Dumping costs thousands

Colac Salvation Army Lieutenant Aaron Coombes says after-hours donations and junk dumping are impacting the community’s access to Salvos’ welfare services.

Thoughtless dumping of second-hand goods is costing a charity organisation in Colac thousands of dollars, and impacting access to crucial support services.

Colac’s Salvation Army Lieutenants Aaron and Keryn Coombes say the community leaves an “incredible” volume of goods at the doorstep of the Colac headquarters each night, with the level reaching waist-height by morning and about two vans’ worth across the long weekend.

But sorting and removal fees level for damaged or unwanted junk is causing the Army headaches, and the build up is restricting entry to the headquarters’ welfare services.

“People are leaving mattresses, soiled goods, things that are extremely worn and no good for resale – If you wouldn’t buy it again, why would you donate it?” Mr Coombes said.

“All of our general waste and tips for bigger items would be well in excess of $18,000 a year,” he said.

“That’s money we have to spend on tip costs instead of welfare operations in the area.”

Mr Coombes said the junk also hurt the business relationship with contractors who came out of hours to collect clothes and linen and paid the Salvation Army, and it also meant more quality goods were damaged by heavy piles of items.

Quality items donated after-hours are also open to opportunists or can be damaged by bad weather, and sometimes fail to reach the shop floor.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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