We know there are a lot of ‘charity bags’ posted through letterboxes across the city asking for donations of unwanted clothes and household goods. While they can be a great way for you to donate your unwanted goods to a charity, many collections are carried out by commercial organisations and, unfortunately, not all of these are legitimate. 

How to make sure your bag is going to a real charity

Before you use a charity bag, we recommend that you:

  • check to make sure that whoever is collecting the sack is registered to do so
  • check to see if a donation will be made to a charity. The sacks should say which charity will benefit and the proportion of the donation they will receive

If your sacks are collected by someone who isn’t registered, your donations may not benefit any charity and the contents of your bags may not be disposed of correctly. You could risk being issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice.  

If you have any questions or concerns about a charity bag you have received we advise that you don’t use it. You may wish to contact us to report your concerns.

Check our list of registered collectors to make sure you are donating to a legitimate collector.

How to register to collect charity bags

Before you can start collecting charity bags, you need to apply for a permit to carry out house to house collections. It is free to apply and, once we have received your application, we will carry out a check with South Yorkshire Police to ensure that you have no relevant convictions.

You must also tell us which charity you are collecting on behalf of and send a letter of authorisation from the charity with your application. Once approved, a permit is granted and you will then need to apply to the HM Stationery Office for a prescribed certificate of authority and a prescribed badge.

Your permit will be valid for up to 12 months, after which you will need to make a new application.

Contact Waste Management