The Queensland Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden recently proposed the reintroduction of the landfill levy as a solution to reducing the level of dumping in Ipswich. Sadly the good Mr Madden has not linked the dots between increased levies and dumping on charities. Read the article at this link.

After four months the report into cross-border waste dumping has been completed. It is being prepared by the Department of Environment and Science before being presented to the responsible minister, Leeanne Enoch.

We’re excited to announce that our new and refreshed NACRO website is live after months of development. There’s a whole host of material, facts and figures, all to enhance the experience of the finding more about charitable recycling.The site even features an Op Shop locator.

When we started the project we had big ideas to inform the public, students, government, councils, environmentalists and potential volunteers. We’ve also created a host of new graphics, published a gallery’s worth of images, and made the site easier to use and the experience mobile and tablet friendly.

Please take a look around the site, and if you have any feedback, please let us know.

Sadly, the festive time of the year is reliably the worst for shameful behaviour by a select few who dump on charities. This year was no different. Members used social and traditional media to call for responsible donating. The media used strong terms such as “lazy idiots” but still the deluge continued.

Following are some headlines and links to the reporting:
Council sets sights on people who dump items outside charity shops
Mandurah residents ‘outraged’ by mess at Good Sammy drop off bins
We’re not your rubbish dump – sick of lazy idiots making Salvos waste thousands
Schools, train stations resemble rubbish tips as fake do-gooders dump their trash

In a recent article published and syndicated by the Herald Sun, NACRO criticized the diversion of charitable goods and services to private companies as a waste of resources.

In response to the proliferation of donations away from benevolent organisation, much of which is being enabled by local councils, NACRO forewarned a call on the State Government to consider a number of reforms, at the top of which is mandatory transparency and disclosure. “Victorians expect transparency and accountability from their charities and the commercial enterprises that target the kindness of Australian donors”.

“NACRO looks forward to working with the Victorian government to make it mandatory for commercial donation and recycling bin operators soliciting second hand clothing and household goods, to disclose their social purpose and impact, and the percentage of funds that support benevolent causes.” The article can be found at this link.

The latest Quarterly Market Analysis Report (July to September 2017) published by the UK Charity Retail Association in early December 2017, saw strong sales indicators, including a 5.7 per cent like for like income growth. Plus 80 per cent of the report respondents saw positive growth in donated goods sales.

Additionally, between Q3 2016 and Q3 2017, income from electrical goods and menswear saw growth up by 17.7 per cent and 15.9 per cent respectively.  However, sales of furniture in general charity shops decreased by 1.4 per cent.

CEO of the UK Charity Retail Association, Robin Osterley, said the figures were in line with the recent Office of National Statistics report on retail sales, which indicated a strong overall performance from the charity retail sector. Clearly charity shops continue to meet the needs of people up and down the country, said Ms Osterley.

The blockchain community launched a Philanthropy Foundation in September 2017, to promote the use of Blockchain technology in the not-for-profit sector to generate income. Blockchain Philanthropy Foundation logo

The Foundation’s mission includes “building a new revenue stream for charities by providing a Blockchain-powered technology platform, as well as tools, training and support”.

The Harvard Business Review defines blockchain as the technology at the heart of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. “Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.”

Read more …

Michigan’s Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against ATRS, a Texas-headquartered company that owns and operates 251 clothing donation bins in the state, for deceptively operating the collection bins.

The bins state that the Michigan Humane Society “receives 100% of the market value of every donation received at this location.” However, by contract, ATRS pays the Michigan Humane Society just $.02 per pound, according to a statement issued by the Attorney General Bill Schuette. 

Mr Schuette says in the claim that, for 2016, donations to the bins generated $835k in revenue for ATRS, an average of $0.34 per pound; ATRS paid the Michigan Humane Society $49k ($0.02 per pound) for these items, which equals just 6% of revenue generated from the bins. “These bins are deceptive and have misled Michigan residents regarding the true beneficiary of the donated clothes,” says Schuette.  The lawsuit seeks restitution, civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, and other relief.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s new report “A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future´ confirms members’ views that the steady production growth in fast fashion is intrinsically linked to a decline in utilisation per item, leading to an incredible amount of waste.

It is estimated that more than half of fast fashion production is disposed of in under a year, and one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burnt every second.

Note from NACRO: Donations of goods to charitable recyclers are made up of clothing, textiles and homewares. The later can include the myriad of items found in our homes including kitchenware, furniture and indeed stuff from garages and sheds. Charitable recyclers benefit from 68% of these donations.

Waste sent to landfill tends to not to be clothing or textiles – but inappropriate donations which are mainly homewares, including broken and soiled indoor and outdoor furniture, toys, bicycles, white goods and unusables such as gas bottles, bbq’s and text books. Mattresses continue to be a burden for charities across the country. Rest assured charities use more than 96% of donated clothing.