While many of us gain satisfaction from cleaning out our cupboards over Christmas, spare a thought for the many charities who struggle with unwanted ‘donations’ during this period.
While it is the season for giving, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is partnering with the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) to remind the community to give responsibly, as well as generously.
The tip for donating unwanted goods to charities is easy to remember: Rate it, Donate it!
NSW EPA Executive Director Waste and Resource Recovery Sarah Gardner said it was important to think twice about the items you donate to charity.
“Most people in NSW are generous and want to help those less fortunate than themselves, especially during the festive season. Giving to charities is a great way to help but it’s important to take the extra minute at this busy time of year to think if what you’re donating can be used,” Ms Gardner said.
“A good rule of thumb when considering giving to charities is to only donate it if you rate it.”
Donating responsibly means making sure your items are going to the right place. If the donation bin is full come back later or go into the store to handover your donation in person.
"Last year, NSW charitable recyclers spent around $7million disposing of waste from unusable donations," says Ms Julie McAuley, Anglicare Sydney Operations Manager and NACRO's NSW State Representative. "That money should be going to help others".
NACRO chair and Salvos Stores CEO Matt Davis said the message still isn’t getting through.
"Research shows that around 40 per cent of donors unintentionally dump their goods - at the wrong time or in the wrong place,” Mr Davis said.
“We want to see the generosity of Australians count and are urging the public to check out the opening hours before heading down to their local store."
TIPS TO ENSURE YOU’RE DONATING RESPONSIBLY
- If you wouldn’t give a second-hand item to a mate, don’t donate
- It’s never OK to leave goods outside bins or in front of charity shop fronts. If the bin is full, don’t leave your goods – donate in the shop, come back later, use recyclingnearyou.com.au
- Illegal dumping at charity bins and shop fronts can attract fines up to $4000.
- Rubbish and damaged items belong in the garbage bin, not the charity bin
- If you do have items to dispose of that are not right for donation, arrange a council pickup or find your nearest waste station.