While we encourage people to donate items, please don’t use us as a dumping ground – that’s the message from a local op shop dealing with large piles of rubbish left outside their store.
Most days, Louise Huisken and Jan Murray arrive to find a large pile of items outside the Ngaruawahia Church Op Shop. Some of it is items they can sell, but a lot of it is rubbish.
“We are very grateful for all the good stuff we get,” says Louise, “but we’ve had everything from broken furniture, clothes with blood stains and dirty nappies left outside the store. People even leave their bags of household rubbish outside the shop. People can be very kind, and we are extremely thankful for their donations, but please don’t drop your rubbish off for us to get rid of.”
Jan is urging people to be considerate. “People don’t think of us at the other end. It happens most days and it’s really frustrating. It’s not fair on the people who have to clear it up. For the big items, we have to organise a trailer for it to be removed and we have to pay to get rid of the items we can’t sell. We are very grateful to Council staff, who help to pick up the rubbish bags left on the footpath outside our shop on a regular basis.”
The issue is not only costly for charities, it could also be a costly mistake for those responsible as well, says Waikato District Council Community Safety Manager Sarah Bourke.
“Leaving household rubbish outside op shops is actually illegal dumping.”
And, while people may think they are doing the right thing with their unwanted items, dumping unusable items outside charity shops takes away money from those who need it most, she says.
"It means charities have less to put back into the community and to continue their good work. It’s unfair on charity shop staff and it’s a health and safety risk for them.”
This is not just an issue outside charity shops or an issue in Ngaruawahia. Every year, Waikato District Council receives more than 740 requests to pick up illegal dumping from across the Waikato district – that’s more than two every day. There’s a $400 fine given to anyone caught dumping rubbish illegally.
- Check first & drop off during shop hours
While we encourage people to re-cycle and re-use, please check with your local charity shops to make sure they have space for the items or want them. Some charity shops don’t sell mattresses or furniture, for example.
Do not leave items outside on the footpath.
- Think about the items you are donating - Do not drop off damaged or broken items
Are they in good condition? Would someone buy them?
Charity shops only want quality goods that they can re-sell. If you give them items they can’t sell, you are burdening them with the cost of getting rid of the rubbish.
- Be considerate – think about the people at the other end
Dumping household rubbish or damaged or broken items is unfair on the people who must sort it out and clean it up
- Report illegal dumping
Phone 0800 492 452 to report illegal dumping. You can also report illegal dumping on our website (www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/dodgydumpers) and on our Facebook Group Let’s stop the Dodgy Dumpers.
There is a $400 fine for people illegally dumping rubbish.
- Take your rubbish to the dump
You will find information about transfer stations on our website: www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/rubbish