Charity junk ‘donations’ frustrating

WHAT A WASTE: Tamworth Salvation Army major David Rogerson said unwanted junk dumped in the charity’s bins and at its store were chewing up valuable volunteer time. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 301214GOB02

THE season of goodwill has been sullied for a number of local charities after a mountain of junk items were “donated” in recent days.

Op shops traditionally record a spike in items received following Christmas, many of them unwanted gifts that can be resold to help organisations like The Salvation Army.

But amid the generous donations is an increasing amount of rubbish and worthless items, frustrating charities and chewing up valuable volunteer time.

Major David Rogerson from Tamworth Salvos said looters had even been rummaging through donated items at the store’s back dock since Christmas.

“We had to take a truck over to the store this morning because of the amount of rubbish,” Mr Rogerson said yesterday.

“People dump rubbish and then help themselves to the quality stuff and just leave the bags ripped open in the rain.

“It creates extra work for us and I can’t understand why they would do it.”

He said broken toys, soiled mattresses and household rubbish were among the items “donated” this year.

He asked residents to delay donating items until next Monday, when the store re-opens.

One of a Kind CEO Michael Ticehurst, who oversees op shops in Tamworth, Armidale and Narrabri, said the influx of junk was an unfortunate by-product of Christmas.

“People tend to do a cleaning exercise of old toys and stuff at this time of year, but if you’re in the op shop business, you have to take the good with the bad,” Mr Ticehurst said.

“About 20 per cent of what we get this time of year is rubbish, where it might only be five or 10 per cent throughout the year.”

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