YOU may have noticed your local The Smith Family clothing donation bin was removed at the beginning of January.
Rick Mulhall, General Manager of Recycling Operations at The Smith Family, told the Gazette that the charity organisation was "transitioning out of" the recycling business, and removed all its Hawkesbury-based donation bins.
"All The Smith Family clothing bins have been removed from the Hawkesbury LGA. The bins have been removed within the last week, with the remaining bin removed on 9 January," Mr Mulhall said.
"The Smith Family's recycling operation has played an important role in the history of The Smith Family, however today our organisation is squarely focused on providing educational support for Australian children in need.
"Our programs help children break the cycle of disadvantage, and with 1.1 million Australian children and young people living in poverty, our work to support these children is needed more than ever. This is the priority focus for The Smith Family."
"As the clothing bins were part of the recycling operation and we are transitioning out of this business, they [the bins] have been removed by The Smith Family."
When asked if there was an issue with rubbish and non-clothes items being put in and around the bins, Mr Mulhall responded: "Rubbish dumped at our clothing bins must be cleared and this cost negatively impacts the funds available for our community programs. When dumping has occurred we have worked closely with councils, landlords and rangers to manage it. The removal of these Hawkesbury LGA bins is not related to rubbish dumping."
"As the clothing bins were part of The Smith Family's recycling operation which we are exiting to focus our efforts squarely on providing education support programs for children in need, they have been removed."
A Glossodia resident who asked not to be named, welcomed the removal of the clothing bin from the local shops, saying there were often non-clothes items piled up around the bin, including bags full of domestic rubbish.
"People were always dropping things next to the bin like broken toys that couldn't be used. I think they did it because it was an easy way to get rid of rubbish. It's sad," he said.
"Some people even dropped household rubbish and dirty nappies around the bin."
The Smith Family advised Hawkesbury locals to check with the charity organisation before donating.
"We advise the public to contact bin owners, as each organisation will accept a variety of different items. Generally donation points (or bin signage) will state what donations are acceptable for that organisation," said Mr Mulhall.
Other-branded clothing donation bins remain in the Hawkesbury, such as those operated by National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO). Visit nacro.org.au for bin locations.