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Hamilton donation bins temporarily removed due to ‘dumping’ during coronavirus crisis

The City of Hamilton is removing donation bins, which have become a flashpoint for illegal dumping during the coronavirus pandemic.
The City of Hamilton is removing donation bins, which have become a flashpoint for illegal dumping during the coronavirus pandemic. Ken Mann

As novel coronavirus safety measures continue, the City of Hamilton will be removing community donations bins for organizations like Diabetes Canada and putting them into storage temporarily.

Paul Johnson, the director of Hamilton’s Emergency Operations Centre, notes that thrift stores and donation centres have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means staff have not been processing items dropped off as they usually do.

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Items in the donation bins are not being collected until further notice, resulting in a glut of items being left outside the bins.

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Johnson says that with people home and spring cleaning, the bins have become a location for illegal dumping.

READ MORE: Public health reporting 206 COVID-19 cases in Hamilton

He acknowledges that some of the material was probably meant as donations, but “the reality is that can’t take the donations, so essentially it becomes a bit of a dumping ground for things.”

“We’re going to remove the stuff and we’re going to remove the bins.”

Johnson says the bins and items left to date will be taken away, for everyone’s health and safety.

READ MORE: Hamilton-Niagara sports fields, playgrounds off-limits on Easter weekend amid COVID-19 crisis

The Salvation Army urges people to set aside their donations at home and bring them to a thrift store, welcome centre or donation bin, when they are safely able to reopen their facilities.

The organization adds that they will be needed, more than ever, in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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