Thousands of catalogues 'dumped' outside Sydney apartment block

A mountain of retail catalogues have been feared dumped outside a unit block in Sydney’s west, leading one resident to believe the businesses paying for the advertising are being taken for a ride.

A photo of the huge columns of catalogues was sent to 2GB radio host Ben Fordham, and shows the piles towering higher than the nearby wheelie bins.

Stacked nine bundles wide and two bundles deep, there would be thousands of catalogues left unattended outside the units in Harris Park. It is not known how long they were there for.

“The companies who printed all these catalogues think they are being delivered … no one is getting any of them,” the listener, named ‘Harris’, speculated.

“Just imagine how much money these companies are losing, and the person who is supposed to distribute is getting paid for nothing.”

Piles of catalogues line the footpath outside a Sydney apartment block.
A mountain of catalogues was spotted outside the apartments in Western Sydney. Source: 2GB

The photo caused a stir on social media, with many questioning why junk mail still exists.

“Serious question — why has there not been a push to eliminate junk mail? Even on an individual council level? I’m sure the majority would approve of it,” one person wrote.

Dumped – or dropped off ready for delivery?

While others thought the catalogues may not have been dumped, but rather dropped off by a distributor for a letterbox deliver who lives in the unit block.

"It couldn't be that the catalogue deliverer lives in one of the units, could it? And that the distribution company has just delivered this week's assignment to them?" someone asked.

“If you are just dumping them you wouldn't take the time/effort to stack them neatly,” another added.

“On the other hand, you don't want to be caught dumping them anywhere, but if you disguise yourself as a company employee dropping them off…” said another, alluding to a ‘dumping scam’.

It’s unclear which stores the catalogues had been printed for.

Thousands of Woolworths catalogues dumped

In similar circumstances, thousands of supermarket catalogues were dumped outside a unit block in West Ryde in December last year and left there for over a week.

A resident took it upon herself to alert Woolworths and warn them of shady distributors.

"It's a shame to see how many trees have been wasted to produce these that not many of us even look at anymore since everything is available online," she pointed out.

A spokesperson from Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia at the time they "invest heavily" in the production and distribution of catalogues for the benefit of customers, some of whom have requested physical copies.

Coles in 2020 stopped delivering its weekly catalogues to all households instead making them available online and in-store only. It was a move to came with some backlash.

"While the vast majority of distributors do the right thing when delivering our catalogues to households, it’s always disappointing to see our catalogues being dumped," they said.

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