Crackdown on Illegal Clothing Bin Scam Expected to Start Thursday

Bin

You know those clothing donation bins padlocked to various corners in the city? Well, you’re about to see a whole lot less of them. Back in July, we wrote about the bins actually being a scam: They don’t “provide money to charities,” as many of them claim, but instead sell the clothing that unwitting Brooklynites donate to thrift shops and for-profit businesses overseas. The city’s way of dealing with them up to this point is to tag the bin, giving an owner 30 days to remove it from his property. But in 2014, the Department of Sanitation has tagged 2,006 of the bins, and only six percent, or 132 bins, have been hauled away.

A new bill expected to pass the City Council on Thursday would have the owners pay a fine for the bin, as well as call for the bin’s immediate removal. The bill was introduced by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in July, and it calls for a fine of $250 for first-time violations of attaching a bin to public property, and $500 for repeat violations. Bins on public property will be removed immediately by the Sanitation Department. Bins on private property would have to be registered with the city, with the owners keeping track of what’s received. If passed, the law will go into effect in 90s days. 

“Illegal collection bins are a public nuisance that have become a blight on our city,” Mark-Viverito told the Post. “Our legislation will put an end to these eyesores while ensuring New Yorkers are able to donate goods to organizations that operate within the law.”

And in case you need a reminder of what those organizations are, here’s a list of non-profits that will totally take that ill-fitting peasant blouse off your hands.