Revamped Albany Salvos store removes metal donation bins after recent tragedies

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Kasey GrattonAlbany Advertiser
Donations left outside the Salvos store.
Camera IconDonations left outside the Salvos store. Credit: Salvos Albany

Donating goods has been made safer at Albany’s revamped Salvos store after the removal of metal donation bins that have been involved in deaths in Perth.

On January 25, a ceremony was held with store volunteers to formally mark the store’s transition from a Salvation Army Thrift Shop to a Salvos Store in line with the national chain.

The Albany store, in operation since 2007, is the first in Australia to undergo this conversion.

As part of the store’s update, its permanent metal donation bins were removed.

Salvos area manager for southern WA Kelly Morrison said this was in response to recent tragedies where people have died after being trapped in the bins.

Last Monday, a man was found dead in a metal charity bin in the carpark of Whitfords Shopping Centre after becoming partially trapped.

In July 2021, a woman was killed while trying to access a charity bin in Baldivis.

Ms Morrison said all Salvos stores in the region she oversees from Fremantle to Albany had now removed the bins on safety grounds, with the change being rolled out nationwide.

At the new-look Albany store, removable wheelie donation bins will only be available during the store’s opening hours.

The change has led to people leaving bags of donations outside the store when it is closed, creating extra work for the store’s volunteers and waste disposals costs for damage goods.

“A lot of people donating don’t realise that people are going through the donations at night, they’re ripping the bags open and the donations are getting spread out in the car park,” Ms Morrison said.

“If its raining, if they get wet, those donations are going to have to go into the bin.

“I think people think that we’ve got the means to repair things, and unfortunately that’s not the case.”

Ms Morrison said waste disposal was the charity’s “biggest expense”, with coasts totalling about $500,000 each year across WA.

“That money could be used for services within the community, whether that’s homelessness, domestic violence, aged care; if they limit the amount of waste,” Ms Morrison said.

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