CAPTAIN Dale Murray holds a Salvation Army CCTV camera that was ripped from the wall in his hands.
The camera had been installed to monitor the collection bins where locals had dumped rubbish, soiled clothing and broken computer parts.
Mr Murray said the Salvation Army had faced an uphill battle regarding the collection bins in Naughton Avenue.
“Someone donated a rocking horse and someone has taken it over the weekend, that’s an ongoing occurrence here, we know that good donations are being stolen,” he said.
“The Salvation Army wants people to put stuff in the bins, if the bins are full please don’t leave anything outside because it’s council property and Jobs Australia property.”
Volunteers have spent hours cleaning up the mess left by people who have dumped unwanted goods around the collection bins.
“It’s a good half a day minimum and two trips to the tip to remove all the rubbish, that happens multiple times a week,” Mr Murray said.
“People are dropping things off there in good intentions but it’s not the right process.
“It’s taking away from the Salvation Army being able to do its work in the community, it’s wasting time and money, resources and fuel to take the truck to the tip and we can’t use that money to help people in need, it takes away from our budget.”
Inspector John Walkowiak at Armidale Local Area Command said it is illegal for people to steal from charity collection bins.
“It’s still certainly an offence to steal from charities even if they are donated goods,” he said.
The Salvation Army is working with council to have a fence erected around the driveway where goods have been dumped and enforcement officers will patrol the area.
Dumping carries a fine of $1500 and Mr Murray encourages the public to make donations during open hours if the bins are full.
Volunteers have been injured clearing the mess in the past, Mr Murray himself has cut himself on the job.
"There’s huge issues, it’s unhealthy and it does place our volunteers at risk,” Mr Murray said.
“There’s usually broken glass, soiled clothing and sometimes people walking past urinate into the donated items and make a mess, that’s why we only accept stuff inside the bins.
“We thank the public for their generosity, we want to honour their donations by making sure they get sold to help people in need in the community.”