It seems our area is a prime one for these for-profit clothing bins to be illegally placed on sidewalks. Another one was recently dropped on Degraw just off 4th Avenue, which has happened time after time, and was tagged by the Department of Sanitation for removal on July 24 — once tagged, the company has 30 days to remove it, a period during which the city says companies often just move the bin, starting the cycle over again. No fines are issued.
Whether they’re placed on the street by the company and then foolishly set on fire, or just hauled away by sanitation, they’ve become quite a nuisance, and a potential hazard.
And sanitation has their hands full. According to a recent story in the Times, in the fiscal year 2014, which ended on June 30, Sanitation had tagged 2,006 bins, confiscating 132 of them — compare that to 2010, when they tagged 91 and confiscated 10.
If fines don’t work, and confiscating the bins doesn’t work, the best we can hope for is that people simply stop putting clothes into them, and the companies lose interest in our area. Not only is the bin placement illegal — Sanitation notes on their website that “under Local Law No. 31 of 2007, the placement of publicly accessible collection bins on New York City property or property maintained by New York City, or on any public sidewalk or roadway is illegal” — but the companies that leave them are often for-profit businesses creating the impression of charity.
So if you’ve got clothes to donate don’t put them in these bins. We have so many other, great options, just check out our guide to donating clothes locally.
And if you spot an illegally placed collection bin, report it to Sanitation.