Saint-Vincent de Paul deals with undesirable donations
Someone's trash is someone's treasure… sometimes
A resident was shocked when she arrived at the St. Vincent de Paul, 25 Côté Street - north side of the building - in Deschênes. “The counter was closed (January 12), but there was tons of stuff on the curb for garbage collection. Some items were just fine. Boots, skates, clothes, and such were covered with snow. Some in bags, others in boxes, but why thrown out and not offered to places like Gîte Ami (the shelter in Hull), or other goodwill organizations? When I drop off clothing I make sure it’s ready-to-wear,” said the anonymous resident. “I clean, sort the clothing and take the time to drive over there to drop it off -- only to see they’re trashing it? Another resident told me they don’t even sort stuff here.”
The other side of the story
Jeanne Desjardins, who runs the Deschênes’ counter, says otherwise. “We sort every bag. We are volunteers here,” she said. Desjardins explained the curb-side garbage, “When we take out our trash, residents actually add their own garbage. It’s a big problem. We put out the trash Monday afternoon and by evening the garbage will have doubled. Many don’t want to put their garbage in front of their home, so they drop it off here. This is not new. We try to monitor it, but people still dump their garbage,” said Desjardins. She added that many people also don’t follow the instructions. “We ask residents to place their donations in a bag and drop them in the bin, but many don’t. Sometimes stuff is in the bin without bags. Other times bags are left near the bin and others come and tear the bags to take what they want. We practically need a security guard!”
A guard would be helpful to refuse some donations. “We often receive waste. Before Christmas we got rusted paint cans -- about 20 at our door,” said Desjardins. “We get mattresses, dirty and worn, and we can’t even give them away.” Used large televisions also gave Saint-Vincent workers headaches. Even with a sign that old TVs are no longer accepted, people kept dropping them off. “We had an epidemic of old TVs,” noted Desjardins.
Where’s the eco-centre?
Unusable donations are one the biggest challenges. People drop off undesirable items or those of poor quality. These items should go to one of Gatineau’s eco-centres -- at 26 rue Pierre-Ménard in Gatineau or at 860 boulevard de la Carrière in Hull. Aylmer residents can drop off electronics weighing over 25 kg (large TVs) at the ground floor of 115 rue Principale, free of charge.
Aylmer has no eco-centre, but a site on Pink Road was identified by the city in 2013. “The city is revising its Residual Materials Management Plan (RMMP) for 2016 to 2020. The guidelines and objectives must be approved by city council for the formal adoption of RMMP in late 2015. The decision (on an eco-centre here) will be up to city council,” the city told the Bulletin.