Published: Sep 18, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Sep 17, 2012 02:03 PM
MORRISVILLE - Elected leaders might allow a for-profit company to put clothes-recycling drop boxes in town, a consideration that is already drawing concern from groups like Goodwill that count on donations.
GreenZone is a Greensboro-based company that accepts clothing, shoes, toys and purses and sells them to thrift stores, overseas markets and insulation suppliers.
The company, which currently has bins throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, helps divert items from the landfill, said owner Gage Moretti.
“We’re trying to take a product that is thrown away most of the time and putting it to good use,” Moretti said.
Currently, neither businesses nor charities are allowed to place donation bins in Morrisville.
By changing the rule to allow bins, the town could open the door for unscrupulous companies to collect goods, said Steve Snyderman, director of the local Goodwill Community Foundation.
“Clothing dropped off at a collection box that would otherwise have been dropped off at GCF means there are less items that we can use to meet our mission,” Snyderman said. “We suffer, and so does the community.”
Snyderman said he also worried that donation bins have proven to be a nuisance. Goodwill stopped using them years ago.
“While most of the people donating were well intended, there were problems caused by people just leaving items on the ground, and the drop boxes used back then were subject to vandalism,” he said.
As required under state law, Moretti said GreenZone bins make it clear the company is a for-profit group. Morrisville’s proposed ordinance would also require the company’s contact information printed on all four sides of the bins.
“We’re not a charity; we are a small business, and we are not ashamed of that,” Moretti said.
To prevent eyesores, Morrisville’s proposed ordinance would require the company to keep the area around the bins free of debris and to be screened by shrubs. A maximum of two bins would be allowed per site, and the bins’ decor would have to match surrounding buildings.
The Town Council is expected to vote on the ordinance Sept. 25.