Forster Lifeline has become a favoured dumping ground

It’s a growing epidemic that just won’t go away; the indiscriminate dumping of unwanted household goods and clothing outside charity bins and buildings.

The Easter holiday weekend has turned into a nightmare for Forster Lifeline after staff returned on Tuesday to overflowing charity bins, and waste strewn around the outside of the premises.

With the majority of the goods now destined for the landfill, staff are urging members of the public to stop donating goods outside of operating hours.

Desperate to get their message out to the public, staff posted on Facebook: “After a great long weekend it is very disappointing to see people still don’t seem to understand that donations left outside business hours are practically useless.

“They may be left with the best of intentions but by the time we get to them they have usually been ruined by simple things like even the night air.

“Please, please, please, if they don't fit into the clothing bins, please don't leave them here.”

Manager, Peita Dent said many of the donated goods had been rummaged through by the public, and just left as unwanted waste around the building and bins.

“And, it is not just us this is happening to, it is all charities,” she said.

With the Forster Lifeline Shop open from 8am until 4pm during the week, and until noon on Saturday, members of the public have plenty of time to drop goods off during operating hours, she said.

Now the shop has to deal with disposing of the waste, which costs about $269/tonne.

Charities are eligible for a $77.60/tonne rebate from the State government.

At the moment the shop’s five tonne truck makes the 60 minute round trip to the closest commercial waste facility at Tinonee up to three times a week.

“We are disposing of locals’ rubbish.”

MidCoast Council waste, health and regulatory services manager, John Cavanagh said he strongly advised all charities to make an application for eligible rebates.

“We have gone to great lengths to help charities,” Mr Cavanagh said.

But, they have to apply, he said.

Mr Cavanagh said dumping unwanted goods at charities State-wide had grown dramatically during the past five years.

“And, it’s getting worst.

“People say it is a council concern.”

He believed there were no easy solutions, to what he described as an annoying and frustrating situation.

“We suggest they manage their own security cameras and only accept goods when open.

“Other than waive the fees there is little council can do.”

Mr Cavanagh believed there were a mix of reasons for this growing problem.

“Partly, there is some misunderstanding of what is a useful item to Lifeline and others.”