ARMIDALE’S charities are getting on the front foot against illegal dumping by agreeing to work together as part of a new alliance with the local council.
The St Vincent De Paul Society, Salvation Army and Lifeline have agreed to meet and share solutions to their common challenges and the first item on the agenda is tackling the burden of illegal dumping.
Last year, Armidale charities hauled more than 200 tonnes of junk to landfill after it was dumped at their stores as apparent “donations”.
Cr Peter O’Donohue said the new Armidale Charity Alliance made sense because all three charities in Armidale were in the same boat when it came to illegal dumping, a problem they were now combating with funding from the EPA’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative.
Norma Abey, the diocesan executive officer of St Vincent de Paul, said all the charities were receiving items they couldn’t fix or sell.
“If an item is broken, unusable or soiled, people need to take it to the tip,” she said. “To just say ‘someone will use it’ and leave it at a charity is unfair to our volunteer workers.”
Lifeline North West NSW chief executive officer Michael Ticehurst said although dumping was a problem, it shouldn’t deter those with genuine items to give.
“Donators are our lifeblood,” Mr Ticehurst said. “We wouldn’t be here without them and we’re grateful for that. It’s just a matter of donating – not dumping.”
The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Asena Firkin said their volunteers’ time was valuable and disposing of unwanted items diverted them away from providing assistance where it was needed.