Illegal dumping puts an end to charity bins

Ian Bushnell 5 April 2020 42
Clothing bin

The overflowing clothing bin in the car park near Wanniassa Coles on Saturday afternoon (4 April). Photo: Region Media.

Charity clothing bins are being removed from public land because they are a magnet for illegal dumping.

The issue of people dumping all kinds of goods at the charity bins has been going on for years and despite a range of measures to address the problem, including CCTV to identify culprits, the problem has continued.

The situation has been compounded by the coronavirus public health emergency, which has meant not enough charity workers are available to manage the bins.

Charities themselves have been removing bins but the government has now moved to dump them altogether.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel said the government, with the support of bin operators, had decided to immediately revoke the licences of all charity bins located on public land throughout Canberra.

“This decision has been made due to the growing challenges faced by charity operators in managing illegal dumping around the diminishing number of clothing bins around the city,” he said.

“It’s unfair for the charities to have to clean up these dumpsites so they have been withdrawing these services.”

Mr Steel urged Canberrans to stop dumping goods where charity bins were previously located.

“I am urging all Canberrans to please stop taking items to charity bins from now. We have already started the process of removing the remaining ones from locations around Canberra and will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

High-quality items, including clothing, books and homewares, can still be accepted by charities with shop fronts.

The community is also encouraged to donate through GIVIT, which is able to facilitate online matching of donations with registered charities and community organisations for those in need.

“I would also ask Canberrans to be mindful of the current COVID-19 challenges and to consider storing their items at home temporarily during this time and to avoid unnecessary travel. Poor quality and broken goods should go in the rubbish bin,” Mr Steel said

He said that the Government would work with charities on opportunities for the reuse and recycling of unwanted items, particularly clothing.

“Following the public health emergency we will seek to meet with the charity sector and other interested organisations to work on the future of textile recycling in the ACT,” Minister Steel said.

“This will involve identifying alternative collection points in the future as well as looking to improve textile recycling beyond what is already available in the ACT.”

The government’s new Bulky Waste collection scheme, which is due to start from the middle of the year, will be able to take some items accepted in charity bins or commonly illegally dumped around them.

Donation bins at Gungahlin

Donation bins at Gungahlin in December last year. Photo: File.

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42 Responses to Illegal dumping puts an end to charity bins
Vindalu Vindalu 5:02 pm 09 Apr 20

On the spot fines, gives someone a job and pays for itself.

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:30 am 09 Apr 20

Most of the stuff could have been put in the home garbage bin. If they couldn't fit it in the home bin, it makes me wonder what other junk they have that fills their bins.

Nikki Herd Nikki Herd 2:17 pm 08 Apr 20

I agree it's disgusting that people do this but removing the bins isn't going to stop this problem. So what is the government going to do to help stop the dumping of charity items (sometimes junk) ???

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:23 am 09 Apr 20

    Proving that they are not giving charity items. They are just dumping their junk. It has nothing to do with charity.

    Nikki Herd Nikki Herd 10:32 am 09 Apr 20

    Julie Macklin ok so what is the government going to do to make it easier for people to get rid of the junk??? Because now people are just leaving it on the side of the road where the charity bins used to be

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:35 am 09 Apr 20

    Nicole Lee What I see is mostly junk clothing. Why don't those people put that in their home bin? Easy. The government has already done something about that, by supplying a garbage service.

    Nikki Herd Nikki Herd 10:36 am 09 Apr 20

    Julie Macklin because then it goes to landfill and how is that a good thing??

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:37 am 09 Apr 20

    Nicole Lee How is it a good thing when the charities send the junk to land fill. No difference. Except it costs them money which could have been used for charity instead.

    Nikki Herd Nikki Herd 10:40 am 09 Apr 20

    Julie Macklin going to landfill is not a good idea no matter how it got there. There has to be a better way??

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:25 am 08 Apr 20

The question is why do some people have so much junk in the first place? I couldn't find that much junk to dump. And if I do take anything to charity I hand it to them personally and the items are clean and the clothes ironed. They can put their junk in their home garbage bin.

