Charity bin patrols to catch illegal dumpers
Organising extra patrols of charity bins and relocating them will begin as the ACT government tries to stop illegal dumping at the bin sites.
The government has been working with the charity sector for several months on possible solutions to the dumping problem after it became so severe there were calls for donation bins to be scrapped.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said an agreement had been reached with local charities for a six-month pilot project to test two strategies for managing illegal dumping.
In one, undisclosed Canberra region, city rangers would regularly conduct patrols as part of a crackdown on dumping to test the effectiveness of a deterrence strategy.
A different approach would be tested in Weston Creek, where charity bins would be relocated from smaller shopping centres to Cooleman Court.
A third region would act as a ''control'' where they were would be no changes to the current number and location of donation bins. Ms Gallagher said findings from the project would be used to develop a code of practice for charity bins
''I hope this will see a reduction in illegal dumping and … ensure good quality, useable goods are able to be donated … '' Ms Gallagher said.
The Weston Creek region has 24 bins operated by the Smith Family, Kidney Health Australia, Lone Fathers Association and Anglicare.
Two bins from each charity would be relocated to Cooleman Court except for Anglicare, whose bin was co-located with a charity shopfront.
Those bins that were not moved to Cooleman Court would be shifted to other areas to minimise the financial impact on the charities of the six-month trial, to start on Wednesday.
Ms Gallagher said illegal dumping had become a huge problem for the operators of charity bins.
''Charity bins are a great way for people to donate clothing, footwear and blankets to people in need, but unfortunately an estimated one third of material left at charity bins is unusable and is currently going to landfill, which creates a burden on charity organisations and an eyesore for the local community,'' she said.