WIMMERA charity stores are paying hundreds of dollars to clean-up donations.
Horsham’s Salvation Army thrift shop can spend up to $1000 some months disposing unusable goods the public has donated.
Salvation Army Horsham lieutenant Chris Sutton said the thrift shop was “inundated with donations,” but not all donations were suitable to sell.
He said stained clothes, chipped crockery and kitchenware with grease still on the surface were often found in the donation bins.
Mr Sutton said money was set aside to dispose of the rubbish each month.
“Each month varies, but it can be up to $1000 some months – which is quite substantial and this money could be used for our other services,” he said.
“It also creates more work for our volunteers who have to sort through the donations.”
Wimmera opportunity stores have noticed a spike in donations following the Christmas period.
Many volunteers have also noticed more people decluttering their houses after a Netflix series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo was released.
The KonMari method suggests if an object does not ‘spark joy’ then it should be thanked and removed from the house.
Mr Sutton said he believed the show had played a part in more donations coming into the store.
He said while he was thankful for donations, he encouraged people to consider the items they were donating – particularly, whether they would buy the item themselves.
“I have heard of other thrift shops where donations are going through the roof. They had to say no more donations, but we haven’t reached that point yet,” he said.
“We accept any clothes, kitchen items, furniture, books and DVDs that are in a good condition.”
While the clean-up of unusable donations has been a concern for the Salvation Army Horsham thrift shop, other opportunity shops in the region have not been impacted as severely.
Australian Red Cross opportunity shop assistant manager Anne Kuhne said there were occasions where the store received damaged donations, but it was rare occurrence.
However, she noticed people leaving donations around the donation bins rather than inside. She said this has become common after Tidying Up with Marie Kondo was released.
“A good donation gets damaged because of the rain and we have to throw it out,” she said. “People are decluttering their homes and the bins – particularly at the back of Kmart – are always full.”
Wimmera Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary Op Shop manager Helen Hounsell said unusable donations were not a problem for the store, but she has noticed less people buying items.
“Older generations donate items, but younger people don’t want it, even if it is in a good condition,” she said.
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