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Charity volunteer stabbed by discarded fishing lure

Mooloolah Valley Community Centre's Judi Olsen with bags of unsalvageable goods that people thoughtlessly dump.
Mooloolah Valley Community Centre's Judi Olsen with bags of unsalvageable goods that people thoughtlessly dump. John McCutcheon

FILTHY stained clothing, broken appliances, shoes minus the soles, old mattresses and more disgusting items stacked two-by-two.

It is 8am and the Mooloolah Valley Community Centre staff are just clocking on for work, work they aren't paid to do.

Almost daily they're greeted to a fresh batch of what they label as essentially rubbish.

The hard-working volunteers have had enough. It costs them $4000 each year to remove the waste to the Caloundra tip.

Money that could go to families in need.

"Stinking, dirty clothes, broken kitchen goods, disgusting shoes, rotten really, we have had a gut full," secretary Anita Vewayen said.

"We are supposed to be on holidays now but the amount of dumped rubbish doesn't allow it.

"Over Christmas we had bags and bags of terrible rubbish dumped. Our volunteers are all over 60 and it is hard work.

"It is garbage. You wouldn't buy shoes without soles. But they seem to think someone would want it.

"They come in and dump it at the middle of the night. I have been secretary for six years and it is getting worse."

To her horror, one staff member unknowingly reached into a bag of rubbish and was stabbed by a fishing lure. She had to go to hospital.

 

Judi Olsen of Mooloolah Valley Community Centre with bags of un-salvageable goods that people thoughtlessly dump.
Judi Olsen of Mooloolah Valley Community Centre with bags of un-salvageable goods that people thoughtlessly dump. John McCutcheon

Mrs Vewayen said the sheer cost of the rubbish bill was piling up and simply asked for consideration.

After numerous posts pleading with residents to stop, posts that fell on deaf ears, they are at a loss.

"I know my charities have the same problem, Lifeline and the Salvos both get this, but we are entirely self-sufficient," she said.

"Our funding is the money we earn through the op shop. And all we ask is for clean, unbroken and saleable items.

"People just dump their rubbish on us and expect to deal with it.

"We spend $4000 cleaning up their mess and that money could be used in our well-being program. It is really sad.

"That money makes a tangible difference. Local families who no fault of their own have fallen on hard times, illness, divorce, lost job. We help with all sorts of things."

Topics:  dumped rubbish editors picks lifeline mooloolah valley mooloolah valley community centre salvation army sunshine coast


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