David Klenka David Klenka 12:00 pm 07 Apr 20

Sometimes op shops won't take what you bring them so people dump it or put it out front for others to take. I don't think dumping near the charity bin is great for hygienic reasons but i don't see why you can't leave out front for others to take before it rains of course. One man's trash is another's treasure.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 4:06 pm 08 Apr 20

    David Klenka maybe because what you are bringing them is in realty crap and of no use to them. And by just leaving it for others you are transferring the cost of disposing it from you to someone else.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 5:28 pm 08 Apr 20

    They always take what I give them. It's clean and if clothes, washed and ironed, ready to hang on the rack, and still wearable. I would not consider giving them junk. What I see dumped, often looks like someone scrapped it up off the floor of a hoarders house. Often junk.

    David Klenka David Klenka 2:36 am 09 Apr 20

    Ashley Wright you forget they receive donations for free and sell them for a price. Not everything is up to standard to sell and that's just reality.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:27 am 09 Apr 20

    David Klenka Then don't take that stuff to them and it won't be rejected.

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 11:35 am 07 Apr 20

People are still dumping their garbage at the site where the bins were in Gungahlin.

O L O L 8:04 am 07 Apr 20

Until recently I was a sorter at a large charity for quite a few years. At least half of all donations go to the tip as they are dirty or broken etc. This is a large cost to the charities.

Megan van der Velde Megan van der Velde 5:17 am 07 Apr 20

Two good points. Taking stuff to the tip is costly and time consuming – have you seen the queues on the weekends? I am very happy to take recycled good clothes etc to charity shops. Problem is that I can only get there on weekends as I work all week and these places are often only open for a short time on the weekends. In principle, the bins were a great idea. As usual, those amongst us who can’t do the right thing have ruined it for those of us who can.

Liz Lyell Liz Lyell 1:58 am 07 Apr 20

Disgusting behaviour.

David Moncrieff David Moncrieff 6:36 pm 06 Apr 20

Good decision, quite frankly. People are too selfish, just dumping some stuff near the bins shifts their problem to others. Like putting stuff out on the street for people to ‘re-purpose,’ then leaving it there. In our street is a little desk and an LED tv that have been dumped by two households. No-one wants them, dispose of them at the recycling depot.

Fiona Beryl Fiona Beryl 5:16 pm 06 Apr 20

Just this morning I noticed a pile of crap(including a very skanky looking full bean bag!) dumped at the front door of a charity shop in Woden

Ann Kokoulis Ann Kokoulis 5:00 pm 06 Apr 20


John Boland John Boland 4:49 pm 06 Apr 20

This is so terrible, and shouldn't be condoned in anyway. However if it didn't cost $30 or more to take a basic load of rubbish to the tip people wouldn't do this. The ACT Gov needs to bring forward their 'council cleanup' system ASAP that our ever increasing rates pay for!!

    Susana Di Donna Susana Di Donna 11:11 pm 07 Apr 20

    Monica they are doing this.

    Susana Di Donna Susana Di Donna 6:55 am 08 Apr 20

    Monica I was replying to ‘hard kerbside rubbish pick up’. The article states that the ACT Govt is rolling that out starting mid year. I took a screenshot of the information for you.

Allyse Wilson Allyse Wilson 4:10 pm 06 Apr 20

Anna Wilson that explains why they are gone!

Roberta Bausch Roberta Bausch 3:39 pm 06 Apr 20

Disgusting. Too many grubs around not doing the right thing.

Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:14 pm 06 Apr 20

People are idiots and they know what they are doing is wrong.

It was just easy for them to say well I wasn't aware dumping rubbish was illegal if I dumped in next to a charity bin.

Wasting a charities resources is probably about one of the lowest acts I can think of.

Gayle Marie Stone Gayle Marie Stone 2:35 pm 06 Apr 20


Nikol Josephine Nikol Josephine 1:15 pm 06 Apr 20

So glad! The illegal dumping has been an ongoing issue for months!

Sofia Turello Sofia Turello 12:34 pm 06 Apr 20

Tobias Turello noooo! Some people are so lazy.

Mat Casey Mat Casey 12:31 pm 06 Apr 20

I walk my dogs to Mawson ovals a bit , I once saw some one had left a fish tank, easily the size of a large fridge on its side in front of one of the bins.

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