Dumped rubbish a problem for Sallies stores
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.
‘‘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.