19 June 2020

Plan finalised to reduce illegal dumping at charity bins

| My Gungahlin
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A new Code of Practice to reduce illegal dumping at charity bins across the ACT has been finalised, announced Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today.

“Charity bins are a great way for the community to support charities with donations of clothing, footwear and blankets, but unfortunately they also attract illegal dumping. This dumping causes amenity and safety issues, while also posing a problem for charity groups and ACT Government staff who are called on to remove it,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“The Code of Practice for the Management of Charity Donation Bins in the ACT aims to achieve a balance between allowing charities to use bins to receive donations to support those in need, while also mitigating against illegal dumping and best allowing the ACT Government to undertake enforcement activities.

“The Code was developed in consultation with local charity groups and shop owners affected by illegal dumping. A range of measures were tested across a six month trial to see if they improved the management and reduced the cost of operating charity bins, including relocation or removal of bins and greater enforcement.

“The trial found that, where charity bins were consolidated into a group centre location, illegal dumping was significantly reduced. This approach also allowed for more targeted enforcement activities, while not causing any significant decrease in the amount of usable donated items – despite the reduction in charity bins.

“As a result of the trial, the new Code will see all charity bins relocated from Canberra’s current 55 neighbourhood centre locationss to 14 identified group centres, with the exception of those outside a charity shopfront.

Charities will be able to register their interest in the locations and, once approved, will be required to clearly label the donation bin with the name of their charity, a list of the items that can be donated, information on how the items will be used, an instruction not to leave items outside the charity bin and a 24-hour on-call number to report issues such as illegal dumping or damage.

Other requirements include removing rubbish within 24 hours of it being reported and undertaking regular maintenance of the bins to ensure they are kept free of graffiti. The placement of charity bins will be done in a manner which limits adverse impact on visual amenity, pedestrian and vehicle access or existing landscaping and each bin will display a sticker providing a clear message that those caught illegally dumping at charity bins will be prosecuted. “I’d like to thank the local charity sector as well as businesses involved in the trial for their assistance in developing the Code.”

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