Dirty undies and sy­ringes amongst trash in cloth­ing bins

TV, mat­tresses found in rub­bish dis­carded

Hawke's Bay Today - - Front Page - Laura Wilt­shire

Cloth­ing bins are not a dump. That’s the mes­sage SaveMart is try­ing to im­part to the pub­lic, with the com­pany hav­ing to close bins across Napier and Hast­ings due to the rub­bish in and around them. Lamb tails, fae­ces-stained un­der­wear and wet clothes are some items work­ers clear­ing the SaveMart cloth­ing bins have had to deal with. One for­mer worker, who did not wish to be named, said the worst thing he found was a hy­po­der­mic nee­dle. “I was there about eight months, and I only found about one, but that is one too many,” he said. As well as items turn­ing up in­side the bins, peo­ple were dump­ing rub­bish next to the bins, the for­mer worker said. His mes­sage to the peo­ple of Napier was to take their rub­bish to the dump, rather than throw­ing it in the cloth­ing bin. SaveMart store owner Grant Doo­nan said they were forced to re­move the bins when they be­came a health and safety risk to both their work­ers and the pub­lic. “Our driv­ers are re­mov­ing fur­ni­ture, bro­ken fur­ni­ture, house­hold ap­pli­ances and bro­ken, frag­ile items which shouldn’t be near a cloth­ing bin. “When we have a sit­u­a­tion where our cloth­ing bin has be­come a health and safety is­sue to our staff and to the pub­lic we are forced to re­move them.” He said the only items which should be put into cloth­ing bins are clean clothes, shoes and linen. He also asked peo­ple not to leave do­na­tions next to the bin if they were full, as those items have to be dis­posed of. He said cloth­ing bins have a num­ber on them to call if they are full. He was un­able to con­firm how many Hawke’s Bay bins had closed, but knew many had in the last six months. He said it was a na­tion­wide prob­lem, one which was worse at this time of year, as peo­ple of­ten cleaned out their houses over the sum­mer break. SaveMart Ahuriri store man­ager Colleen Smith says she thinks peo­ple use the cloth­ing bins as a rub­bish dump as the dump fees are too ex­pen­sive. “I think it’s be­cause of the dump fees be­ing so dear, peo­ple don’t want to take the stuff to the dump and they dump it all by our bins.” The bins out­side the Ahuriri store had been re­moved, but they are still find­ing rub­bish and old house­hold items dumped by the store. “I got to work this morn­ing and there were three or four mat­tresses there, an old TV, and it’s cost­ing our com­pany all th­ese dump fees be­cause half that stuff shouldn’t be at the bins.” She said the Ahuriri store took about two truck loads of rub­bish to the dump, three days a week, which is a ma­jor fi­nan­cial cost to the com­pany. Her mes­sage to peo­ple in Hawke’s Bay was sim­ple. “Re­spect our bins, we’re not the dump.”

Photo / Paul Tay­lor

Colleen Smith from SaveMart Ahuriri is ask­ing the pub­lic to re­spect the com­pany’s cloth­ing bins.

Photo / Sup­plied

Some of the rub­bish peo­ple clear­ing the cloth­ing bins have to deal with.

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