IN the face of high volumes of illegal dumping around its charity bins, Mission Australia says their removal would be a last resort.
The charity's senior social enterprise service manager, Andrew Douglas said while just 50 per cent of content from their charity bins was reusable, ceasing their use would come at too high a price.
And while there may not have been actual household garbage among this lot, Mr Douglas said it was not uncommon for rubbish to be dumped including prawn heads and used nappies.
"We will go the the nth degree to keep them alive and to educate people on the best way to use them," Mr Douglas said. "To pull the bins out would mean the end of all of our opportunity shops, which we use to offset the costs of our charity work."
Mr Douglas said items such as clothing, soft toys and knick-knacks were their most preferred goods and people should use common sense when deciding what to donate.
"Basically we ask people to consider what they would want to accept from someone if they were doing it tough, but unfortunately I don't think people always apply the same standard."
Mission Australia has some 60 charity bins in the Illawarra that collect goods for shops in Warilla, Dapto, North Wollongong, Thirroul and Nowra.
Mr Douglas said there was a correlation between rises in tip fees and what he described as an exponential growth in the amount of unusable items being dumped.
He also said high levels of donations were cyclical, with post-Christmas being a peak time.
Mr Douglas said while groups such as Mission Australia received a charity exemption on tip fees, there was still a financial impact on them, with drivers having to take things to landfill.
He said illegal dumping penalties applied to unusable items and urged people to "dob in dumpers" or thieves.
A Kiama Council spokeswoman said it was likely a shortage of volunteers over the holiday period had meant the Kiama bin had not been cleared as frequently as usual. Mission Australia said it was normally emptied three times a week.
She said events like the council's clean-up in April were designed to give people disposal options, and there were fines for illegal dumping.