No more prawn heads please: char­i­ties


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Street Watch -

A TI­TA­NIUM pros­thetic limb, a full box of used den­tures, a bag of hu­man ashes, bald car tyres and even a dead shark have all been do­nated to Aus­tralian char­ity op shops in re­cent years.

One of the strangest do­na­tions the Salvos ever re­ceived was a bag of prawn heads and shells, ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Op Shop Week founder John Dee.

The Red Cross, Salvos Stores and Vin­nies are some of the lead­ing char­ity stores in­volved in this year’s Na­tional Op Shop Week.

Along with many other op shops, they re­ceive mil­lions of do­nated items ev­ery year.

While some strange but use­ful items can be sold, an in­creas­ing num­ber of do­na­tions is sim­ply rub­bish that should not be given to op shops in the first place.

Items such as dirty nap­pies, bro­ken ap­pli­ances and stained sheets are not un­com­mon, and must be dis­posed of by the char­i­ties, at con­sid­er­able ex­pense.

Mr Dee says that the char­i­ties are spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars a year to dis­pose of un­saleable items.

“The Salvos alone spend up to $6 mil­lion dol­lars a year on dis­posal costs and land­fill fees,” he said. That money could be go­ing to­wards wel­fare pro­grams that help peo­ple back into the work­force, or as­sist peo­ple af­ter nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Mr Dee did say though, that the ma­jor­ity of do­na­tions “are fan­tas­tic, and help to fund vi­tal com­mu­nity ser­vices.

“If you have some­thing quirky that you want to do­nate, it re­ally helps the char­ity if you call ahead first to check that they can take it,” he said.

Na­tional Op Shop Week is tak­ing place from Au­gust 23 to 30. Visit

A home-made fox fur do­nated to char­ity.

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