Rubbish costly problem for Salvos

EVERY morning volunteers at the Sebastopol Salvos Store are greeted with a pile of rubbish that takes more than an hour to clean up.Soiled mattresses, broken furniture and even grass cuttings and household waste are dumped overnight by people who use the store as a tip. And quality goods that are left outside store opening hours are pilfered and often damaged by the weather.From late December and throughout January dumping becomes a much bigger problem with people spending time cleaning out their homes and garages. In the past week almost 40 mattresses, which were in no condition to be re-sold, have been left at the Sebastopol store and will cost the Salvos close to $800 to get rid of at the tip.It is money that could be better used helping the community, according to Salvos Stores general manager of retail Lorraine O'Donohue.Ms O'Donohue said the Salvos spent $5.5 million a year Australia-wide disposing of unwanted goods. "We do get some quite unsavoury donations," she said."It's very hard for staff, they have got to work so hard."Ms O'Donohue said the majority of the community was "very generous" but urged people to bring donations into the store during opening hours."Unfortunately people leave donations after the store is closed; they're pilfered and the best is taken from there," she said."By the time we open in the morning we have just got the rubbish left."However, Ms O'Donohue said the Salvos Stores continued to thrive with rising sales."We put that down to the products we have to offer as they are all of good quality and the very good customer service," she said.Donations can be dropped off at the Salvos Store in Sebastopol from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and between 1pm and 4pm on Sundays.