Oamaru charity store managers are reporting a welcome decrease in the amount of unsaleable goods being dumped on their doorsteps.
The Oamaru St Vincent de Paul Opportunity Shop, Charity Shop Oamaru and both the central Oamaru and North End Salvation Army Family Store shops reported fewer items that required dumping being dropped off.
Unwanted goods – clothing, broken furniture and crockery, and faulty small appliances – are left at the front door of many charity stores more often between Christmas and early January than at any other time of the year.
Goods that are not in a saleable condition have to be discarded at the Oamaru Landfill – unless they can be recycled – at the respective store’s cost.
St Vincent de Paul Opportunity Shop manager Jeanette Verheyen said the issue did not seem to be as rife this summer.
“We get it every year, but it hasn’t been quite as bad. It hasn’t been much of a problem at all actually.”
She put that down to the store making people more aware that dumping unwanted goods that could not be sold on was not acceptable.
Mrs Verheyen said in the past, everything from stained mattresses to broken furniture and dirty clothing were left at the Tees St store.
While some bags of unsaleable clothing were found this year, the majority had been in good condition.
North End Salvation Army Family Store manager Leighton McLay also believed fewer items were being dumped.
“We were pretty fortunate this year . . . we had no big amounts of rubbish this time. There’s the odd thing that gets donated with good intentions that we have to throw away.”
Those items included televisions – which cost about $40 to dispose – and couches.
The North End store has a budget of $5500 to spend on dumping fees, while the central Oamaru store’s budget was $6000.
Oamaru Salvation Army Family Store manager Karyn Shaw said her store was only closed on the statutory holidays over the festive period, which she believed helped reduce instances of dumping.
“I think we only had one lot of stuff that was unsaleable and definitely rubbish. I think things have been better this year and that was because we were open . . . we find that when people leave stuff overnight, it tends to be rubbish and junk.”
In the past, she had been greeted at the store by items such as dirty or ripped clothing, stained or torn bedding, and broken cups, saucers and plates when returning to work in early January.
Charity Shop Oamaru manager Bonnie McLellan also believed dumping was down.
“We were not as bad this year. It was lot better than it has been. We still have a wheelie bin to empty each week at $55 a week . . . but it was generally pretty good.”
She said people needed to understand that money charity stores had to spend on dumping goods was money that would otherwise have been better spent.