The ACT Government has immediately revoked the licences of all charity bins operating on public land throughout Canberra, in a bid to tackle a rise in illegal dumping.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said the decision was made with the support of charity bin operators.
“This decision has been made due to the growing challenges faced by charity operators in managing illegal dumping around the diminishing number of clothing bins around the city,” he said.
“Despite a range of measures to address the problem, including CCTV and improved compliance, some Canberrans are still continuing to dump goods next to bins, leaving our city untidy. It’s unfair for the charities to have to clean up these dump sites, so they have been withdrawing these services.”
According to Mr Steel, COVID-19 has also impacted the availability of charity workforces to manage the bins.
“I am urging all Canberrans to please stop taking items to charity bins from now. We have already started the process of removing the remaining ones from locations around Canberra, and will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks,” he said.
Mr Steel said the ACT Government remains committed to continued collaboration with the charity sector to ensure opportunities for the reuse and recycling of unwanted items.
“Following the public health emergency, we will seek to meet with the charity sector and other interested organisations to work on the future of textile recycling in the ACT,” he said.
“This will involve identifying alternative collection points in the future, as well as looking to improve textile recycling beyond what is already available in the ACT.”
High quality items including clothing, books and homewares will still be accepted by charities with shop fronts currently accepting goods.
“I would also ask Canberrans to be mindful of the current COVID-19 challenges and to consider storing their items at home temporarily during this time and to avoid unnecessary travel. Poor quality and broken goods should go in the rubbish bin,” Mr Steel said.