New york governor signs clothing collection bin legislation

by Stephen Garner

SMARTNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that combats the proliferation of clothing collection bins by fake charities in New York. The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) and supported by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), imposes stricter regulations on the placement, maintenance and transparency of collection bins across the state.

The legislation prohibits placement of collection bins on public property and imposes maintenance requirements of such bins. The law also strengthens operator transparency by imposing disclosure requirements, including indication as a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. Additionally, disclosure is required if the bin is operated by a for-profit business in conjunction with a nonprofit organization. Bin owners are subject to fines for violations of the bill’s disclosure and maintenance requirements.

“On behalf of our membership, SMART continues to advocate for legislation like Bill A.5317 across the country that requires stricter regulations of transparency, placement and maintenance for clothing collection bin operators,” said SMART executive director Jackie King. “Our members abide by a rigorous Code of Conduct and support any measures that address potential ‘bad actors’ within the recycling/reuse community.”

“Fake charities are benefiting from the generous nature of our community by misleading people into believing their donations are going to help those in need of assistance,” added Assemblyman Braunstein. “These bins are frequently placed on sidewalks and other public places, damaging the quality of life of our neighborhoods. This law will ensure that fake charities no longer benefit from their deceptive actions.”