The gift that keeps on giving

Some of Melbourne’s most brazen “charitable donations” included broken furniture, dirty diapers, and old Christmas trees

by Emma Teitel

Residents of Melbourne, Australia’s most affluent suburbs (Kew, Carlton and Fitzroy, to name a few) have an interesting approach to public charity. Instead of leaving hand-me-down toys and clothing at their local donation drop-offs, welfare operators say they’re leaving trash. The drop-offs were hit hardest over the holidays, when residents literally dumped hundreds of tons of garbage at the various donation points in the area. The illegal dumping is so severe that local charities have been forced to spend over $5 million on garbage removal this year.

The problem isn’t getting any better: an ongoing offence in Melbourne, illegal dumping has increased 20 per cent from last year, possibly because many of the city’s inner-city dumps have closed down. Some say residents are using donation points as a replacement for the now defunct dumps because the nearest landfill is far away and requires a premium fee that people simply refuse to pay.

Some of Melbourne’s most brazen “charitable donations” included (besides plain old paper garbage) broken furniture, dirty diapers, old Christmas trees, lunch leftovers, and a live kitten trapped in a bag.




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