February 13, 2012; Source: Palm Beach Post | In Florida’s Palm Beach County, a number of different and often national recycling businesses have established what look like charity drop-off boxes around the community, but the clothes are being sold for profit. The boxes have frequently been placed on the property of local businesses who either may not know that they are not sponsored by a charity, or who may be being paid for their placement.
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It is unclear how much damage this may be doing to local charities that take the same types of donations. While Goodwill Gulfstream Industries in West Palm Beach says its donations are down, others say they have not felt any impact, though they generally worry that those placing clothes in the bins are wrongly assuming they’re making a charitable donation—an easy assumption to make when the boxes are imprinted with words like “Please Help the Environment. Go Green. Recycle your clothes, shoes & toys. Thank you and God Bless.”
In any case, this is all leading some to advocate for a ban on the for-profit bins, a measure that has already been enacted in other Florida counties. –Ruth McCambridge