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Michigan city bans charity collection bins on private property


The city of Grand Rapids, Mich., is reportedly cracking down on one of government's biggest nuisances: charitable giving.  Eek.

Michigan's Mackinac Center reports:

Grand Rapids, the latest city to ban the boxes, claims the bins are a source of uncontained trash, but the city has not provided any documentation of complaints. The recycling bins being targeted typically are set on property to collect clothes, shoes and books. Property owners say the recycling organizations have been responsive in emptying the bins.

But Grand Rapids officials disagree. Suzanne Schulz, director of planning for Grand Rapids, said the city doesn't have the manpower to police the areas around the bins, which she said often have items like sinks and sofas dumped around the bins (see video below).

Grand Rapids will allow outdoor bins on property of businesses that are in the recycling business, like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, but others are out of luck.

That will have a significant effect on recyclers like Planet Aid, which stands to lose about $100,000 a year in revenue in Grand Rapids, said Brian Hinterleiter, Planet Aid Michigan operations manager.

I've personally donated old clothes and other household items to Planet Aid in the past.  It's a smart program and their donation bins limit the amount of administrative overhead to offer more in aid to those who really need it.  But if you dare install a donation collection box on your property, be warned: you could face fines from the city of Grand Rapids of $100.


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