Sunday, July 1, 2012

Clothing Bins Continued...

Betsy Robert’s article posted in the Sun Sentinel Forum: http://blogs.trb.com/community/news/deerfield_beach/forum/

City Seeks to Rein in Rogue Donation Boxes with Regulations

The box says, “Clothing & Shoes Drop.” A circle of three green arrows – the universal sign for recycling -- is painted underneath.
A sign on another says, “Shoes for the Cure.” It urges “Go Green” above its recycle sign,but the fine print explains, and “Curing the Environment one pair at a time.”


Until it was removed recently, donations filled the white box located at the southwest corner of Powerline Road and Hillsboro Boulevard, sometimes to overflowing. Meanwhile, less conveniently located collection boxes for organizations like Salvation Army, had plenty of room to spare.

But if donations once again are flowing from Deerfield Beach into traditional charities like Salvation Army, those charities owe a debt of gratitude to Bett Willett

The Deerfield Beach resident took the floor at a January city commission meeting and launched a one-woman campaign to get the city to crack down on for-profit collection boxes. Donations should be reserved for legitimate charities, she said, not cherry picked by organizations reselling donations for profit.

“Mayor, didn’t Salvation Army help your family when the hurricane took out the power? They were giving out food?” she asked Mayor Peggy Noland.

On June 26, City Manager Kevin Klopp confirmed that a draft of a proposed ordinance was circulating among the staff. If approved without revision, it would define where donation clothing bins can be placed. It would require that $25 permits be granted for bins only if they are owned and operated for the benefit of a legal charity. Bins would have to be clearly marked with the name of the charity and contact information and indicate the percentage of the proceeds benefiting the charity – not to mention being structurally sound and clean.

Klopp noted that “staff is concerned about the bureaucratic details of implementing and enforcing a permitting process for donation bins and was monitoring the results of voluntary compliance before deciding whether to present the ordinance to the city commission.”
Those results were heartening. Of 18 questionable bins, 16 were removed by Tuesday, though smaller shoe containers proved more problematic.
“Our efforts to ensure that these smaller shoe containers comply with city code have recently been initiated…You will soon see them being removed as well,” he said.

As for Willett, and her eight month effort to get Goodwill admitted to the fold? She said that as it stands, the ordinance is a good start
“I want to know what is allowed and what is not allowed,” she said, “and how we can get permission for Salvation Army to put their clothing bins in the city.”

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