SMART supports New York clothing collection bin legislation
New bill imposes stricter regulations on the placement, maintenance and transparency of clothing collection bins
New York State Bill A.5317 sponsored by Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) and supported by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on Dec. 14, 2015. The legislation combats the proliferation of clothing collection bins provided by fake charities in New York by imposing stricter regulations on the placement, maintenance and transparency of collection bins across the state.
“On behalf of our membership, SMART continues to advocate for legislation like Bill A.5317 across the country that requires stricter regulations of transparency, placement and maintenance for clothing collection bin operators,” said SMART Executive Director Jackie King. “Our members abide by a rigorous Code of Conduct and support any measures that address potential ‘bad actors’ within the recycling/reuse community.”
The legislation prohibits placement of collection bins on public property and imposes maintenance requirements of such bins. The law also strengthens operator transparency by imposing disclosure requirements, including indication as a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. Additionally, disclosure is required if the bin is operated by a for-profit business in conjunction with a nonprofit organization. Bin owners are subject to fines for violations of the bill’s disclosure and maintenance requirements.
SMART worked closely with New York legislators to draft Bill A.5317. SMART’s Draft Bin Legislation and Guidance Document, along with the association’s Bin Operator Code of Conduct served as guiding documents for Bill A.5317 and similar measures, as the association has worked with legislators nationwide on the state and municipality levels to develop and enact bin legislation, including Kentucky, Illinois, California, Virginia and Maryland.
“Fake charities are benefiting from the generous nature of our community by misleading people into believing their donations are going to help those in need of assistance,” said Assemblyman Braunstein. “These bins are frequently placed on sidewalks and other public places, damaging the quality of life of our neighborhoods. This law will ensure that fake charities no longer benefit from their deceptive actions.”
According to King, SMART’s member companies make vital contributions to state and national environmental goals through the reuse and recycling of nearly four billion pounds of used clothing and other textile waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill each year. The association’s industry members range from wiping rag manufacturers, textile wholesalers, textile graders, fiber conversion companies and collection bin operators.