Oxfam Tells Britons: "Don't Give Us Your Rubbish"
Oxfam has asked Britons to be more selective about items they give to the charity's shops, saying many donations were just "rubbish" that cost 500,000 pounds a year to sift through and dispose of.
"We're so grateful for the incredible donations we receive from the community, but like any retailer there are things we can and cannot sell," Chris Coe, Oxfam's director of trading, said on Tuesday.
"Increasingly people are just giving us rubbish."
He told BBC radio that such an example of unwanted goods was the box of assorted false teeth donated on Monday to the charity's store in Wimbledon.
Oxfam has 750 shops across the country, selling items donated from the public to raise money for its projects around the world.
It said it spent half a million pounds a year sorting, storing and getting rid of unsuitable donations such as broken electrical items or worn out clothes.
The figure was almost as much as it was spending on projects in Rwanda or Eritrea in 2005.
The Association of Charity Shops estimates that in total about 4.5 million pounds was wasted each year on the problem.
"We ask that people use common sense in deciding whether the items are suitable to donate to charity shops or whether they should be recycled elsewhere," said Lekha Klouda, the association's executive secretary.