New fees tip balance for Wodonga Vinnies

The St Vincent de Paul Society shop in Wodonga fears a bill of up to $5000 a year for disposing of unusable items donated to the store that it is later forced to dump.

The Border Mail reports that the Vinnies bill for the disposal of goods unable to be used will climb to more than $5000 a year with the introduction of new tip fees on 1 October.

Shop manager Dianne Whiffin told the Mail that until now the charity had been exempt from paying tip fees but had been recently told it would be required to pay up to $24 a day or even more during spring and pre-Christmas periods when the centre was at its busiest.

Ms Whiffin said up to 50 per cent of those goods donated were deemed to be waste or rubbish.

"We do think it entirely fair that we should have to pay some fee. We would be willing to contribute but we were not invited to make a submission to the council."

Wodonga council chief executive Peter Marshall said volumes from charities such as St Vincent de Paul had grown extensively in recent years including goods that were brought in from as far afield as Wangaratta.

He said other councils charged a disposal fee to not-for-profit organisations.

"We are mindful of our responsibility to help these not-for-profit groups and we have written to them about these charges."

But Ms Whiffin said it was difficult for St Vincent de Paul to take responsibility for rubbish and unsuitable items left at its back door or in its clothing bins.

"We do ask that [people] only donate items and goods that are in good condition and useable order," she told the Mail.

"We are doing what is in our power to reduce waste and we're doing a community service."

Photo source: Catholic Voice, February 2005

St Vincent de Paul receives mountains of goods unsuitable for sale (Border Mail, 5/12/06)

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St Vincent de Paul Society

8 Aug 2006