Vinnies volunteers, Nerelle, Deleece, Delores and Lynne.
Vinnies volunteers, Nerelle, Deleece, Delores and Lynne. Cordell Richardson

'The mess is sometimes really disheartening': Vinnies

EVERY year charity organisations like St Vincent de Paul spend a lot of money disposing of items dumped outside charity bins.

Retail operations manager for Western Brisbane Natalie Tuffley said it was an ongoing issue.

This week people reported seeing donations strewn outside of the West Ipswich Vinnies store.

Jenna Curl condemned the actions of "animals” going through charity donations and leaving the mess for charity workers to clean up.

"It's always a problem especially pre and post Christmas,” Ms Tuffley said.

She said that's when people tended to clear unwanted items out of their homes.

Overflowing charity donations outside Vinnies in West Ipswich have been called disgusting.
Overflowing charity donations outside Vinnies in West Ipswich have been called disgusting. Jenna Curl

"That's when it's hardest to manage for us.”

Ms Tuffley said donations left outside were generally left in bags, but people will go through the items taking the best for themselves and leaving the rest for the rubbish pile.

"If they do it (leave items) outside of store hours, it gives people the opportunity to go through it and make a mess.

"During store hours it gets bought inside and goes to the right places.

"The mess is sometimes really disheartening. The rest basically becomes rubbish.

"In peak times we can do five loads of rubbish to the dump in a day.”

Vinnies was people to be aware items dumped out of hours will probably end up in the bin.
Vinnies was people to be aware items dumped out of hours will probably end up in the bin. Carly Morrissey

And that's what costs the organisation a lot of money from paying for trucks and people to collect the rubbish to dumping fees.

Ms Tuffley said a lot of donated items were thrown away especially items left outside to the elements.

"In quieter times we average two trips a day.”

Ms Tuffley said all sites experienced it, including the Ipswich, Springfield, Fernvale, Esk, Rosewood and Boonah sites she looked after.

But it wasn't just leaving stuff out that made the rubbish heap, people donating unwashed or soiled items were adding to it.

"We love clean, unbroken items that still have some quality. Soiled and damaged items are no use.

"Just because someone is in need doesn't mean they deserve substandard items.

"We don't feel comfortable giving away dirty or chipped items.

"It costs us to throw dirty and broken stuff away.”

While the general rule of thumb is if it's damaged or dirty then don't donate it, clean clothing with a small tear could be used as rags.