Appeal to stop flytipping donations outside charity shops after Stevenage store becomes hotspot

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 05 May 2020

People have been leaving donations outside the Cancer Research UK shop on Stevenage's Oaklands Retail Park, which is closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Sharon Makin

People have been leaving donations outside the Cancer Research UK shop on Stevenage's Oaklands Retail Park, which is closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Sharon Makin

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People are being urged to stop leaving donations outside charity shops during the coronavirus lockdown - it is flytipping and could land you with a fine.

The Cancer Research UK superstore on Oaklands Retail Park in Stevenage has been a particular hotspot for people leaving donations on the pavement outside the shop.

Under government guidelines, all charity shops are currently closed due to the pandemic and will remain closed for the foreseeable future, so no donations are being taken in.

Sharon Makin, who was making an essential trip to B&M on Oaklands Retail Park, was shocked at the amount of donations flytipped outside the Cancer Research UK shop.

She said: “People of Stevenage, stop leaving stuff outside charity shops. There is nobody to take it in and it is actually fly tipping and you could be fined.

“Some of these donations have been there over a week and it will attract rats.

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“I know charities have been hard hit by the lockdown, but they will need all of the donations when back working, not now.”

Another concerned shopper added: “Unfortunately these goods left outside cannot be used due to contamination. I wish people would just stop.”

Julie Byard, director of trading at Cancer Research UK, said: “To protect our staff, volunteers and customers during the coronavirus outbreak all of our shops – including our superstore in Oaklands Retail Park - are currently closed.

“We ask that people don’t leave donations outside our shops, as the staff aren’t there to accept them and items could be damaged, stolen or become a hazard to the community.

“We’re extremely grateful to anyone who wants to donate goods to support us, but please hold on to those items until our shops reopen, when we will gladly accept them. 

“People across Stevenage can still support our life-saving work through our online gift shop at cruk.org.uk.”

Stevenage Borough Council’s website confirms that leaving items beside street bins, recycling banks and outside closed Household Waste Recycling Centres and charity shops is all fly tipping.

The borough council requests that all fly tipping is reported via fixmystreet.stevenage.gov.uk


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