Some clothing bins at SaveMart stores in Hawke's Bay have been removed after locals treated them as rubbish dumps, a store owner says.
SaveMart store owner Grant Doonan says some of the bins have become a health risk, telling Hawke's Bay Today drivers have to remove broken furniture and fragile items from around the bins.
One former employee said the misuse has been so bad that, on one occasion, he found a hypodermic needle, and it's understood a lamb tail was also discovered.
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SaveMart owner Tom Doonan said the reports have been exaggerated, telling Newshub rubbish is more likely to be dumped at local parks.
"We would know if there was a lot of stuff being dumped. It's usually picked up fairly quickly if someone can't put [their items] inside the bin," he said.
But SaveMart Ahuiri store manager Colleen Smith said locals are treating the clothing bins like rubbish bins, dumping non-recyclable items.
"I got to work this morning and there were three or four mattresses there, and old TV, and it's costing our company all these dump fees," she told Hawke's Bay Today.
The nationwide recycled clothing chain operates the Child Cancer Foundation clothing bins throughout the country, and Grant Doonan has raised the issue of misuse in the past.
In 2016 he said money that could potentially be given to charities was being lost to the costs in which the company had to fork out to take local's rubbish to the dump.
They were paying a "substantial amount" across the country, every year, he told Stuff at the time.
The message SaveMart is sending to people in Hawke's Bay is to respect the bins, as staff members have to sort through it all to be recycled for those who need it.
SaveMart's clothes are donated via blue metal bins, found in most neighbourhoods around the country, with some of the proceeds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.