Vinnies will be forced to spend around $200,000 removing dumped items from outside its shops after the holiday period unless people clean up their act.
Lismore Central Council executive officer Michael Timbrell, who oversees stores from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie, said illegal dumping was particularly bad during January.
‘January has become our peak dumping month as a number of households use the summer holidays to clean out after Christmas and get things organized and tidy at home for the year ahead,” Mr Timbrell said.
But while one person’s trash can be another’s treasure, Vinnies is particular about the items it receives.
Mr Timbrell said for legal, health and safety reasons, the Vinnies Lismore Central Council cannot accept furniture; mattresses; electrical items; gym equipment; baby equipment including prams and safety seats; bicycles and scooters; medical equipment such as crutches; and household rubbish.
Yet every year, those items turn up outside closed Vinnies stores, while the volunteers enjoy their holiday break.
‘Unfortunately, rather than taking damaged, soiled or unwanted items to the local tip, goods are frequently dumped outside our charity shops during this period,’ Mr Timbrell said.
‘The money we are forced to spend on waste management each year is crucial money that should instead be going to people experiencing severe disadvantage in the local community,’ Mr Timbrell said.
‘We certainly don’t want to discourage people from donating to Vinnies – it’s really about asking people to plan before donating.
‘Vinnies is always looking for, and greatly appreciates, quality clothes, bric-a-brac and books – items that you would feel comfortable giving to a friend or relative.
‘We also ask that people donating items place goods into the bins provided and do not leave anything exposed or on the pavement next to the bins – we are very conscious that an overflowing bin can be quite an eyesore for local residents, and items can be easily ruined by the weather or taken by people passing by.
‘Dropping off donations during business hours is always encouraged, and if you are in doubt about a particular item, please contact your local Vinnies shop.’
Lismore Tip Free Day
For ratepayers and residents in the Lismore City Council area, the Tip Free Day that was postponed in November is now on this Sunday, January 10.
The Tip Free Day runs from 9am to 4pm at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre, 313 Wyrallah Road, East Lismore.
Almost anyone can take part in Tip Free Day – there are just a few simple rules. Bring along your rates notice or driver’s licence to show you live in the Lismore City Council Local Government Area and keep scrap metal, timber, green waste, household items and other recyclables separate from general waste.
The tip does not accept asbestos, commercial quantities of chemicals or truck/tractor tyres.
Please note you cannot bring more than 12 car tyres in one load. You can always help out our staff and avoid delays by visiting in the early morning or late afternoon.