Monday 23 September 2019

'We're expected to take people’s rubbish' - volunteers 'disgusted' by household waste dumped outside charity shop

Volunteers found milk cartons and food waste mixed in with donation bags. Photo: Hazel Robinson
Volunteers found milk cartons and food waste mixed in with donation bags. Photo: Hazel Robinson
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

VOLUNTEERS from a charity shop in Co Longford have called on locals to avoid leaving donations outside the shop after a spate of dumping this week.

Staff were shocked when arriving to open up Hungry Horse Outside charity shop this week to see household waste strewn across the path – and not for the first time. 

The charity, who support equine rescue and rehoming animals, found milk cartons and food waste mixed in with donation bags twice this week.

Hazel Robinson, who has been connected with the animal charity since the start, said that staff were having to deal with cleaning up rubbish on a regular basis.

“We not only have to clean up after irresponsible animal owners, we are now expected to take peoples rubbish,” she said. “We then have to pay for the disposal.

“It’s not fair on the locals to have rubbish everywhere, or on our volunteers who work so hard. It's disgusting and unhygienic,” she told Independent.ie.

She said that the volunteers were worried the rubbish would impact sales.

“It ultimately has an impact on the animals directly, everything we make goes towards equine rescue. 

“We’re also having to pay for the items to be dumped.” 

Ms Robinson explained that while they receive many genuine donations outside the door from people in a hurry, the charity are putting a stop to out-of-hours donations as a result of the incidents this week.

“We've come out now and said anyone leaving outside the shop we’ll have to pass on to the litter warden and council,” she said.

“We out now and said anyone leaving outside the shop we’ll have to pass on to the litter warden and council. We don’t want to see our people who are being generous getting litter fines. But it's gone over the top, it’s happening every week.”

Since sharing the photos on social media, Ms Robinson has received messages from other charity shops about similar situations, questioning whether people are taking advantage of charity shops during calls for sustainable shopping.

“To an extent there’s people taking advantage of charity shops, and it’s not just us,” she said.

“We don’t want to be shutting people out or turning genuine people away, but it’s not fair for staff to have to deal with household waste.”

  • More information on the charity can be found here.

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