Contrary to popular belief, one person's trash is actually not another's treasure. Torontonians are leaving clothes outside of already full charity donation boxes in Toronto, and it's creating a lot of garbage. Despite the bins not being collected due to layoffs of charity workers, people continue to dump their unwanted clothing and toys.
The situation has escalated to where many charities have since pleaded with these "well-meaning" individuals to stop donating. Diabetes Canada has specifically complained about this. On Friday, the organization published an open letter asking people to "pause" any donations during the pandemic. "Diabetes Canada donation bins are overflowing, and some are becoming a dumping ground for well-meaning citizens who want to support our work," the letter says.Because of COVID-19, handling donations is not considered safe after non-essential services have stopped running. Anything placed outside of a donation box and not directly inside of it is considered garbage. According to its letter, Diabetes Canada stopped accepting donations back on March 23. Since then, the organization has continued to see piles of old clothing accumulating around the bins. "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and crucial physical distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, the pick-up of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donation bins across Canada stopped on March 23rd."
According to CP24, Diabetes Canada had to lay off 500 staff members because of COVID-19, and it doesn't have the resources to handle all of the clothing without them. Footage has been popping up online of bags full of clothing and other clutter piling up.
Donation bins are not for garbage. Please do not dump unwanted items at these bins – we are seeking your assistance… https://t.co/UQaskmbwtO— Diabetes Canada (@Diabetes Canada)1586195405.0
Oasis Clothing Bank also posted a message on Twitter, asking people not to drop off clothes."We have temporarily suspended our home pick-up service and sealed our donation bins in an effort to keep everyone safe! We would ask that you do not leave items around the bins. Thank you for your patience and understanding."
This isn't the only incident of dumping that Toronto has seen since the start of the pandemic. The city has been littered with abnormal amounts of rubber gloves and protective masks in the past few weeks, causing sanitation problems within the province.
Though these charities rely on clothing donations, they're only of use to them if the clothes can be collected properly. With no clear date as to when collecting operations will be restored, the mounting donations will most likely end up in the landfill.