Salvation Army: A charity, not a dump
VOLUNTEERS at the Salvation Army Gladstone fear their charity is becoming the "Gladstone tip" after a recent spike in waste being dumped at their charity bins.
Salvation Army Gladstone lieutenant Kay Ford said "all kinds of rubbish" was being dumped in the charity's donation bins every day.
"Over the last few weeks we've been noticing a dramatic increase in the amount of rubbish that has been donated to us," Mrs Ford said.
"It's not just people bringing stuff that they think is saleable, it's actually household waste, and it's being put into donation bins, even during open hours, for us to deal with.
"Our problem has been that people just come and dump all kinds of stuff - rubbish, broken furniture, dirty mattresses."
People also break into their general waste bin and rummage through it, creating a mess for volunteers to clean up the next morning.
"It gets broken into on a regular basis and people just pull all the rubbish out and spread it all over the place," Mrs Ford said.
"It's a waste of our time.
"We have lots of volunteers who are good enough to give their time to us, which we are so grateful for, but they shouldn't have to sort through other people's rubbish.
"It's really frustrating and it's not fair."
Dumping has been an issue at the charity for a number of years but Mrs Ford said it had worsened in recent weeks.
"It means volunteer hours are going to bringing in a donation that they think is a donation, but it is actually rubbish, so they have to sort through that rubbish and then dispose of it," she said.
"We have had to throw stuff away that should have been saleable, but because of the rubbish it has been contaminated."
Mrs Ford said this leaves the team at the Gladstone Salvos with the disposal cost.
Store volunteer Micheal McNamara said it was "bad enough that it is disgusting".
He said it puts them behind schedule for the day.
"It makes it hard for us," Mr McNamara said.
"I thought it was a family store, not the Gladstone tip."