial rubbish collection point now.

WRT the recycling argument, not sure that’s relevant – most of the crap that gets dumped isn’t recyclable – its just junk.

#25
prhhcd1:26 pm, 01 Feb 10

Agree with all your comments. Lets have the periodic hard waste pick up back – every other city does it!

#26
H1NG01:37 pm, 01 Feb 10

If there were council pickups like in every other city in Australia, this would not be happening. Its is a disgrace that this is happening, but its about time ACT Government stopped ignoring the issue and did something about it.

#27
Clown Killer2:33 pm, 01 Feb 10

If there were council pickups like in every other city in Australia, this would not be happening. Its is a disgrace that this is happening, but its about time ACT Government stopped ignoring the issue and did something about it.

My parents live in melbourne. There are no council ‘pick ups’ where they live yet they don’t have people dumping crap all over the front of charity shops in their area. The reality is that this has nothing to do with the ACT Government and everything to do with mindless inconsiderate a-holes who think that someone will be really happy to recieve their old piss-stained mattress or collection of dog chewed kiddies toys.

If the governmnet should be doing anything at all it should be taking steps to catch and prosecute these people. Tipping fees in the ACT are ridiculously cheap (with the notable exception of the fee for dumping a CRT screen … but I digress), so it’s simply not possible to construct an argument around the cost of tipping. these people aren’t worried about the cost of tip fees, these people are just maggots who don’t know any better.

#28
H1NG03:11 pm, 01 Feb 10

http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/clean-up/MelbourneVIC

Yes these people are inconsiderate Clown Killer, but if there was a clean up service maybe twice a year, it would remove a lot of this junk.

#29
housebound6:22 pm, 01 Feb 10

Okay, so there are enough lazy, selfish people in Canberra that there is a problem with dumping at charities, and so we taxpayers should have a clean-up service.

It really says something about the mentality of that section of the Canberra population.

#30
Felix the Cat8:22 pm, 01 Feb 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Given it wasn’t just a Xmas/NY thing, and cretins it seems will continue being cretins, what I’m wondering is whether we should be asking the charities to remove the bins from the Gungahlin town centre?

They did remove the bins for a while a couple of years or so back, remember when they used to be up the top of the carpark? They should do it again, or at least empty them more often so people can put genuine donations into them.

Surely it can’t be cost effective for the charities to dump an estimated 75% of what it collects? How profitable is second hand clothing and old furniture these days? You can buy new cheap asian clothing and furniture from large department stores for very reasonable prices these days, it’s not like the stuff you buy from Vinnies is anything different.

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