Gymnasts losing money to dispose of garbage outside donation bins

A pile of garbage that has been dropped off outside the Diabetes Foundation bins in the Wal Mart parking lot. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Gymnastics Association says it is losing money because it is on the hook today for the disposal of spoiled donations and even garbage that is being dropped off outside the Diabetes Foundation donation bins in the Wal-Mart and Wholesale Club parking lots.

Gymnastics Association manager Chantelle Yates explained that the Association is contracted out by the Diabetes Foundation to take care of the bins, since the closest branch is located in Edmonton. Yates said that usually, volunteers with the Association empty the bins between once and twice a week, but have been unable to after snow was hard-pressed against the bin doors.

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Normally, Yates said the club receives 75 cents from the Diabetes Foundation for every 20 lbs. bag of clothing that is collected and sorted. She explained that clothing that is went is not suitable for donation, and needs to be thrown in the trash. However, even though the bins have been plowed in, Yates said residents are dropping off clothing that is not bagged, broken toys, and even garbage outside the bins.

“It’s become a dump,” said Yates. “We loaded up two truckloads, went down to the dump. It’s $25 to dump it. I went to Wal Mart the next day and sure enough there was an entire pickup load full of stuff. We can’t stop people from dumping, but there’s a lot of other organizations that will take it right now.”

Yates said that the Association has had to spend nearly $100 in tipping fees in the past several weeks. She explained that even if the Association were to ask the Diabetes Foundation to remove the bins, it wouldn’t be possible to remove them until the snow melts later this Spring.

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