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Charities sick of receiving 'donations' of rubbish

DON’T DUMP: CCA volunteer Gail Wigg with some of the donations the charity receives.
DON’T DUMP: CCA volunteer Gail Wigg with some of the donations the charity receives. Rachel Lang

KEEP Australia Beautiful has called for tougher fines for illegal dumping as people continue to use charity bins for their personal rubbish.

In Caboolture, it's up to the volunteers who feed and clothe the community's poorest to clean up the mess.

Not-for-profit Caboolture Community Action (CCA) has to take time and money away from helping the downtrodden to do away with the unusable dumped goods.

CCA worker Gail Wigg said the community group had to use their personal tip vouchers to avoid spending any extra money on rubbish deposits.

"We get clothing that's dirty and soiled. You get dirty knickers, things like that."

"Our people are down and out, but they've still got their pride."

Although the charity sometimes receives unusable goods like chipped crockery, broken electrical items and filthy furniture, Gail said the majority of people did the right thing.

Moreton Bay Regional Council can issue a $235 fine for general littering.

But Lifeline business manager Ian Ezzy said the problem with increasing penalties was that it was difficult and expensive to police dumping.

"It doesn't matter how much you increase the fines, if we can't get prosecutions," he said.

KAB chief executive officer Philip Robinson said increasing fines and monitoring would prevent charity bins from becoming extinct.

"Donating unwanted goods to charity is a great alternative to throwing them away, but you're not helping anyone by turning charity bins into dump sites," Mr Robinson said.

"Donations help raise vital funds for the community services these charities provide - let's not let a few bad eggs ruin it for everyone.

"Donate to charity shops during opening hours. This will ensure large items which do not fit in charity bins can be taken on-the-spot and not left out to be damaged by weather or vandals."

According to the KAB National Litter Index, the volume of illegal dumping has doubled in Queensland and cost $10 million in 2012 -13.

Illegal dumpers can be reported online at the KAB's Dob in a Litterer link: kab.org.au/dob-in-a-litterer


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