Fast Facts – heaps of them!

In 12 months Australians donate more than 780,000 tonnes of clothing and goods to charity stores. Scroll down for more facts…

  • Charitable recycling is the oldest, largest and most coordinated recycling/reuse activity in Australia.

  • There are 2,500 charity operated op shops across Australia.

  • Gross national retail sales from charity op shops is greater than $500,000,000.

  • Donations of goods to charitable recyclers are made up of clothing, textiles and homewares. The latter can include the myriad of items found in our homes including kitchenware, furniture and indeed stuff from garages and sheds.

  • Op Shops are a vital source of funding for the charities’ community support programs. They help tens of thousands of people in crisis and in need in our communities each year through the money they raise.

  • Over 1 million tonnes of goods are donated annually to charitable recyclers by way of shop donations, donations bins, home pickups and corporate donations.

  • Charity op shops divert over 588,000 tones away from landfuill each year

  • Over 285 million products are given a second or third life through charity op shops – with reuse being the purest form of recycling

  • Waste sent to landfill tends to be inappropriate donations which are mainly homewares, including broken and soiled indoor and outdoor furniture, toys, bicycles, white goods and unusables such as gas bottles and textbooks.

  • Mattresses continue to menace donation points with 79% of respondents to a NACRO survey advising that dumped mattresses are the greatest financial burden.

  • Rest assured charities use more than 96% of donated clothing, and reuse or recycle everything they can in an effort to be good stewards of the environment.

  • Charities still need more quality donations for their social welfare programs, so please keep donating – if you’re unsure what to donate, remember if you wouldn’t give it to a friend, please don’t give it to a charity.

  • ABS data in 2016-17 showed Australian exports of “worn clothing and other worn textile articles” was 93,502,966 kilos. Direct exports from charities accounted for two thirds.

  • It is estimated that there is in excess of 10,000 donation bins located throughout Australian metropolitan suburbs and regional towns. Less than 65% or 6,500 are charity operated with around 35% commercially operated or 3500 donation bins.

  • Over 40 million transactions through charity operated op shops – equivalent to every Australian shopping and making a purchase at least twice a year at charity op shops.

  • Clothing and textiles account for 48% of Op Shop sales. Homewares, bric-a-brac and books are 46% of sales and furniture, 6% of sales.

*NACRO sector research 2015-2016

Clean, sound furniture is welcomed by charities to pass on to people in need or to sell to raise funds for their community programs. But please call your nearest Charity Op Shop first to see whether they have room and/or can pick up.

  • For electrical or white goods check with your nearest Charity Op Shop to see whether it has the facility to accept your donation.
  • TVs and computers can be deposited at the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme free drop-off point near you.
  • Mobile phone collection boxes are available in most Salvos Stores around the country.
  • Industrial rags can be made from clean white materials such as t-shirts, towels, shirts, flannelette shirts, pyjamas and sheets.
  • Commercial quantities from workplaces and businesses are also accepted by charities, but please enquire in advance.

If you doubt the acceptability of your goods, ask yourself, would you give this item to a friend in need?

Never, ever donate rubbish….or coat hangers, gas bottles, barbeques or dirty mattresses!

Op Shop store locator

There are more than 2400 charity-operated op shops in Australia