Published: Oct 06, 2012 03:30 PM
Modified: Oct 06, 2012 03:33 PM
MORRISVILLE - Donation bins for used clothing are a no-go in Morrisville.
In a 5-2 split decision, the Town Council recently voted against a rule change that would have allowed clothing donation drop-boxes around town. Council members who voted against the change cited concerns about potential litter.
The council had been debating the issue since August, when Green Zone, a for-profit clothing recycling business based in Greensboro, approached the town with a request to put bins in Morrisville.
Green Zone accepts clothing, shoes, toys and purses and sells them to thrift stores, overseas markets and insulation suppliers.
I was very concerned about the appearance and the upkeep (of the bins), said Councilwoman Liz Johnson, who voted against the proposal. Its nothing against this one company.
The rule change could have opened the door for future companies to set up bins without maintaining the site and preventing it from becoming an eyesore, council members said. There was no guarantee that people wouldnt dump trash in the bins instead of clothing, they added.
Johnson said she also worried that residents who put donations in the bins might think theyre giving to charity. State law requires the bins to state they are part of a for-profit company, but she said it could still be confusing.
Councilman Steve Rao, who also voted against the proposal, agreed. He said some other towns have banned donation bins because for-profit companies can take advantage of other organizations by tying their activities to other charitable organizations.
At least one other Triangle town has had similar concerns. Durham banned unattended clothing drop-off bins in 2009 after receiving numerous complaints about litter and debris. The only bins allowed in Durham city limits are on the operational site of an organization that collects donated clothing as a primary business function.
Rao said there was no need for bins in Morrisville because organizations like Goodwill already accept donations of used clothing and other items.
Councilman Michael Schlink and Margaret Broadwell voted in favor of allowing the bins.
I dont think its a danger to the public, Broadwell said. I think its a good chance for citizenry to have another opportunity to recycle.