Clothing donation bins: Where does your donation go?

Clothing donation bins: Where does your donation go?

Posted:
Community Recycling Solutions makes money by selling some of your donations to thrift stores. The rest is sold for rags. Community Recycling Solutions makes money by selling some of your donations to thrift stores. The rest is sold for rags.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - We're seeing more donation bins around the area where people can drop-off items. But some of these bins are affiliated with groups you may not be familiar with.

If you look closely at one clothing donation box on Middlebrook Pike, you can see the company is for profit. They say a portion of their proceeds goes to the Disabled American Veterans of Tennessee, but they won't say how much.

Community Recycling Solutions is a new company out of Charleston, Tenn., that started back in March. They make money by selling some of your donations to thrift stores. The rest is sold for rags.

Disabled American Veterans of Tennessee says they've been promised 10 percent of the proceeds.

Another drop box doesn't have a company name, only saying it's managed by a for profit company in Georgia. Dial the phone number and a recording directs you to a website, myamericanaid.com, that says it collects discarded apparel to be shipped overseas.

Over on Peters Road are donation bins for the American Family Foundation. They rent the parking lot space and sell the donated clothing they get to thrift stores. They give some of the proceeds to local charities including the Knoxville Area Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army won't say how much money they get from the foundation, only that they would prefer you donate your old clothes directly to their local thrift stores.

So with all these options, what does the Better Bureau Business recommend? Local BBB president Jerry Tipton says you should know where your donation is going. 

"I think if you're going to give to something, you need to give to a legitimate charity. If you want to count the donation as a tax deduction, you need to go in person and get a receipt," Tipton said.

You can do that at places like Knox Area Rescue Ministries. There are 13 KARM thrift stores in East Tennessee. If what you donate can't be sold in their stores, they're given to other charities, or sold in bulk to thrift stores in other parts of the country or shredded for fiber.

"All of the profits from our thrift store operations go downtown to Broadway and Magnolia to feed, clothe, house our guests that are at Knox Area Rescue Ministries," said Evan Crass with KARM.

So far, Community Recycling Solutions has put out 52 of these boxes around Knoxville with plans for dozens more. They say they've been so popular, they have to empty them twice a week. 

They also say they get permission when they put out their bins, but we found three on property owned by White Realty and that company says they were never contacted.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.