Solutions identified to reduce illegal dumping at charity bins

Released 06/04/2012

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today announced that a second roundtable for the charity sector agreed on options to make improvements to the management of charity bins to reduce the level of illegal dumping occurring around the bins.

"Charity bins are a convenient way for people to donate clothing, footwear and blankets to people in need and they also provide a valuable means for charity groups to assist the local community," the Chief Minister said.

"Unfortunately an estimated one third of material left at charity bins is unusable and is currently going to landfill, creating a burden on charity organisations and an eyesore for the local community.

"Since the last roundtable in January consultation has taken place with charity groups. Today's roundtable agreed that a pilot program will be undertaken.

"This will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the options to address the problem of illegal dumping. The pilot program will include:

· Limiting the number of charity bins to major town and group centres (Belconnen, City, Dickson, Gungahlin, Mawson, Weston, Woden and Tuggeranong)

· placing a limit on charity bins at any centre; these are to be located in clusters to reduce the impact on visual amenity and enable easier monitoring

· introducing a code of practice for those organisations who wish to place charity bins around the ACT

· undertaking a media campaign to highlight that charity bins are only for clothing, footwear and blankets and encouraging the community to dispose of unwanted goods through the ranger of recycling opportunities available in Canberra such as local Resource Management Centres; and

· TAMS and the charity organisations working together to update their websites to highlight the types of goods they are seeking.

The Chief Minister said it was also recognised that blitzes on illegal dumping will need to be undertaken at key times and locations throughout the year.

"City Rangers patrolled Gungahlin town centre, Tuggeranong Hyperdome and Kippax Centre on the weekend and issued five on-the-spot fines to people caught illegal dumping. The ACT Government will consider increasing fines for those caught illegally dumping.

"I thank the charity bin sector for their willingness to work with the Government to identify solutions to the ongoing issues associated with illegal dumping.

"I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot program and trust the community will work with us to help reduce the problem of illegal dumping around shopping centres and ensuring that charity organisations only receive those goods which can help those in need," the Chief Minister concluded.

- Statement ends -

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