A Worthing charity shop plagued by flytipping is having to spend its profits on getting rid of other people’s rubbish.
For the past three years, the Guild Care charity shop on the corner of The Strand, Goring, has been a dumping ground for broken furniture – most recently, a blood-stained mattress and broken bedframe.
Manager Paul Davies said he had spent more than £500 in the last five weeks disposing of the detritus left at the side of their premises.
The 34-year-old said: “I can’t see an end to it. Even if you catch someone, they say ‘oh, I’m donating it to charity’, even though it is stained and not resellable.
“It is a really frustrating situation, and we are getting it in the neck from residents and the landlord, but we can’t do anything about it.”
Recently, Paul said an unknown restaurant dumped 50 wooden chairs and eight tables by the side of the shop that couldn’t be resold, and a soiled sofa was left outside on a Saturday afternoon.
While Worthing Borough Council gave them a discounted rate, Paul said, paying for the rubbish to be taken to the tip was gnawing away at the shop’s profits.
Last year, it made £65,000 which helped Guild Care provide community services for older people and children and adults with learning disabilities.
To the flytippers, Paul said: “You are taking meals away from people, and activities away from people who need it.
“The correct thing to do is let our warehouse team come out and look at it. We are happy to pick up high-quality furniture. We are not happy that people just want to flytip stained, disgusting mattresses or ripped sofas.”
Paul, who also manages the Guild Care store a few doors down, said many of their shops in Worthing had been affected.
Childminder Shane Rich was among those who had called up the shop to complain – only to discover it was not Guild Care’s fault. The 57-year-old grandmother from Durrington said: “I just think it is sad the shop is taking the flack for everybody’s misdemeanours.
“It is a shame the monies don’t go where they should.
“Neighbours need to know it isn’t Guild Care; it is people who should be putting rubbish in the right place.
“These people don’t want their rubbish, but they think it’s good enough for the charity shop.”
Paul said he had spoken to Sussex Police about the problem, but felt their hands were tied, too.
A spokesman for police said: “Fly-tipping is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and any information we receive will be shared with the local authority for them to consider possible prosecution.”
A spokesman for Adur & Worthing Councils said: “We take instances of flytipping seriously and will take action against anyone found to be dumping rubbish, which includes a fixed penalty fine of £2,500.
“In line with national law, generally material dumped on private land becomes the responsibility of the occupier of the land meaning they need to clear it at their own expense.
“When the materials are hazardous we can offer advice and guidance on how to remove the waste. Our teams may also be able to offer a clearance service at a reasonable cost to the land occupier or owner.
“We remind residents that they are able to report instances of flytipping via the self-service pages of our website www.adur-worthing.gov.uk.”