Illegal dumping at Vinnies

Prosthetic limbs, ashes, false teeth, alive and dead animals, rotting meat and a shark’s carcass are just some of the strange and unpalatable items Hunter Valley St Vincent de Paul volunteers have had to contend with recently in their charity bins. 

Vinnies’ Events & Engagement Coordinator, Jennifer Barrie, said people dumping rubbish, in and around Vinnies’ charity bins, had already cost the not-for-profit organisation thousands of dollars this holiday season. 

“The bins have been full so people have been dumping bags all around the bins, which is illegal,” Ms Barrie said.

“Unfortunately, many of the items being dropped off should have gone straight into home rubbish bins, while goods that may have been usable had been ruined by rain or stolen before volunteers could retrieve them,” Ms Barrie said. 

“Many people don’t want to pay the tip fees, others are just lazy but we’re asking people to use some common sense – if the bin is full wait until it’s empty.

“Our volunteers should not have to go through people’s rubbish. If it is not in good condition and sellable do not bring it to us.” 

Illegal dumping, including the removal of lounges left in front of stores and the disposal of hundreds of kilograms of wet and ruined clothes, cost Newcastle and Maitland Vinnies over $100,000 last financial year.

“We don’t yet know what illegal dumping will end up costing this holiday season but it is very expensive for us to remove the rubbish and that is less money we have to help vulnerable people in the community,” Ms Barrie said. 

“We’re asking people to please be responsible and if they’re in doubt about an item, wait until a shop is open and ask the volunteers if it is suitable to donate.”

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