Littering is bad at the best of times, but when it involves time and extra expense for charities struggling to help the needy, it is utterly deplorable.
The dumping of unwanted clothes, furniture and other items outside Shepparton charity shops has been an ongoing issue for some time and ugly photos have appeared previously in the pages of this newspaper.
Now, the dumping of unwanted items during the Christmas and new year period seems particularly frustrating and downright disgusting.
Items can remain strewn across the pavement, creating a public eyesore for hours or days before charity workers are able to clean up.
It is absolutely shameful charity volunteers have to give up hours of their valuable holiday break to clean up after other people’s lazy and thoughtless behaviour.
As one op-shop manager pointed out — time spent cleaning up dumped items is time volunteers are spending away from their families.
While charity shops depend on the goodwill of people with more than they need — they should not have to spend time cleaning up or paying to dispose of waste properly.
There seems no easy answer to this anti-social and ugly behaviour.
Perhaps CCTV cameras would act as a deterrent, but installation and monitoring would then come at even more cost.
Dumping unwanted items outside charity shops is part of a wider problem of rubbish dumping across Shepparton.
Bushland and isolated urban corners are seen by some anti-social elements as areas to dispose of unwanted waste.
The cost of disposal at council-operated transfer stations has been raised as an explanation for this behaviour, but we believe there is also a large element of thoughtlessness and sheer laziness among the perpetrators.
Removing charges at council-run waste transfer sites might encourage some people to dispose of unwanted items properly, but there will still be those who are either too ignorant or too lazy to act in the interests of the wider community.
It would certainly help to remove or lower the cost of waste disposal for those charities affected by this unsocial behaviour.
Meanwhile, lost revenue will have to be found elsewhere.
We always try to look for the good in people, so there may be those who think they are doing the right thing by leaving unwanted items on the street outside charity bins which are full or shops which are closed.
But with a little bit of thought and consideration for others, these regular and unsightly problems could be avoided.
They are a blight on our city and a poor reflection on the behaviour of some of our fellow citizens.