VOLUNTEERS from local opportunity shops in Wonthaggi are pleading with the public to stop dumping rubbish in donation bins scattered across the town.
Nearly every day, volunteers from op shops are forced to dive through rubbish and soiled items that have been carelessly disposed of.
Volunteer at the Lifeline Op Shop in Wonthaggi, Sharon Walley, said it was disappointing and disgusting that the organisation was being used as an alternative to the tip.
“It happens all the time. We always have somebody dumping rubbish in our bins. It just never stops,” Sharon said.
“Because the bins are far away from the shop, we never see what happens, but we always find the rubbish.”
There are several donation bins situated across Wonthaggi, including the Lifeline bins at the IGA car park and on Watt Street near the police station.
The issue is becoming so prevalent it is beginning to impact on the waste disposal arrangements between the op shops and the Bass Coast Shire Council.
The council designates a set amount of ‘tip tokens’ to the various op shops throughout the community, to assist them in their operations.
However, with the excessive amounts of rubbish being dumped, volunteers are often finding that they have more rubbish than can be removed by the council.
One volunteer even described how a certain volunteer she works with often takes home additional rubbish to dispose of via their own personal rubbish collection.
Not only is the dumping of rubbish an issue of inconvenience, there are also concerns regarding the health and safety of the volunteers.
“It takes up our time, to have to sort through the rubbish,” Sharon said.
“It’s really disgusting, the things that we have seen. I remember one time we received a bag of cushions that smelt like cat urine, and we can’t use that. It’s just rubbish.”
The various donation bins across the community are not for the disposal of rubbish and refuse, but for the donation of second hand goods and items of clothing, that can be used to help assist those in need.
If you are uncertain as to what you can or cannot donate to your local opportunity shop, please contact the store directly and speak to one of the volunteers.
Volunteers are pleading with the public to stop ridding themselves of rubbish and ruined items via charities, and to dispose of waste correctly.
“Please don’t dump your rubbish here. It’s no place to dump it, especially somewhere that is trying to help the community,” Sharon said.
“Think before you dump.”