Donation Bin Concerns
Non-profit organizations worry green donation bins popping up in the area, could take money out of the community. The bins are owned by for-profit companies who say donations will also go to a good cause. Video by nbc26.comvideo
It's competition local non-profit organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army say they don't need in these tough times. Green donation bins are popping up around the area, and the non-profits worry they're taking money out of the community.
The bins may all look pretty similar, but they're for different organizations. Non-profits are asking people to look twice before they donate, while for-profits argue they're not doing anything wrong. The donations also go to a good cause.
Goodwill donation leader Doug Schacht sees things outside the box.
"Over 80-cents of every dollar we take in from our thrift retail business where we sell donated clothing to our stores, is directly re-invested into the community," Schacht said.
Now Schacht believes less clothes are hitting their racks because for-profit bins are popping up.
"The green bins and other for-profit donation bins truly are causing struggles for Goodwill and other non-profits. There's no question, our donation stream is being compromised," Schacht said.
But USAgain claims their bins are also giving back.
"It clearly states on its collection bins that the organization's mission is to do something good for the environment," USAgain spokesman Scott Burnham said.
The for-profit company has collected over 196,000 pounds of clothes around Northeast Wisconsin.
"Some are sold to thrift stores. Some are broken down and used for recycling purposes," Burnham said.
Other clothes are sold overseas to keep them out of landfills. Still, Schacht wants to keep the donations here.
"Those are resources that are directly leaving our community," Schacht said.
USAgain has bins in about 17 states. A spokesman tells us the for-profit company has donated more than a million dollars to charities around the country over the last few years.