Don't treat charity shops as tips

PUBLISHED: 02:01 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:44 15 June 2010

I am writing on behalf of Sidmouth Oxfam shop (but I suspect on behalf of all other charity shops). The last two paragraphs of the letter published under this heading on page 4 of the April 9 issue appear to encourage people to treat charity shops as a

I am writing on behalf of Sidmouth Oxfam shop (but I suspect on behalf of all other charity shops). The last two paragraphs of the letter published under this heading on page 4 of the April 9 issue appear to encourage people to treat charity shops as a "collection point for refuse". Within a couple of hours of the Herald hitting the street, a small heap of black bags had appeared outside Oxfam's door. It needs to be pointed out, urgently, that charity shops have to pay, at commercial rates, for the collection of their rubbish, and, if they turned up at an amenity tip with a van, they would be charged trade rates. Charity shops gladly accept all items donated in good faith as potentially saleable, and recognise that the donors cannot be expected to know exactly what will or will not sell in this or another outlet. Oxfam and most charity shops do recycle all the clothing and linen that they cannot sell, and are doing their bit for the environment in this way. But it is clearly offensive to offer broken or dirty items for resale, and it is very little extra effort to take total rubbish to the tip rather than leaving it outside a shop door. Elizabeth Barlow Wychall Park Seaton

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