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Push to crackdown on charity store dumping

THE Salvation Army’s Panania Family Store is just one of the State’s charity recyclers that could benefit from a new Action Plan released by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to target illegal dumping at charity bins and storefronts. RADIM CECHVALA

CHARITIES are regularly stuck with costly clean-up bills when unusable household goods, furniture or rubbish is dumped in donation bins or outside their shopfronts.

But a new Action Plan developed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is aiming to support NSW charitable recyclers.
Salvation Army Panania Family Store manager Anju Singh says they’ve previously faced big bills to remove illegally dumped furniture, as well as having rubbish such as lawn clippings and even dirty nappies left in their clothing bins.
However she said they had significantly reduced the problem over the past two years by working closely with council rangers and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA)’s Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squad.
Ms Singh said a CCTV camera had helped to identify some dumpers who were subsequently fined.
“Sometimes people just get lazy and leave things outside so our volunteers also clear stuff outside the clothing bins every day,” she said.
“We are only open weekdays, so on the weekends we have volunteers who come by twice a day and clear away anything left outside the shop.
“It’s usually boxes of books or videos that people leave next to the clothing bins.
“It is much better for people to bring in donations when we are open and have volunteers to help on Monday to Friday between 9am and 2pm.”
EPA executive director waste operations and programs, Carmen Dwyer, said their new Action Plan outlined how the EPA would work with charities, local government and other stakeholders in a coordinated effort to stop dumping at donation points.
“We know that most people try to do the right thing when it comes to donating but we could all use a reminder about how to donate responsibly,” Ms Dwyer said.
“For a donation to count, it needs to be a good quality item that is not stained, damaged or broken. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t give it to a mate, don’t donate.”