DUMPED: Mattresses left at Lifeline Bundaberg's charity bin. Photo Contributed
DUMPED: Mattresses left at Lifeline Bundaberg's charity bin. Photo Contributed Contributed

Lifeline has had enough of your dumping

WOULD you like some broken furniture and ripped up mattresses?

No? Well neither does Lifeline Bundaberg.

The dumping of such items has become more prevalent recently at bins belonging to the Bundaberg-based charity.

Lifeline Bundaberg business manager Andrew Armstrong said while the charity relied heavily on the generous nature of people, such rundown items were not wanted.

"If you want to donate something, make sure it's something you would use or that somebody else can get a practical use out of it," he said.

"There's no point giving us stuff that needs repairing because we don't have the resources to repair it."

Mr Armstrong said the dumping was adding to its costs and had the potential to jeopardise its relationship with the Bundaberg Regional Council Recycling Centre.

"Fortunately at this stage we have a local arrangement with Bundaberg Regional Council and they don't charge us, yet," he said.

"But they keep a very close eye on the volumes we bring in."

Council waste and recycling spokesman Scott Rowleson said the dumping of mattresses at charity bins was an ongoing issue.

"It may be the result of people believing they are disposing of an item that is required by or can be on sold by charitable organisations," he said.

"Council looks to work with local charitable organisations and assists where possible when organisation may experience issues relating to instances of obvious dumping."

Cr Rowleson said mattresses were a major concern in landfills as they consumed a lot of space and created voids once buried causing toxic leachate production, which needed to be contained.

"In many instances mattresses will rise to the surface after being buried," he said.

"Additionally, they pose a significant fire hazard at waste disposal facilities which causes more problems and a greater cost to ratepayers."

A $5 fee is charged at the recycling centre for the disposal of a single bed mattress while larger mattresses attract a fee of $10.

Cr Rowleson reminded residents dumping in any form was a burden to the community in monetary and visual amenity terms.

"It detracts from the image we all want to portray of our area and reflects a 'couldn't care less' attitude from people prepared to throw their rubbish in someone else's backyard," he said.

Fortunately, the state government is doing something about it.

Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles today released the "Does your donation count or cost? Understanding donations and dumping behaviours and their impacts for Queensland Charities" report, produced by UnitingCare Community in partnership with Queensland member charities of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations Inc.

The report, funded by a $50,000 Queensland Government grant, found "conservatively" 8,200 tonnes of rubbish had been dumped at Queensland charities in the 2014/15 financial year.