Charity op shops stand to lose millions of dollars this holiday season disposing of rubbish and unusable donations over the Christmas holiday.
The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) has appealed to householders to make their donations of second-hand goods count this Christmas.
Planning on passing on those unwanted gifts to an op shop this year? Here’s what not to do.
NACRO chief executive oficer Kerryn Caulfield has asked those looking to donate consider whether it was something they would give to family or friends.
She said the lead-up to Christmas and the week following was the “peak dumping season”.
Making your donation count
- Ask yourself, would you give this item to a friend in need (i.e. it is clean, undamaged, and good quality)?
- Donate direct to the op shop during operating hours or call to arrange pick-up for larger items
- Put rubbish and damaged items in your rubbish bin
Some broken items, including a used bedpan, were left outside this donations bin at Deagon in Queensland. (Photo: ABC News/ Patrick Williams)
“Christmas is a hard time of year for many Australian families struggling with poverty, so donations of good quality goods are needed by the charities to raise funds so they can deliver their services,” Ms Caulfield said.
“But giving unusable or broken goods to a charity bin or op shop is not a donation – it is dumping waste and the cost of disposal of this rubbish takes away funds needed for the charities’ community programs.”
She said useful items when properly donated included homewares, books, CDs, bedding, towels, and clothing.
“If you were to use it yourself or give it to a friend or family, then it’s good enough for donating,” she said
“But if it’s soiled or damaged in any way, then it’s not suitable for donation.”
She said those who donated unusable items fell into two categories – those who are uneducated on good donating practices and those who maliciously dump rubbish.
She said some of the worst offending items left outside donation bins included soiled baby nappies and kitchen waste.
“People have had prawn shells left over from Christmas dinner, wrapped them up and deposited them in a donation bin,” Ms Caulfield said.
“What it does is contaminate everything in the bin so everything is unusable.
“If they’re going away they think they don’t want it sitting in the bin at home, so for some reason they use a donation bin. It’s very hard to believe.