News Local

Donation bins

By Robert Washburn, Northumberland Today

A new bylaw to control donations bins in Cobourg is a welcome piece of legislation, says a spokesperson for the Canadian Diabetes Association Thursday.

Kristiina Loorand, operations manager for the Durham and Northumberland Clothesline program for the Canadian Diabetes Association, said the bylaw is a good idea.

“I think it is great to see a bylaw in place,” she said. “I think it will ensure proper enforcement. We would have appropriate licensing.”

Cobourg Council gave its initial approval Monday to a donation bin bylaw to regulate charities that place metal boxes to collect various items, including clothing and shoes, to raise money.

Under the new bylaw these organizations would be limited to identified charity groups who would give full contact information and proof of co-operation with the property owners where the bin is located. There would not be any fees.

This comes after the Town faced a problem with unwanted yellow clothing donation bins earlier this year. The Eagle County Community Association (ECCA) in Mississauga was locating bins without property owners' permission.

The Town began removing them, but before they all could be collected, the remainder disappeared. By the end of February, all of the yellow bins and a few unmarked blue bins were completely gone.

Cobourg was not alone, as other municipalities, including Toronto, were having problems with unsolicited bins being located on private property.

The bylaw would only affect organizations with bins. Other groups that collect items would not be affected, such as Beyond the Blue Box, Petticoat Lane, the Northumberland Humane Society and Horizons of Friendship. However, they will be sent copies of the bylaw once it is finally approved, Deputy Mayor Stan Frost said Thursday.

Currently, the Town is only aware of donation boxes from the Canadian Diabetes Association and St. Vincent de Paul.

Loorand said she is not aware of any other municipality with a similar bylaw in her coverage area.

The Canadian Diabetes Association collects 40% of its clothing donations from donation bins across Canada. Through its programs, it generated $10 million net in 2012. The clothing is sold through its Value Village retail outlets.

“This is very positive,” Loorand said.

Final approval for the bylaw is expected to take place July 15.


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