Environment, Latest News | Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 at 8:54 am | return to news

Don’t dump unwanted items next to recycling banks

During the lockdown we’ve all been doing a lot of clearing out of wardrobes, drawers and cupboards and in the absence of charity shops being open, it could be tempting to leave unwanted items in bags beside recycling banks.

Salvation Army recycling banks
Salvation Army recycling banks

But don’t, as they will be treated as rubbish. And in fact by doing so you are guilty of fly-tipping.

Dorset Council says that most recycling banks in council car parks are not currently being emptied as they rely on volunteers and services that have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one day last week, street-cleansing crews in East Dorset picked up 22 black bags of items that had been left on the ground next to banks.

The Salvation Army, who service Dorset Council’s clothing banks in car parks, said, “While we are grateful for donations, we ask that people refrain from leaving bags of donations next to clothing banks and outside charity shops, as lockdown restrictions mean they cannot be collected and they will instead be sent to landfill sites.

“Losing these donations to landfill will cost the charity thousands in lost stock as well as being an environmental disaster. Money raised from textile reuse and recycling benefits us as well as many national and local community-based charities. Our Lifehouses (homeless hostels) and food banks are just some of the vital services supporting people hardest hit by the coronavirus.”

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If you have items that you would usually take to a recycling bank in a car park, wait until the banks are being emptied again, consider if there’s another way to deal with them while maintaining social distancing, or reduce what you produce. For example:

1. Could your clothes and textiles be donated elsewhere, or sold online?

2. Could you switch from cartons to different packaging that can be recycled at the kerbside?

3. Can your old electronic device be fixed?

4. Could you use alternatives to foil?

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