City, News

Donation bins found trashed

Clothing donation sites are now being used as dumpsters and landfills as Boston residents continue to throw an overflow of trash into the unregulated collection bins.
The Boston City Council discussed an ordinance yesterday that would regulate the donation bins as residents testified to the out-of-control sites.
City Councilor Rob Consalvo (Hyde Park) said the ordinance would require donation bin owners to register the bins with the Commissioner of Inspectional Services Department so the city could monitor where bins are located and prevent dumping.
‘The city can regulate this industry, know where the boxes are going and have a better working relationship with the owners of boxes,’ he said. ‘
Though the bins are placed in Boston neighborhoods for charitable purposes, many people are incorrectly using them as dumpsters.
‘Clothing is left on the sidewalk,’ he said. ‘People are leaving computer monitors, paint tins and couches.’ ‘
The bins have become a convenient dumpster for people looking for a close location to dispose of large items, Hyde Park Neighborhood Association President Bob Vance said.
‘When people are moving out, they don’t want to move an empty propane tank,’ he said.
Hyde Park resident Rita Walsh testified at the meeting that charity companies should be more selective when choosing bin sites and pick public locations that are easy to access. She said the bins should be placed in commercial areas, because if they are placed in residential areas the bins look like dumping locations to residents. ‘
‘In one apartment, the bin was removed but people are still dumping things,’ she said.
Planet Aid, a nonprofit charity that helps individuals in developing nation with several clothing collection bins in the Boston area, empties their collection bins and cleans up the area three times a week to combat the high levels of trash pile up, Planet Aid President Fred Olsson said.
‘We’re doing a lot of work to alleviate the trash issue, but it’s growing,’ he said. ‘We pick up paint tins, air conditioners, couches, you name it . . . we have three people who just sort through trash.’ ‘
Windward Trading Company, an organization that collects clothing from towns around Boston, supports the registration because it will create structure for the relationship between the city, charity and the landlords of bin locations, President John O’Neill said on behalf of the American Red Cross.
‘It’s a coordinated effort to keep things clean,’ he said. ‘It will encourage people to keep the sites maintained so they are not an eyesore.’

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