BORDER charity stores are struggling to keep up with a huge spike in donations in the post-Christmas period.
Lifeline Albury-Wodonga volunteers say donations have doubled on last January while Wodonga Salvos staff believe donations are up 50 per cent on this time last year.
Though the post-Christmas period is traditionally the peak time for charities, the spike has been partly attributed by some to popular Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Lifeline Albury-Wodonga chief executive Matt Burke said there had been a massive increase in donations to Lifeline this month.
“It’s not just clothing; it’s prams, bric-a-brac, books and CDs,” he said.
“We have 16 bins in Albury-Wodonga, Thurgoona and Lavington and we’re clearing them out every day – including Christmas Day.
“If we don’t, it becomes a massive problem.”
Mr Burke said some staff believed donations this month were as much as double on this time last year.
“Our trucks go out at 6am and they don’t finish (clearing donation bins) until 11am,” Mr Burke said.
“On Sunday we didn’t finish until after 4pm.”
A Wodonga Salvos volunteer for the past 18 months, Alistair, who did not wish to publish his surname, said some people were using the charity as a dump site.
“Generally, people who are donating during business hours are donating relatively good quality items,” he said.
“Some of the ones who come here after hours are using it as a tip.
“They’re dropping off toilet mats, anything that is in a diabolical state; we’ve had mattresses donated that you wouldn’t put anybody on.”
It is understood that the Salvos store is paying as much as $4000 a month in tip fees.
Alistair said the store had been inundated with broken furniture and unsaleable items.
“We have 9 cubic metres of waste a day to deal with as well as two large dumpsters out the back,” he said.
“Some people always take the easiest route – dump it at the tip or dump it at the Salvos.”
A spokeswoman said donations were up by 50 per cent on the normal post-Christmas period.
“We’re not sure if there are more people around this Christmas or if it’s the Marie Kondo effect (high-rating decluttering series on Netflix).”
While some Lifeline stores around the country have stopped accepting donations due to storage restrictions, Mr Burke said there was no danger of that on the Border.
“The volunteer effort from my perspective is second to none,” he said.
“But we are looking for more volunteers who can drive a truck and are physically capable of the work.”
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