Donating Responsibly

Donating Responsibly

Donating unwanted or used goods is a great way to support charities and divert waste from landfill. Before donating, it’s important to make sure that all items are in good condition and of a saleable quality.

While often donated with the best of intentions, dirty, damaged, or otherwise unsaleable items are a significant burden to charities. NSW charities spend millions of dollars each year disposing of poor-quality donations, diverting much needed funds from social welfare programs and other initiatives to help disadvantaged people.

So how can you ensure that you’re donating responsibly? 

Here are some simple tips to ensure your donated items can be sold by charity stores:

  • Are the items in good condition? Ask yourself whether you would be happy to receive the items from somebody else or if you’d be comfortable passing them onto a friend. Only proceed to donate if the answer is yes.
  • Call your local charity store ahead of time to confirm whether the items you plan to donate are accepted. Different stores have different requirements for donations and not all stores may accept furniture, books, toys, clothing, or other commonly donated items.
  • Whenever possible, take your items directly to a charity store during opening hours. That way, staff will be able to confirm that your items are suitable for resale by the store.
  • When using a clothing or charity bin, please follow any signage and ensure items are placed entirely inside the bin. This ensures that donated goods are protected from the elements and makes it easier for charities to collect your donations. Leaving items beside clothing bins or outside of charity stores is considered illegal dumping and fines may apply. It costs charities over $1.5 million each year to disposed of illegally dumped material. 

If your unwanted or used goods don’t meet the requirements for donation to charity, there may be other options available to prevent them ending up in landfill.

Consider upcycling old furniture or listing items online to be sold or given away. Used clothing can easily be repurposed as a rag or with a little time and effort, be converted into other practical items such as reusable shopping bags.

Textiles and clothing in sellable or unsellable condition can be collected by RecycleSmart. Head to our RecycleSmart page for information on how you can book a Power Pickup of textiles. For information on the types of textiles that can be taken please visit the RecycleSmart website.

For more information on recycling used goods, visit RecylingNearYou.

If you are unable to donate, sell or recycle your items then make sure to dispose of them responsibly by booking a bulky waste collection