19 June 2020

Gungahlin, this is not charity, it is dumping

| My Gungahlin
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This problem has been around for a very long time. From when I was a child I can remember people dumping clothes and household items outside charity bins. What we are seeing is not charity, it really is dumping. We all know it and I am sure the people doing it know it.

These bins are for clothing donations yet we constantly see clothing and other items dumped outside that can’t be used by these charities in many cases these items are that broken or damaged they can’t be used by anyone. Some of the household items I saw on this particular day such as a 3 wheel stroller that could have been dropped to the Green Shed at the Mitchell transfer station. The items dumped outside the bins must taken to the tip.

On the day I was there taking these photos I spoke to two people collecting the items. The picture of the truck is all the items they have collected from all their bins throughout Canberra to be dumped at the tip. Gungahlin was their last stop before going to the tip. They advised me Gungahlin is the worst for the amount of items dumped. They told me it will cost them about $300 to dump the entire load. There is also the cost of their wages and vehicle costs going around collecting this load and then returning to collect the items in the bins they can actually use.

There is plenty of options for people to clear-out their unwanted items to avoid this. Consider having a garage sale or attending a car boot sale at a local school. If you don’t think you have enough for your own garage sale encourage your neighbours in your street to hold a monster garage sale. Look at selling through online sites such as FreeCycle, GumTree or Facebook buy, sell and wanted pages.Vinnies in Mitchell has wheelie bins out the front of their store during business hours that I have always found plenty of room in. Communities @ Work is always looking for corporate wear for people attending interviews or jobs that need some assistance. For other household items the Green Shed is a great option to drop items too.

One Gungahlin resident Tamara told us “It really gets to me every time I see the mess. I am disgusted to think such inconsiderate people could live in Gungahlin. I have used these bins to donate items before. Strange thing was there were bags of goods dumped next to the bin but there was room still inside the bin. That can only mean people are just being lazy.”

If you take the time you can find ways to clear-out your items and do it the right way. Sure there might be some things that still need to go to landfill however by taking the time and effort you reduce the impact on the environment, the charities and your own costs in what is paid to the tip.

As I started out, this problem has been around for a long time and things are not going to change any time soon. In 2014 I put it to MLA Shane Rattenbury that the best option is for these bins to be relocated to the Mitchell Transfer station. It means the bins are behind a locked gate at night so no-one can dump items there and CCTV and general surveillance will prevent it happening during the day. In my opinion this is the only option now to stop this thoughtless dumping and ensure our town centre is cleaned up.

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