Manitoba

Diabetes Canada pleads for donation dumping to stop at bins

The National Diabetes Trust is asking Manitobans to stop dumping donations at their roughly 300 bins because they no longer have anyone to do pickups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charity doesn’t have staff to collect donations and says it’s costing cash to clean up

Donation bins in Grant Park were overflowing on Tuesday afternoon. (John Einarson/CBC)

The National Diabetes Trust is pleading with Manitobans to stop dumping donations at their roughly 300 bins.

The social enterprise arm of Diabetes Canada was forced to lay off hundreds of workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now there's no one to pick up donations. The bins are taped shut with signs warning people not to leave items but National Diabetes Trust CEO Sean Shannon says people aren't listening.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we have many, many examples of clearly where people are not getting that message, aren't caring about the message, aren't getting the message or some combination thereof. And we've seen some pretty horrific piles of things around bins over the last couple of weeks," he said in a phone interview from Toronto.

He said all across Canada people are starting to leave items they would never accept in the first place, like used mattresses and bags of spoiling garbage.

'Almost like free territory for bad dumping'

"If you talk to people who study these things there's something around the theory of human behaviour that if bad actors see a pile, they kind of hop in because it's almost like free territory to go in and do some bad dumping."

People are being asked to not leave donations at bins like this one in Winnipeg because Diabetes Canada no longer has staff to collect them and instead must pay for the items to go to a landfill. (John Einarson/CBC)

Shannon thinks most people are well-meaning and ill-informed but he said Diabetes Canada must now pay to have everything hauled to the dump instead of donating the money to fight the disease.

"It just makes no sense to spend money that way. It just defies logic."

Despite signs asking for no donations, Diabetes Canada says people still are leaving items that now have to go to the landfill. (John Einarson/CBC)

Shannon is calling on all levels of government to acknowledge the problem.

The City of Winnipeg said in a statement it hasn't been approached by the organization to get help cleaning up the mess.

With files from Susan Magas

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