CHARITY stores around Ballarat are being inundated by piles of unwanted junk which is costing millions of dollars each year to clean, money that could be going to help those in need.
At the weekend, the Salvo's Store in Norman Street, Wendouree was just one store that inundated by bags of unwanted junk, much of which will have to be thrown out by hard working volunteers or cleaners who will charge to remove the waste.
When The Courier visited the site at the weekend, it saw everything from old paintings, to broken prams which had been dumped on the footpath, turning parts of Norman Street into a makeshift tip.
It comes as the Salvation Army reveals the full cost of removing unwanted waste from out the front of stores, which in the last year has totalled $6 million nationally.
On Sunday at Wendouree, despite a sign clearly stating that dumping was illegal, it had been ignored.
Salvation Army customer experience spokesperson Aife O'Loughlin said the organisation believed the great majority of people who dumped goods out of hours did not know they were breaking the law.
"Generally, around 80 per cent of people who leave items outside our stores when we are closed are trying to do the right thing," she said.
"We have observed people coming to drop off items, where they are obviously in good condition and well looked after but unfortunately after they've walked away these items are often damaged by the weather, local wildlife or people just having a look which leaves them in a condition we can't sell."
The lead up to Christmas and the new year is traditionally the busiest time for donations, and the Salvation Army is one of many charity organisations who need as much support as they can get.
"It is at this time of year that we often see an increase in the volume of donations that come through our doors and for that we are incredibly grateful - it's donations such as this that help Salvos Stores raise much needed funds to support our community programs across Australia," Ms O'Loughlin said.
"We're asking the public to work with us; donate during opening hours or organise a free home collection by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).
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