Rubbish left outside a Nelson charity shop. Photo: Kate Russell.

Council to look at helping charities dump junk

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Nelson City Council says they are planning to meet with local charity shops soon to discuss solutions to their escalating dumping costs.

This comes after last week’s revelation that the Salvation Army Family Store on Vanguard St is forking out $20,000 a year on getting rid of rubbish and unusable items that people dump on them after-hours.

Other charity stores in the city have also expressed frustration on the issue, with one manager saying that local councils should be stepping up to find a solution – such a providing subsidies or a reimbursement on their waste disposal bills.

Clare Barton, group manager environmental management at Nelson City Council, says they are aware of the problem and they are happy to talk with stores to better understand the causes and solutions.

“Council staff will meet with the charity shops to discuss the problem and potential options,” she told Nelson Weekly.

But Clare says that, first and foremost, council’s goal is to create a culture where, as a region, we actively choose not to create waste, and reduce waste.

“Council’s focus on waste reduction includes the ongoing delivery of Second Hand Sunday – which aims to help people to benefit from free access to items other people no longer use, and council fees are set to try and keep waste disposal costs as reasonable as possible,” she says.

“There has, to date, been only periodic fly tipping issues in Nelson for things that are unusable, and where these have occurred staff do, where possible, follow up directly with those who have dumped their rubbish.”

She adds that the Nelson Tasman joint waste management and minimisation plan will be coming out for consultation this year, and council will be encouraging people to submit their ideas on how to improve waste outcomes.

Although council has had no direct report of the rubbish dumped outside charity shops, they encourage anyone who does see items being dumped to come forward and report them by calling 546 0200.