Colonie considering implementing new rules on clothes donations bins

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The town of Colonie has plans to impose regulations on companies that supply clothes donations bins to ensure the business is sincere.

“There were several bins that were showing up, and they seemed to be multiplying, and it’s hard to tell which are actually charitable and some that may be there for people to profit from,” Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said.

Mahan said her office received concerns from people and other elected officials that the boxes seemed to be popping up all over.

“There was no law on the books,” she said. “We are at the point where we are exploring if this is something we need to look at.”

Jim Chauvin owns Afab Recycling in Waterbury, Conn. He said he wants to keep useable clothes out of the landfill. He said he’s advised other towns on implementing permitting laws.

“It’s a lot easier to go out there and say, ‘Listen, I’m such-n-such charity – something you’re going to recognize – could I put my clothing collection box on your property. It’s a good cause,’” he said.

Chauvin said those businesses will then sell the clothes for profit instead of donating them to charity.

“A lot of people are just going out there and dropping boxes,” he said. “They’re selling the clothes on the weekend at the flea market. It’s becoming an eye sore and a blight issue.”

“Before we move forward on this issue, we really want to do our homework and make sure that this is, first of all, this is an issue that we should put more time into,” Mahan said. “And second of all, if we can make the situation better and improve it, then that would be the goal.”

Colonie lawmakers said they are still trying to fully understand the situation and what they are dealing with.

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