Clothing bins are not a dump.

That is the message SaveMart is trying to impart to the public, with the company having to close bins across Napier and Hastings due to the rubbish in and around them.

Lamb tails, faeces-stained underwear and wet clothes are just few of the items workers clearing the SaveMart clothing bins have had to deal with.

One former worker, who did not wish to be named, said the worst thing he found in his time there was a hypodermic needle.

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"I was there about eight months, and I only found about one, but that is one too many," he said.

As well as items turning up inside the bins, people were dumping rubbish next to the bins, the former worker said.

His message to the people of Napier was to take their rubbish to the dump, rather than throwing it in the clothing bin.

SaveMart store owner Grant Doonan said they were forced to remove the bins when they became a health and safety risk to both their workers and the public.

"Our drivers are removing furniture, broken furniture, household appliances and broken, fragile items which shouldn't be near a clothing bin.

"When we have a situation where our clothing bin has become a health and safety issue to our staff and to the public we are forced to remove them."

He said the only items which should be put into clothing bins are clean clothes, shoes and linen.

He also asked people not to leave donations next to the bin if they were full, as those items have to be disposed of. He said clothing bins have a number on them to call if they are full.

Colleen Smith from SaveMart Ahuriri is asking the public to respect the company's clothing bins. Photo / Paul Taylor
Colleen Smith from SaveMart Ahuriri is asking the public to respect the company's clothing bins. Photo / Paul Taylor

He was unable to confirm how many Hawke's Bay bins had closed, but knew many had in the last six months. He said it was a nationwide problem, one which was worse at this time of year, as people often cleaned out their houses over the summer break.

SaveMart Ahuriri store manager Colleen Smith says she thinks people use the clothing bins as a rubbish dump as the dump fees are too expensive.

"I think it's because of the dump fees being so dear, people don't want to take the stuff to the dump and they dump it all by our bins."

The bins outside the Ahuriri store had been removed, but they are still finding rubbish and old household items dumped by the store.

"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 because half that stuff shouldn't be at the bins."

She said the Ahuriri store took about two truck loads of rubbish to the dump, three days a week, which is a major financial cost to the company.

Her message to people in Hawke's Bay was simple.

"Respect our bins, we're not the dump."