Social-service agencies and charities are asking people to stop dropping donations outside collection bins that are already full.
“Although donations of gently used clothing and household items cannot be accepted during the COVID-19 outbreak, they will be needed when Salvation Army thrift stores and donor welcome centres are able to re-open," said Lt.-Col. John P. Murray, territorial secretary for communications.
Murray said dropping items off at donation bins or closed thrift stores is not only a health-and-safety hazard, but noted items are often damaged by weather or stolen.
"As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the need for affordable clothing and items for the house will be very high in the days, weeks, and months ahead," Murray said. "In the meantime, we are urging Canadians to please set aside their donations and bring them to a Salvation Army thrift store, welcome centre or donation bin, when we are safely able to reopen our facilities."
That message has been echoed by Diabetes Canada, which is also seeing its donations bins, including in Kamloops, overflowing.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated physical-distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, the collection of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donation bins across Canada stopped on March 23. This also resulted in the temporary layoff of the more than 500 staff who manage the donation bin service.
The organization said some people continue to drop off donations at bins that cannot be emptied. In addition, garbage is being dropped at the bins, of which there are more than 5,000 across Canada.
The bin at Plura Hills United Church in Aberdeen is among those inundated with items.