SMART supports the need for "transparency" when it comes to the operation of donation boxes so that donors will know who benefits from their donations. Without transparency, it is likely that donations will eventually diminish. Similarly, SMART recognizes that zoning concerns exist throughout the country that can result in permitting requirements and/or restrictions on the placement of donation boxes. For these reasons, SMART does not oppose most governmental efforts to regulate donation boxes. We do, however, reserve the right to oppose governmental actions that present unnecessarily onerous compliance requirements for our industry and/or threaten our members with significant penalties for unwitting violations.
SMART has written a "position paper" and draft legislative language to help elected officials considering possible measures for regulating collection bins and to ensure they are appropriate for their own communities. The position paper outlines the important role that clothing recycling plays in helping local communities achieve key economic, environmental, and philanthropic objectives and describes the features of a legislative measure that will both protect the interests of the community and its people while preserving the industry's vital contributions. The template ordinance, meanwhile, serves as a concrete example of such a measure and requires companies placing clothing collection bins to clearly state on its collection bins that it is a for-profit company. The draft ordinance also requires companies to meet all local zoning and permitting requirements, to have permission before placing a bin, to clearly provide contact information on the collection bins, to maintain the bins on a regular schedule, and to respond in a timely manner should be a complaint be received about a particular collection bin.