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Portage passes donation box oversight
PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The boxes have been taking over street corners and store parking lots for the last year. Now the Portage City Council has decided there should be limits on the brightly colored donation boxes that collect clothes and shoes and books.
The council estimates it has close to 30 boxes in 19 locations and that number is growing.
“We need to educate the citizens of knowing where are their clothes, shoes and books go. It's important for them to know there are choices and what the end result is going to be," says Portage Mayor Pete Strazdas.
When Newschannel Three investigated the bins we found many of them like USAgain are simply for profit businesses, selling donations.
Others like Planet Aid, while it is a nonprofit, receives a very low rating from rating groups like charity watch.
And it also sells what it collects in the bins.
Now in Portage a new ordinance will require the companies that want to place a box label it on whether or not they sell the donations.
Companies will now also have to have a sworn statement the property owner gave them permission to have a box there before they receive a permit.
"I think it's important for citizens to know they have alternatives. If they're cleaning out a house of clothes, they can go to Goodwill, Salvation Army or use the drop boxes," says Strazdas.