Charity not a trash can, cameras to catch tossers
DUMPING and donation theft doesn't just inconvenience op-shops, it costs them thousands each month.
The problem has escalated to the point where the Coffs Harbour St Vincent de Paul shop has decided to install CCTV cameras to stop the problem.
Not all dumping comes from thoughtless individuals, often it's well-meaning donors who aren't aware what Vinnies can take.
Vinnies' recycling waste manager Angelo Grande, who looks after 29 stores from Tweed to Laurieton, said increasing landfill costs contribute to the problem.
"We're very appreciative of donors. We could not do the work we do without that generous support, but in terms of receiving unsaleable donations, there's two types of donors," Mr Grande said.
"The genuine donor who thinks we can take it and who is giving it to us for the right reasons, but unfortunately we can't take those goods.
"Secondly, there is the dumper, who will dump on us anyway."
The cost of disposing of unsaleable items is about $3000 - a large chunk of the money raised through the stores.
Mr Grande said the store can't take items such as furniture because of its bulky nature, the size of some of the retail spaces and also the elderly nature of volunteers.
But, Mr Grande said other charities and government recycling facilities in the area take furniture and goods St Vincent's is unable to accept.
"If a donor is unsure, please ring the store (on 6652 3003) and check. We can direct them to another store," he said.