Charity pair seek lifeline from City

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Marianne and Max Chester have been saving clothes from the tip and getting them to the needy.
Camera IconMarianne and Max Chester have been saving clothes from the tip and getting them to the needy. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A determined couple who claim to have saved tonnes of clothes from landfill could have their recycling operation saved from the brink, after an impassioned speech to council last week.

Max and Marianne Chester have been rescuing op shop clothes destined for the tip for about six years — packing, packaging and shipping them overseas.

Last year they said they saved at least 20 tonnes of clothes, but they claimed their efforts were under threat because they struggled on their pension.

The Chesters have the backing of a freight company, which transports bales of clothes to Perth and then on to ships, but they fund the effort in Albany.

They asked council for nominal support — as little as $3000 a year — and were backed by several Albany op shop operators.

“For the past six years we’ve collected unsold clothes from around town, including Denmark and Mt Barker,” Mr Chester said.

“We’re only pensioners and we find it a little hard to manage finances.

“We do need some sort of assistance with getting the clothes up to Perth.”

The City is now understood to be seeking ways to help the couple.

Mr Chester met with the City on March 1, and was expecting to hear back this week.

Albany Red Cross store manager Francine Seymour said the Chesters had been a major help.

“We used to fill up a few (rubbish) bins a week, now we only fill up one,” she said.

“Max and Marianne have been saviours to us and the City tip shop as well.”

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