Unwanted items give op shop a headache

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Furniture and electrical items being dumped at Oamaru’s St Vincent de Paul charity store on Tees St are becoming a problem _ and manager Jeanette Verheyen is sick of dealing with it.
Last weekend, one queen and one single mattress and base were dumped outside the store while the clothing bin outside was filled with old duvets, sheets and pillows.
The store does not take or sell furniture and, in this case, would not have been able to sell the beds anyway, as they were soaked with rain after being left outside for more than a day.
Mrs Verheyen said she had recently found other items including broken toys, television sets, heaters and even a set of rusty hubcaps.
She says the dumping had to stop, as the store could not afford the fees to get rid of the goods.
“Don’t dump it _ it’s illegal. If we find out who dumps these things, we will prosecute them. Just go to the dump yourselves. We have to pay to dispose of anything that’s dumped here illegally. That money is better spent on the community.”Last year, the store spent $3000 on dumping fees at the Oamaru transfer station, while so far this year about $1000 had been spent.
Mrs Verheyen said the perpetrators were either lazy or not prepared to deal with their waste themselves.
“I think it’s people just can’t afford to dump their rubbish. But they obviously have trailers to take it this far and dump it,” she said.
“When they are dumping things under the cover of darkness, that’s wrong. They’re not coming in to see if we want it.”She said it was an “ongoing” problem and she had contacted the Waitaki District Council. However, she said the council had been unable to help.
St Vincent de Paul has about 30 volunteers who sort through goods, mainly clothing, books, puzzles and basic household items such as cutlery and dinner sets.
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