PLENTY OF DONATIONS: Vinnies’ volunteer Daphne Sturgess carrying out a “first sort” where usable and unusable donations are separated.
PLENTY OF DONATIONS: Vinnies’ volunteer Daphne Sturgess carrying out a “first sort” where usable and unusable donations are separated. Chris Ison Rokcvinnies

Dodgy donations end up costing local charities

FOR some people, the Christmas break and New Year is the perfect time to clean out the house.

But it's also a time when charity op-shops can become overwhelmed with donations and may be forced to pay for unsuitable or damaged goods to be dumped in landfill.

Edwina Wagland, from the St Vincent de Paul Society Rockhampton, said donations left outside bins could be damaged by bad weather or animals and people rifling through bags of items.

"It's the busiest time of year for donations," she said.

"We get mountains and mountains of stuff."

Edwina said Vinnies could resell many items, but things like electrical goods were unacceptable for donation and resale due to safety concerns.

She said every thoughtful donation made a difference by helping someone in need or contributing to funds which would do the same.

"If people don't buy (the items) because they're in need, the money still goes back into the community," Edwina said.

"I'd just ask people to think twice about it.

"We are grateful for all the donations we do get, but it is a cost to us for all the things we have to dump."

Belinda Bath, business manager of Uniting Care Rockhampton, said local Lifeline stores recorded approximately 31 tonnes of donations in December alone.

But getting rid of unsuitable donations can add up to "thousands of dollars a year" for the charity.

"We get people dumping off tyres, dumping off paint, knowing we can't use it," Belinda said.

"That's really disheartening.

"In the long run we wouldn't be where we are today without people donating.

"It's the people genuinely donating who are helping people in the community."

 

DONATION GUIDE

These items are welcome: 

  • Clean clothes
  • Useable shoes
  • Useable crockery
  • Useable furniture (some charities will pick up from homes for free)
  • CDs, DVDs and books in good condition
  • Clean, undamaged mattresses
  • Clean, undamaged toys
  • Blankets and linen

These items can't be resold:

  • Soiled clothes
  • Household garbage
  • Cracked or broken crockery
  • Broken furniture
  • Scrap computers
  • Stained mattresses
  • Electrical appliances
  • Mobile phones


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