Clean up act, Tatura charity says

Rubbish dumped at Tatura's St Vincent de Paul charity store has dismayed volunteers and managers.

SOPHIE MALCOLM January 22, 2013 4:22am

Gail Pollard shows some of the items dumped at the Tatura St Vincent de Paul store.

Gail Pollard is tired of ‘‘handling filth’’.

The op shop volunteer says a recent influx of rubbish dumped at Tatura’s St Vincent de Paul store is part of a long-running problem and she wants it to stop.

Mrs Pollard, the store’s day co-ordinator and assistant manager, said she had spent hours cleaning up rubbish after the holidays.

‘‘We had heaps of rubbish over Christmas and New Year,’’ Mrs Pollard said.

‘‘There was everything — household rubbish, you name it.

‘‘It happens quite often.’’

Mrs Pollard said dumping was the op shop’s biggest issue — they often had to pay to have their skip emptied twice a week, at a cost of $125 each time.

‘‘It’s the same issue all the other op shops have got,’’ she said.

While the shop appreciated donations, they had to be of reasonable quality to be of use, Mrs Pollard said.

‘‘They’ve got to realise it’s got to be useable,’’ she said.

‘‘If you can’t wear it yourself, we can’t use it.

‘‘They need to put it in their own rubbish bin, really.’’

St Vincent de Paul Society Victorian retail operations manager Michael Rawlinson said he expected the charity to spend at least $800000 on waste disposal this year in Victoria alone.

‘‘It’s a massive issue,’’ Mr Rawlinson said.

He said whole donation bins were often contaminated by rubbish including food scraps, household waste and even dead pets.

‘‘Just recently at one of our bins, they removed a lot of unwanted donations and rubbish, which included a 2.5m skip full of bundled newspapers dating back to 1970,’’ he said.

‘‘We appreciate the community ... donating to us and we appreciate their items that can be used or given to someone in need.

‘‘The majority do the right thing and donate to us and we rely on the generosity of the public, unfortunately that small minority of the public see us as an opportunity to dump.

‘‘The rule of thumb is, would you give it to someone else to use?’’

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