Take Two for November 15, 2012

Goodwill charities push for greater regulation of donation bins

Planet Aid

Matt Green/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Sanitation Department is evicting this collection bin (belonging to the Planet Aid organization) from the public sidewalk on which it has taken up residence. If it doesn't make itself scarce within 30 days, it will be condemned and hauled away under DSNY's Derelict Vehicle Removal Program.

The holiday season is here, which means many people are thinking about donating to a local charity. In addition to monetary donation, some choose to clean out their wardrobes and donate clothes to collection bins found in parking lots or gas stations.

One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, Goodwill Industries, Inc., has been making a concerted effort to regulate and restrict these donation bins. However they recently faced a setback when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have required companies that own donation boxes to get permission before installing them on private property.

Kendall Taggart, a reporter for the non-profit California Watch, says that, according to Goodwill, local communities are seeing a flood of donation boxes popping up on commercial properties, often without the consent of property owners.

"Goodwill also says they want donors to be aware of where their donations are going, whether the box is operated by a non profit or for profit," said Taggart on Take Two. "They also want property owners to be able to remove the boxers if the owner didn't get permission for them without the fear of actually being sued for taking the box off their property."

Goodwill has already been successful in lobbying for regulation of donation boxes in Michigan and New Jersey, and in California cities like Berkeley, where they're now prohibited, and Sacramento, which now requires owners to get permits before installation.


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