Dumped rub­bish a prob­lem for Sal­lies stores

The Hastings Mail - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF REPORTER

Dona­tions keep the Sal­va­tion Army go­ing, but some af­ter-hours con­tri­bu­tions aren’t mak­ing it to the shelves of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s sec­ond­hand stores.

The two stores in Hast­ings and four in Napier have all ex­pe­ri­enced dump­ing of rub­bish out­side their front doors.

This can in­clude bags of rub­bish left out­side the stores, along with good items which have been con­tam­i­nated as peo­ple tore apart all the bags, tak­ing what they wanted and mix­ing the waste with the re­main­ing dona­tions.

Kat Stoney oversees the Napier stores and said the best way to solve this prob­lem was for peo­ple to drop goods dur­ing busi­ness hours of 9am to 4pm, Mon­day to Satur­day. There is also a free pick-up ser­vice to col­lect goods right from peo­ple’s front doors.

‘‘It’s just a phone call,’’ she said.

‘‘We are so grate­ful for dona­tions, with­out com­mu­nity sup­port we couldn’t help the com­mu­nity back.’’

The Flaxmere Sal­va­tion Army Store was the lat­est vic­tim of rub- bish dump­ing and gar­nered par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion af­ter a photo of its shop front sur­faced on so­cial me­dia, show­ing rub­bish and dona­tions strewn in front of the shop.

Com­ing into work on a Mon­day morn­ing and find­ing rub­bish, or bags of dona­tions opened and mixed with it, could be ‘‘a lit­tle dis­heart­en­ing,’’ Stoney said.

Around 15 per cent of dropped items were sent to land­fill but the stores were work­ing hard to re­duce the fig­ure by re­cy­cling, and re­pur­pos­ing items.

The re­gion’s stores were also look­ing for dona­tions of an­other type: time.

Any vol­un­teers were wel­come, in­clud­ing stu­dents who needed vol­un­teer hours for projects like Duke of Ed­in­burgh.

Bev­er­ley Thornton be­gan vol­un­teer­ing three years ago af­ter she re­tired.

Since then she has ex­tended her hours at Napier’s Car­lyle Road store from one day a week to two, sort­ing and la­belling clothes for sale. ‘‘I re­ally en­joy it,’’ she said.

‘‘I feel like I’m do­ing some­thing use­ful and the peo­ple here are lovely, peo­ple re­ally show they ap­pre­ci­ate what you’re do­ing.’’

Stoney said each vol­un­teer was an in­di­vid­ual and store man­agers did their best to find jobs which suited peo­ple, from sort­ing clothes to work­ing on the till.

PHOTO: ME­GAN HUNT

‘‘With­out com­mu­nity sup­port we couldn't help the com­mu­nity back.’’

Kat Stoney Bev­er­ley Thornton and Ropata Lewis, 14, both vol­un­teers at on of Napier’s Sal­va­tion Army stores.

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