"It’s a cost that we simply can’t sustain" : Mission Australia Op Shop manager says

Mission Australia have announced it will install security cameras with the assistance of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in an effort to curb an influx of illegal dumping.

The announcement comes after volunteer Wayne Langbein took to Facebook to share photos unused goods lining the charity bins located on Sloane Street.

Over the past Christmas holiday period the Mission Australia site received a car, 137 damaged plastic Christmas trees, soiled clothing, food scraps, broken furniture, washing machines and fridges – all unusable or no longer working goods. 

In two weeks security cameras will be installed on the site, and the car park, which was previously open to the public all day, will only be accessible to tenants and Mission Australia staff. 

The bins which hold 200kg each and are emptied everyday, will now face Sloane Street, with a purpose built fence erected to give those who wish to donate items access from the street.

“Another Sunday another load of dumping from the Goulburn Community outside the Mission clothes charity bins...since December it has cost Mission, a charity, over $3000 in tip fees,” Mr Langbein published online. 

Mission Australia did not confirm this exact figure but Op Shop Area Manager Danielle Warner told The Post the number “was close” and an overall “significant cost” to the organisation. 

“Over the holiday period, around 80 per cent of donations left outside our Goulburn donation bins were unusable. There were mattresses, household rubbish and a range of broken, unusable items. It took hours of volunteer time to sort and we had about 15 van loads of rubbish that we had to transport to the local tip. It’s a cost that we simply can’t sustain,” Ms Warner said.

“We know that the Goulburn community are incredibly generous and the majority of people who donate are keen to give to help people experiencing disadvantage. And we are so grateful for every quality donation that we receive.”

Ms Warner urged people to be responsible and donate items to the store if the bins are full.

This is not a unique issue for Mission Australia who have similar preventative measures across other sites.

According to Ms Warner the EPA have been in regular communication with Mission Australia and are willing to resolve and persecute those involved in dumping items. 

“Where the bins are situated, behind the gate, it’s easy to donate and dump where people can’t be seen, now people will be in the full view of the public,” she said. 

Illegal dumping at charity bins or stores carry a fine of up to $4000. 

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