Many people generously donate items to local charity stores; however, those leaving items in front of stores outside of trading hours are unintentionally creating problems for our local charities.

Items left overnight are often damaged or broken due to bad weather, vandalism or scavengers who have ripped open bags and left items strewn along the footpaths.

In some cases, government regulations mean charity stores can’t accept items like white goods, electrical items and mattresses. Other items aren’t in good enough condition to be resold.

Unfortunately, a minority of the community also use op shops as a dumping ground for rubbish. This leaves charities with a considerable clean up and waste disposal cost.

In Victoria, the Salvation Army sends 5,475 tonnes of unsaleable goods to landfill each year at a cost of $1.2 million, money spent which could have been better used servicing those in need in our community. Evelyn Banavas, Area Manager for Boroondara’s three Vinnies stores in Hawthorn, Ashburton and Kew, says the problem escalates around the school holidays, Christmas and when people have a spring clean.

“It’s best to donate during trading hours as all three stores trade seven days and we can advise what Vinnies can and can’t accept,” said Ms Banavas.

“A good rule of thumb when deciding if an item is in good condition is to consider if it’s something you could give to a friend."

“Despite isolated incidences of dumping, we’re extremely appreciative of any quality donations we receive during business hours. Every dollar raised from items sold in our Vinnies shops directly supports local community assistance programs.”

If your item can’t be accepted, remember Boroondara residents can book two hard waste collections a year. Book online at hard waste collection. Also see charity bins for charity bin locations in Boroondara.