Charity shops in Greater Manchester face closure as Combined Authority restricts free charity tipping

The Charity Retail Association – the only body in the UK which represents the interests of charity retailers – fears several of its members’ charity shops in the Greater Manchester area will shut after the Combined Authority’s recent move to severely restrict free charity tipping.

The new measure, which is scheduled to come into force on 1 April, will see the Greater Manchester Combined Authority charge charities commercial rates to dispose of their waste after they have used up a limited amount of free visits over a 12-month period.

The Charity Retail Association is calling on the Combined Authority to reverse this decision, which is short-sighted and discriminatory. Charity shops reuse or recycle 330,000 tonnes of textile material alone and save councils around £27m in landfill tax every year and by charging them to dispose of public donations – household waste in other words – it will undoubtedly restrict their ability to raise funds for good causes.

Additionally, Charity Retail Association believes this move by the Combined Authority contravenes the Government’s Controlled Waste Regulations of 2012, which states charities can dispose of waste arising from household donations for free as their activities contribute to waste prevention by encouraging and facilitating the reuse rather than disposal of goods.

Charities have been given just three weeks’ notice before the scheduled change – without consultation – giving them little time to prepare for the new charges.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said: “We are disturbed to learn of this development, which if implemented, may well mean that several charity shops in the Great Manchester area face closure.

“We are calling on the Combined Authority to reverse this decision. Shop closures not only affect jobs and the ability for our members’ charities to raise money for good causes, but will also have a negative environmental impact and increase the amount of goods going into landfill – ironically costing the local authority more in landfill tax.”