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how charity shops pay thousands to get rid of your waste

20 Feb 2013

Second hand shops, charity outlets and thrift stores are an excellent way of breathing second life in to things you don’t want or need anymore. But have you ever wondered what charity shops do with donations that don’t exactly make the grade as sellable items?

Charity shops everywhere rely on local residents bringing in old clothes, toys and bric a brac. However, some donors take advantage of this process by handing over, or leaving outside the premises, rubbish that they cannot be bothered to throw away by the correct means.

A recent news article from Australia reported how the Salvation Army stores have received mouldy clothes, broken electrical equipment and even full bags of household rubbish.

St Vincent de Paul Mt Maunganui volunteer Robin Crow said good-quality donations left after-hours weren’t a problem. But “absolute junk” caused headaches and expense: “Because, then we have to get rid of it.

“We keep a constant lookout and if people have dropped things here out of hours, then we just bring it in and we are very grateful for anything that we’re given, really.”

It was a nuisance when instead of taking things to the dump, people just left junk for the charity to deal with, she said.

The unwanted “donations” included everything from rusty chairs to broken sofas.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Major Christina Tyson said junk left outside was a seasonal problem, which peaked around Christmas and died back as people returned to work. Although $600,000 was spent last year on disposing of rubbish, the cost was spread over 125 stores, meaning an average disposal cost of $4800, she said.

“It is the nature of what we’ve always had to do.

“We’re not wanting to sound mean-spirited about it, we accept that it is a cost of doing business.”

So – next time you’re bagging up jumble for the second hand shop – make sure it’s decent quality, and any perished items or things that have seen better days – hire a skip!

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