Charity and secondhand shops around the country are becoming dump sites as people bag and box up unwanted goods and leave them outside shops in the rain.
The issue has not only disheartened charity stores, including the Salvation Army, but has also triggered concerned Kiwis who post about the sight of the mess on social media.
A West Auckland resident wrote on Friday how she walked past a Salvation Army store "that had a huge pile of donated crap outside".
"Clearly it will all have to be dumped as it's all wet. What is wrong with people, this is not a dump. It cost this charitable organisation thousands every year to dispose of people's rubbish."
During a quick drive-by the Herald around several charity shops in Hamilton, most of them had a large amount of rubbish - everything from mattresses to couches to coffee tables, shoes, underwear and pillows.
Salvation Army spokeswoman Louise Parry said they were aware of donations being left outside of their stories since the beginning of lockdown.
"We appreciate people wanting to donate things they no longer need, but under Level 4 our staff are not allowed to go into the shops, and can't clear donations left outside our Family Stores.
"These items end up getting rained on and blown around, and have to be sent to the tip – not something anyone wants."
She urged people to hold donating until the stores reopened.
"And then either drop off the items during our stores' opening hours, or phone us to find out how they can get them to us."
The cost of cleaning up the dumped goods fell onto the local councils, she said.
"We are urging people to wait until they know we are open again, and it is the local council who ends up having to clean up these piles."
In Canterbury, the Waimakariri Council's solid waste manager Kitty Waghorn is also urging people to hold onto their rubbish until the end of lockdown.
"Charity shops are finding hordes of unusable household items and rubbish piling up outside their doorsteps, as people dump items from lockdown decluttering after hours."
Waghorn said it had always been an issue but had spiked during lockdown.
"A lot of people do the right thing, but there are some who think a charity shop is a rubbish dump.
"It's not okay to leave unwanted household goods and rubbish at the Salvation Army, or any other charity shop or clothing bin. They shouldn't have to deal with that kind of thing," she said.
The ReSale Store would reopen as soon as alert levels allowed.
Dumping materials took money away from the stores' crucial funding for community initiatives, she said.
"Stained mattresses, food, odd shoes, broken furniture and toys and general rubbish often end up becoming a charity shop's problem.
"Items that are broken beyond use, dirty or that don't work – these are not useful donations. They can't be on-sold by the shops and have to be dumped at their cost."
People found to be dumping unwanted goods and rubbish in public places can be fined up to $5000 under the Litter Act 1979 Section 15 (1).