The Ins and Outs of Donation Bins

You’ve seen them in parking lots — donation bins.  It’s a great way to dispose of old clothes.  Especially with the holidays coming up, it’s also a good way to donate to charity.

Or is it?  The BBB Wise Giving Alliance, an organization that rates charities (, has some useful information in the cover story of the Summer/Fall 2016 issue of their publication, the Wise Giving Guide.  Here are a few facts from the article —

All donation bins are not created equal.  Some are indeed owned by a charity; while others are run by a for-profit company who license with a charity for the use of the name or logo, with the charity often getting a portion of the revenue; and some are strictly for-profit.  In a few cases, the same charity can use the first two models, depending on the management decisions in a particular area.  The best strategy is to find a box you know is owned by the charity.

In any event, the stakes are high.  The Council for Textile Recycling reports that only 15% of American textiles get recycled.  The remaining 85% ends up in landfills.  The average U.S. citizen throws out 70 pounds of clothing per year, while recycling only 12.  There’s an opportunity here, no matter how you look at it.

To read the complete article, go to


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