People who work at Salvation Army stores across the AU have, recently, became accustomed to seeing stuff, from used clothes to old furniture, that people would not buy.
Mandurah Store Manager Scott Wilson says that the general public would be shocked about how much of what they donate to the Salvation Army is, actually, unacceptable for resale, saying that about less than 5% of the stuff they get can be put out on the shop floor, because they’re mostly so worn out. He says that they do what they can to minimize what goes into landfills, but with people coming in to their stores to buy school furniture and other useful things, they can only put out so much of the stuff brought to them.
This issue has led to the Salvation Army spending $6 million annually on landfill fees to deal with the unsaleable donated goods across Australia. That accounts for nearly half of what all of AU’s charitable organisations spend on waste management annually.
The worst suburbs in Perth for illegal dumping at charity shops are Mandurah, Mirrabooka and Ellenbrook.
According to The Salvation Army’s Southern Area Manager, Kelly Morrison, said that waste is a huge problem that’s stopping the organisation from diverting its cash into programmes that help people, things that the organisation would prefer to spend its funds on.
She says that a lot of people erroneously think that, because they’re a charity, they get special treatment, but they have to pay the same rents, wages, waste costs as everyone else, and it’s a huge cost.
Wilson says that a recent survey conducted by the Salvation Army discovered that 80% of people weren’t sure of how to properly donate.
He says that the general rule is that, if someone doesn’t want to buy it or let the people they know buy it, then they won’t actually sell it. He admits that the Salvation Army admits that they appreciate the sentiment of people bringing things to them, but there’s not much they can do; people come in to buy school furniture or other useful things, so they’re forced to throw things into the bin.