Community News

Leaving donated items outside of Op shops and bins, is a huge expense for charities and can result in a fine for those who dump it there.

Please donate but be mindful not to dump on charities

Donating unused stuff to a local charity shop is something that most of us love to do but have you ever stopped to think, “am I donating or am I dumping”?


Research from the NSW Environment Protection Authority indicates that NSW charities are spending $7.3 million every year on disposing of unsaleable donations that are in too poor a condition to be resold and so have to be sent to landfill. This money would be much better spent on front-line services to help disadvantaged people.


Karen Rudkin, North East Waste Illegal Dumping Project Coordinator said, “local charities depend on the donations that our communities provide, so please continue to give generously to help support people in need. However, to avoid your donation from ending up in landfill and contributing to the millions charities have to pay to sort, transport and dispose of it, please take a minute to consider whether you’re donating or dumping” Ms Rudkin said.


To help you make the right decision here are a few tips to make sure you’re on track to donating responsibly and bringing some Christmas cheer to your local charities.


  • If you wouldn’t give it to a mate, don’t donate it
  • If it’s stained, damaged or broken it belongs in your red lidded waste bin, not the charity bin
  • Don’t leave donations outside of charity shops or outside of charity bins – only inside to avoid them getting damaged by weather or vandals
  • Leaving stuff outside of charity shop fronts and around charity bins is considered to be illegal dumping and can attract big fines. It’s not worth the risk.
  • If you do have items to dispose of that are not suitable for donation or won’t fit into your red lidded waste bin, contact your local council to discuss other options or to find your nearest waste station.


If you see illegal dumping anywhere on the north coast including outside of charity shops, you can report it online at: or by contacting your local Council. For further information visit


Be a donor not a dumper this Christmas!