Few people are aware of the large role op shops play in the Seymour and district community.
While the Goulburn Options op shop’s main purposes are fundraising and providing participants with retail experience, it also serves as a major recycling centre.
The shop receives a large volume of donated goods, not all of which can be sold.
Goulburn Options chief executive Rosey Panelli said there were several methods of dealing with excess or unsellable donations.
“Where we have too many items, we try to source another outlet. Books, for example, get passed to another charity that focuses on book fairs, and children’s clothes are passed to children’s support services,” she said.
“Clothes that are only suitable for rags are cut up by our participants and sold very cheaply to local businesses as clean rag for commercial use.
“Any wearable clothing additional to our needs is then sold to a company that ships clothes to the Third World.
“The payment is not of high value, but it allows us to keep clothing moving that would otherwise be going to landfill, and which we could not pay to discard.”
Between March 2016 and 2017, Goulburn Options sold on 6500kg of clothing that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Between March 2017 and 2018, volume increased to 9000kg.
“On top of all this we dispose of rubbish that people pass on to us that cannot be sold. We pay for a skip every fortnight, which costs $2600 per year,” Ms Panelli said.
“It is usually full so that constitutes approximately 79 cubic metres of rubbish that we pay to remove from the community of Seymour.
“If we were not providing this massive contribution to the community there would be in round figures 10 000kg of clothes and 80 cubic metres of rubbish going into the Seymour rubbish bins or to the tip.
“On top of that is all of the material we actually manage to sell or pass on to other charities. Those goods were unwanted by their owners and may also have found their way to landfill.
"The community has volunteers to thank for the amount of recycling that happens at the op shop. Without their dedication it just wouldn't be possible."